Tag Archives: Solano County

Public health nurse reflects on treating coronavirus patients in their homes

Public health nurse first to test Solano residents from Travis

By Todd R. Hansen, Daily Republic, March 29, 2020
Public Health Nurse Rodney Butterfield shows how to put on protective gear when testing patients for Covid-19 during a Solano Public Health Practical Skills Training-Outbreaks and Infection Control session at the Solano County Events Center in Fairfield, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Rodney Butterfield was not new to infectious diseases.

“As nurses, you frequently enter a space where a patient has an infectious disease,” said Butterfield, a 14-year veteran in the nursing profession, the past two as a registered nurse in the Solano County Public Health division. “But this was a little different.”

He volunteered to help test and track the health progress of four Solano County residents at their homes: three who had been released into Public Health care from Travis Air Force Base and one who is believed to have contracted the Covid-19 disease through a community contact.

Public Health Nurse Rodney Butterfield demonstrates proper technique for adorning protective gloves before testing patients for Covid-19 during a Solano Public Health Practical Skills Training-Outbreaks and Infection Control session at the Solano County Events Center in Fairfield, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Butterfield said the coronavirus was new to everyone – medical professionals and members of the public alike. There was very little information about it, and not all the information was correct, or it was changing so rapidly that even the medical profession struggled to keep up.

He said even today physicians are calling the Public Health office to make sense of the sometimes conflicting information, and there are frequent updates on how the virus can be transmitted.

The primary way, however, remains person-to-person, so health officials continue to emphasize the need to wash hands, keep a healthy distance from other people and to keep your environments clean and sanitized.

Even worse at the beginning, Butterfield noted, everyone who seemed to be getting Covid-19 were dying, if the scattered media reports were to be believed.

“So, yeah, it was a little scary because everything I’ve dealt with in the past was known,” Butterfield said. “It put you on a red alert to be cautious with all you did.”

But as cautious as the situation made Butterfield, he said his clients were truly scared.

“They were frightened. . . . At the time, they didn’t know anything about (the novel coronavirus). We didn’t know anything about it,” Butterfield said.

To make matters worse, and the isolation even more severe, neighbors were also uncertain and did not necessarily react with a sense of understanding or kindness.

“I don’t know what the neighbors said, but my clients felt ostracized,” Butterfield said.

“The question that was most penetrating for us was, ‘What is going to happen to us?’ ” Butterfield said of his clients’ concerns.

It was a question that had far-reaching effects, from the immediacy of their health to their families to what the future would be like for them.

Butterfield, who was a construction contractor in Utah in his first life and started his second career as a licensed vocational nurse in correctional facilities, said his four clients have recovered, and he has talked to two of them since.

“They were just thrilled that they were past this thing,” Butterfield said. “I think what they were thankful for the most was I was giving them the most updated information available.”

Butterfield has now returned to his normal duties, though he still fields calls about the new coronavirus. Many are from individuals who are concerned for their health because the companies they work for have not shut down or made any attempt to adhere to social guidelines.

Butterfield said the experience has made him wonder if he should have gone into research, because it will be researchers who find the ultimate cure.

“I just hope next year we will all be getting vaccinated for this,” Butterfield said.

Most people who have the new coronavirus experience only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health problems, experience more severe illness such as pneumonia, or death.

The vast majority of people recover. The World Health Organization reports people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.


    Solano County COVID-19 updates – now reporting only on M-F

    By Roger Straw, March 29, 2020

    Even in a declared emergency, County staff gets a much-needed weekend off

    Solano County Coronavirus Updates and Resources, March 28, 2020

    The Solano County coronavirus page (solanocounty.com/depts/ph/coronavirus.asp) was altered yesterday.

    The “Number of cases” button previously read “Updated daily at 4pm.”  Sometime after 4pm on Saturday, March 28, the text below the button was changed to “Updated Monday to Friday at 4pm.”

    The County updated the number of cases on Saturday March 21, but starting yesterday, the Solano public will no longer get weekend updates.

    The Johns Hopkins interactive map shows no change for Solano County from Friday’s total of 34 cases.  Presumably, that map is dependent on reports from County officials – OR, there was no change on Saturday.

    Neither the State of California coronavirus page, nor the California Department of Public Health’s coronavirus page show County numbers .  (Public health offers a Local Health Community Transmission Map.  This map (at right) shades in all counties reporting cases, but does not show any numbers.)

    I guess we can all just take a break from the important and frightening details for a few days.  Stay home and stay safe!


      Solano County Jail nurse tests positive for COVID-19; up to 60 inmates to go free

      In a press release, Sheriff Ferrara says no ‘known cases’ of COVID-19 in the jail so far, but a Solano County Superior Court commissioner and a spokeswoman for jail nurse contractor Wellpath confirm the positive test

      By Richard Bammer, Vacaville Reporter, March 27, 2020
      Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara

      Two people have reported or confirmed that a nurse working in the Solano Jail has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but Sheriff Tom Ferrara, in a press release issued Friday, noted “no known cases of persons contracting COVID-19 within our jails.”

      Solano County Superior Court Commissioner Bryan J. Kim on Thursday mentioned during afternoon arraignments that a nurse from the Wellpath company, which contracts with Solano County Jail for nursing services, had tested positive for the coronavirus.

      Deputy Public Defender Nick Filloy told The Reporter he heard Kim make the statement during the afternoon session in Department 24 in the Hall of Justice in Fairfield.

      Additionally, a spokeswoman for the Wellpath company, based in Nashville, Tenn., confirmed early Friday that the nurse had, indeed, tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

      She asked not to be identified, citing the sensitive nature of her job, and provided no additional information other than suggesting the nurse was female.

      At press time Friday, Ferrara and Undersheriff Brad DeWall had not responded to a request for comment from The Reporter.

      It is unknown when or where the nurse tested positive, the nature of her county jail work schedule in recent days, how many inmates she came in contact with before she was tested, and whether she is quarantined for at least 14 days in her residence, a standard accepted practice recognized by public health officials.

      In the prepared statement, Ferrara wrote that the Sheriff’s Office “remains committed to the health and well-being of all persons currently incarcerated or working within our correctional facilities. Currently, there are no known cases of persons contracting COVID-19 within our jails.”

      He cited a March 20 order from Solano County Superior Court officials authorizing the release of inmates who are serving county jail commitments with 60 days or less remaining on their sentence, “so long as they qualify within the criteria set forth in the Order.”

      However, no inmate whose crime includes serving time for domestic violence or an offense involving a victim of domestic violence or serving time for an offense that requires registration as a sex offender is eligible for early release, noted Ferrara.

      “We are working in collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office and the Probation Department to review and concur with each potential release,” he added in the prepared statement. “Prior to being released, we will verify that the inmate has a place to live to ensure they go to a safe environment that allows them to comply with the Shelter-at-Home directive.”

      He also noted the department is making sure the released inmates have transportation to their homes.

      The March 20 order “will result in the initial release of up to 60 inmates, many of which currently have less than 30 days left to serve,” Ferrara pointed out.

      The release of inmates allows the Sheriff’s Office to establish intake quarantine housing units to monitor newly booked inmates and maintain a medical isolation unit for any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, he wrote.

      Solano County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Wood described to The Reporter how jail arraignments are being handled during the COVID-19 outbreak.

      In an email, he wrote that during such arraignments, deputy district attorneys “are teleconferencing into court and some inmates are being placed in the court adjacent room with a glass partition and microphone for court proceedings.”

      The inmates, he added, “can see court proceedings and communicate with the court from this position, rather than bringing them into the courtroom.”

      Known as a fierce defender of his clients’ constitutional rights, Filloy was shocked at Kim’s revelation and the later confirmation by the Wellpath spokeswoman.

      “If the Solano County’s Sheriff’s Department wants to spread COVID-19 to all of Solano County, they are doing a bang-up job,” he wrote in a text message.


        Latest report on Covid-19 in Solano County – Good news, NO NEW CASES on Friday, March 27

        Solano County update on March 27, 2020

        Solano County reported NO NEW POSITIVE CASES today – total remains 34.  You are still at risk – everyone stay home and be safe!

        The chart at bottom right, “Cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases…” gives a clear picture of the infection’s trajectory in Solano County.

        Also of interest:

        • Differentiation between Total number of cases (34) and Active cases (12).  NOTE THAT active cases yesterday were 15, thus 3 Solano cases are no longer considered active.
        • Total number hospitalized (12 known, 3 more than yesterday)
        • Proportion of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 (coming soon)
        • Total number of deaths (0 as of March 27)
        • Total number of cases by age groups (0-18: 0; 19-64: 22; 65 and older: 12).
        • Total residents tested today (coming soon)
        • The line chart at top right shows when these cases were tested over the last several weeks, (“Date of specimen collection”).


        Solano staff refuses to divulge WHERE in the County the positive cases reside.