Category Archives: Contra Costa Health Services – Hazardous Materials Programs

Contra Costa County reporting coronavirus cases by city – Solano County has yet to do so

By Roger Straw, April 5 2020
[UPDATE: On Monday April 6, Solano County released new information showing cases by cities, but detailing only the three largest cities in Solano.  Smaller cities like Benicia are still in the dark.  See COVID-19 in Solano County – 15 new cases over the weekend, curve continues up, partial city listings, fewer tests.  – R.S.]

On Sunday, April 5, the Antioch Herald published information clearly showing a city-by-city listing of positive COVID-19 cases in Contra Costa County.

Contra Costa Health Services: Data reported to CCHS as of 4/5/2020 at 11:30 a.m. Data is manually compiled from CalREDIE and hospitalization data is collected via phone survey. All data points could be a snapshot at different times. We are continually working on improving the data collection.

This information comes from the Contra Costa Health Department’s coronavirus Dashboard – see  The listing also notes City population and Cases per 100,000.  (Note that the Dashboard was slow to barely functional at the time of this writing.  I’m guessing this is due to high traffic volume.)


Solano County officials have been approached on multiple occasions with requests for more detailed information as to the whereabouts of cases in our county.  On advice of County Council Bernadette Curry, the Solano Health Department has refused to release a city-based listing.  Curry claims that releasing city specific data would violate the County’s obligations under HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was passed by Congress in 1996.

Note that Contra Costa is disclosing the number of cases in several cities smaller than Benicia.

On March 27, we reported that Orange County CA is also releasing a city-based listing of cases.

We hope the Solano County Counsel will reconsider and permit the Health Department to be more transparent.  Residents and businesses deserve to know more about the facts and trends in our home towns.

Questionable community outreach by Air District for Industrial Safety Ordinance audits

From local emails…


From: Roger Straw
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2018 9:45 AM
Subject: FW: [BAAQMD Coalition] Questionable community outreach for Industrial Safety Ordinance audits

This is amazing – read below, from bottom, up.  (Click on the image for larger display.)  And then come back and ask a couple of questions:

  1. Does Solano County have to report to the public like this now – even under current regulations?  Do they publish a notice like the one Nancy sent from Crockett?  Is this something that our newbie “CUPA” needs to be doing on our behalf?
  2. If/when we have an ISO, what assurances do we have the Hazardous Materials staff (Contra Costa OR Solano) would be any more attentive to Benicia citizens’ needs.  (Randy Sawyer should be embarrassed by this.)

I think the Working Group could be making a big deal out of this!  I think I’ll post about it on the BenIndy.


Begin forwarded message:

On Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 3:28 PM Nancy Rieser via BAAQMD Network wrote:

The Contra Costa Health Department considers a booth behind an elementary school two blocks away from a street fair in Crockett as a “public meeting..”   They reckon that the booth where they will be twiddling their fingers while the locals drink and dance a few blocks away will meet its obligation to hold a face-to-face public meeting.

Guess we are lucky.  Martinez gets its face-to-face at a Christmas tree farm in August on National Night Out.

I called the Health Department:  The gentleman who answered the phone said that apparently nobody cares enough to hear this kind of information and they won’t hold a meeting unless they can get a guaranteed audience of 25 people.  Neither will they mail notices to individual homes about their meeting to hustle the crowds.  “It is too expensive.”


From: Ralph Dennis
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:26 PM
Subject: ISO related

I noticed in the Benicia Herald this morning two public notices for Risk Management Plans prepared by Solano County Department of Resource Management, one for Praxair and the other for Benicia’s Water Treatment Plant. These are part of the 5-year audit review process, I believe, the same reports referenced in the Contra Costa County notice you sent around the other day.

I figured there ought to be one for Valero, so I called the Solano County Department of Resource Management. Turns out the Valero plan was filed in Dec. 2017 and is still under review. The staffer I spoke with who is doing the review is suppose to call me about status. Interesting, I guess: no public meetings planned, copies of plans not available in our library (as in Contra Costa County). He seemed surprised at my question about public meetings, said he could check with management.

CCHMP public notice meetings July-Aug 2018