[Editor: Yesterday’s report in the Benicia Herald print edition was excellent, giving cumulative numbers for the virus here in Benicia. Reprinted here with permission. – R.S.]
Solano County’s 95th Covid-19 death marks a grim reality as the holidays continue; leaving a bleak outlook for the start of 2021
Benicia has recorded 57 percent of its positive cases since Election Day
Benicia Herald, by Galen Kusic, Editor, December 27, 2020
Over the past week, Solano County has seen its most rapid increase in COVID-19 cases yet, rising from 15,008 to 17,330, an increase of 2, 222 in just seven days. That is an average of 317 cases a day, as Vallejo now has the highest amount of positive cases in the County since the pandemic began with 5,170. The County’s 20.9 percent seven-day positivity rate is the highest since the pandemic started.
In Benicia, the total number of cases has climbed to 469. Since Nov. 3, Benicia has experienced 271 new cases, over 57 percent of the city’s overall cases since the pandemic began in March. On average, the city’s residents have endured an average of over five new cases daily since Election Day, Nov. 3.
The County’s 95 total deaths has begun to rise as of late, and modeling suggests that into the next month those numbers will soon begin to soar. With hopes that the vaccine will help stop the spread, Gov. Newsom’s stay-at-home order is in effect for at least another two weeks while hospitals struggle to keep ICU beds open.
Currently, Solano County has 12 ICU beds open or 2.7 beds per 100,000 people. The Bay Area’s regional ICU capacity has now dwindled to 9.2 percent as other parts of the state have no ICU capacity, especially in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.
Solano County has completed it’s count and certified election results. The Registrar of Voters office posted the final count at 4pm on Tuesday, November 24.
The County provides excellent reports on its website. Most interesting in my opinion is the report titled Certified Election Results Site (Downloadable format). This is actually an html web page, but if you click on Reports at top right, you will be able to download Excel or PDF files for:
The City of Vallejo, in collaboration with the Vallejo police and fire departments, will open their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as a precautionary measure starting Monday.
This action is being taken in preparation for potential civil unrest directly associated with the Nov. 3 election, according to a news release issued Wednesday.
“While there is no immediate threat of unrest, nor do we have reason to believe there will be a threat in the City of Vallejo or surrounding areas, the City must be prepared to respond to any emergency appropriately. The type of emergency will determine the appropriate response to any crisis,” said communications and public information Christina Lee in the statement.
The Vallejo Fire Department will increase its staff by an extra battalion chief and an additional fire engine to assist with increased call volume if necessary during the EOC activation. The police department will continue to have its mobile field force (MFF) on standby, prepared to mobilize in the event of social or civil unrest to help calm and disperse crowds, Lee said.
Though “the City recognizes and respects our citizens’ First Amendment Rights to free speech … we ask that anyone who intends to exercise these rights remain mindful that COVID-19 remains a threat, especially as we are entering the cold and flu season, which could place those with a compromised immune system at an increased risk for infection,” Lee said, urging citizens to “continue to wear a mask, especially when gathering where social distancing can be difficult.”
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams issued a statement Thursday afternoon, stating that “while we hope for peace and civility after the elections; hope is not a strategy, and failure to prepare is preparing to fail. We are planning to have a more visible uniformed presence throughout the elections and the following days. With our Emergency Operations Center activated, we will work collaboratively with all of our city departments, council members, and county partners to protect and serve our Vallejo community.”
Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan said it would be irresponsible to not be ready.
“We want to be prepared just in case there’s going to be civil unrest,” he said late Wednesday. “The extreme right and the extreme left have been saying on social media that they are going to protest the election. We, as a city, need to be prepared for that. We have been the victims of looting and civil unrest in the past and we need to be ready just in case something like that should occur.”
Sampayan said he “absolutely” expects Vallejo agencies to be ready if they are called as mutual aid to surrounding communities.
“I’m confident our police and fire are well prepared for whatever occurs after the election,” Sampayan said.
In Benicia, “Like everyone else, we are watching this election and the days following it closely,” said Irma Widjojo, public information officer for the Benicia Police Dept.
“While we don’t anticipate any issues in our community, we are prepared to have extra staffing available if needed. We are also working cooperatively with other area agencies for any mutual call needs,” Widjojo said.
There is “no special preparations at this time” by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, spokesman Henry Wofford said. “Everything is normal.”
SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Most Bay Area counties are now recommending a 10-day isolation for COVID-19 patients instead of a 14-day quarantine before they come back to work.
The CDC is recommending this and it is also being backed by doctors from UCSF and Stanford.
“For the healthy individual, 10 days will be plenty and we just haven’t seen the evidence for spread after that period of time,” says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado with Stanford Health Care.
New CDC guidelines say those with coronavirus who have mild to moderate symptoms should isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or a positive test.
Those who were hospitalized, or those with underlying conditions, should isolate for 20 days.
“But it’s not everyone and there are still other pieces that have to be met, but the 10-day rule is still going to work a lot better for some of our workers,” says Dr. Ralph Gonzales of UCSF.
ABC7 News talked with a business owner in Benicia, who said, “10, 14, or 20 days. It’s hard to make sense of anything right now.”
“I had nothing given to me as a business owner, I don’t know, we’re doing the best we can and the rules change week by week,” says Dennis Cullen who owns Cullen’s Tannery Pub.
In fact, multiple counties are recommending people don’t get a second test before going back to work because dead COVID-19 virus cells can sometimes linger two to three months in patients, even if they’ve recovered.
“Some people do shed virus in our study up to two months, but whether or not that is infectious virus or not, that is unclear,” according to Dr. Maldonado.
Doctors tell us the number of people who are still contagious after that ten or 20-day period is so small, they don’t find it to be a major threat going forward.