Solano County reported 11 NEW POSITIVE CASES today – total is now 99. One new deaths in Solano County – total of 2.
As of today, 1 new non-severe positive case was a young person under 19 years of age; 73 of the cases were individuals between the ages of 19 and 64, and 25 were 65 were older. The new death was among the 19-64 year age group.
Only 33 of the 99 are active cases (2 fewer than yesterday), and 27 of the total cases have resulted in hospitalizations (3 more than previously reported).
CITY DATA: Vallejo added 5 cases, total of 33; Fairfield added 2 cases, total of 28; and Vacaville added 3 cases, total of 17. Smaller cities are not assigned numerical data: all show <10 (less than 10). NOTE that 1 new case must have come from one of our four smaller cities or unincorporated areas, all showing <10. Residents and city officials have been pressuring County officials for city case counts for the past two weeks. Today’s data is welcome, but incomplete.
TESTING seems to be minimal in Solano County and most recently somewhat on the decline.
Most recent (updated) numbers for specimens collected are:
1 on Sunday, April 5
5 on Saturday, April 4
6 on Friday, April 3
7 on Thursday, April 2.
Solano’s steep upward curve
The chart above gives a clear picture of the infection’s trajectory in Solano County. Our coronavirus curve is on a steep uphill climb!
Over the last two weeks, a group of Benicians has been sewing and delivering masks for healthcare workers who serve on the front line fighting the coronavirus pandemic here in the Bay Area.
In an email today, Bodil Fox reported, “To date, we have distributed 1,234 masks date from 37 mask makers to 22 medical facilities.”
Those numbers are supplemented by some who are delivering masks directly to healthcare workers who are family or friends.
On April 1, Larnie Fox wrote that the group had 50+ members on the mask project email list. One of the group’s biggest contributors is Ruby Wallis, who has been sewing large quantities of masks.
The mask project is nicely described in an April 1 Benicia Herald article by editor Galen Kusic…
Benicia residents spearhead effort to make masks for health care workers
Nurses at Kaiser Vallejo wear masks provided by the mask making project spearheaded by Benicia residents Bodil and Larnie Fox. 460 masks have been distributed by 25 mask makers as of March 31.
Galen Kusic, Editor
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to engulf the world, U.S. and Calif., people are getting creative to protect health care workers and flatten the curve. As of press time Tue., there were at least 183,532 cases across 50 states and more than 3,600 deaths attributed to the respiratory illness. In Calif. alone, the state announced 6,932 cases with 150 deaths.
Locally in Benicia, Bodil and her husband Larnie Fox have displayed ingenuity through artistic creativity and networking by making hand-sewn masks to help health care workers.
The project started when Bodil met her neighbor, Marcella Spurgeon, a nurse at Kaiser Vallejo, on a walk on March 20. Marcella told her how she and other nurses were working without any sort of protection. Bodil (a textile artist) wondered if hand-sewn masks would help, and Marcella’s response was an enthusiastic, “YES!”
Alta Bates doctors show off their functional and stylish masks.
Bodil started sewing masks, and soon heard that her friend Ruby Wallis was “making masks, full tilt.” Ruby had designed a simple, easily-made mask that was big enough to cover an N95, thus extending its life. Bodil and Larnie made a video explaining Ruby’s technique: youtu.be/Uyh6iAKqrao, which has over 2,000 views on Facebook and Youtube.
The emails, texts, social media posts and phone calls exploded after Councilmember Steve Young posted information about the project on Facebook. Seeing that Bodil was swamped, Larnie began helping her with the project full time.
“We are fielding requests for hundreds of masks at this point,” said Larnie.
Alta Bates midwife Lior Mayer wears a hand-sewn mask made by Bodil and Larnie Fox’s mask maker group.
As of March 31, there have been 460 hand-sewn masks made with 25 mask makers working. They are being distributed to Benicia nurses working at Kaiser Vallejo, Oakland Children’s Hospital, Alta Bates Berkeley, Kaiser San Rafael and to several other health care centers.
“I have brought in masks for Labor and Delivery and the nurses and docs are so appreciative!” said Alta Bates midwife Lior Mayer. “It is so heartwarming, and very useful. Everyone loves knowing they are extending the lives of the ONE mask we are given per shift, and also appearing more friendly to our patients with these beautiful fabric masks on. Everyone sends a big thank you!”
The masks are washed and sterilized before using. The mask makers are very aware of the fact that these masks do not replace real PPE (personal protective equipment), but as nurses are saying, they are better than nothing.
“We are going the unofficial route – getting them to nurses that work at these facilities who distribute them to their co-workers,” said Larnie. “They report that the people who get them are really grateful, and our homemade masks are most definitely being used and may be saving lives.”
Nurses at Alta Bates use hand-sewn masks to help with the current N-95 mask shortages.
The project is seeking donations of 100 percent cotton fabric, at least 11×16 inches, 1/4 inch elastic, rubbing alcohol for sterilizing masks and supplies and people who have sewing machines and can sew. They encourage any frontline workers who need masks to let the project know. If you live nearby and would like to help by sewing, donating materials or identifying needs, please contact the project at email@example.com.
For those that do not have this capability, people are urged to find somehow or someway to help health care workers or those in need during the crisis.
“The need is real,” said Larnie. “We know these masks are not ideal, but they are much better than the nothing that is currently available.”
We are under orders to stay home. But there are exceptions. These are generally the functions that we need to keep people fed, healthy, housed and informed, and to maintain a minimal level of government and critical public services.
For Bay Area county health orders, and for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s separate statewide directive, the goal is to preserve “essential” services. Similarly, President Donald Trump’s nonbinding coronavirus guidelines make exceptions for critical infrastructure industries.
Now, we’re seeing individuals and industries rushing with dubious justifications to claim that special status. Come on, folks. This has got to stop. We are in the middle of a pandemic that could kill millions around the world, including an estimated 100,000 to 240,000 people in the United States.
Bay Area and state health officials have had to make tough choices. For our own health, and that of everyone else in the region, state, nation and world, we must respect those decisions.
We must use common sense.
Without widespread and effective testing that would allow identification of those infected, the only way to slow the spread of the coronavirus is self-isolation across the nation and the world. Just because you’re feeling fine doesn’t mean that you’re healthy – up to 25% of infected people don’t show symptoms.
Which is why it’s so appalling that, as of Thursday, 12 states still had no statewide orders to stay home. And some leaders show stunning ignorance of the threat.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp finally issued a stay-at-home order on Wednesday, but only after claiming that he just learned about asymptomatic carriers of the virus, something health officials had been warning about for two months.
Wisconsin plans to hold its primary election on Tuesday, but its Republican-controlled Legislature has refused the Democratic governor’s request that all voters be automatically mailed ballots so they can vote at home.
Meanwhile, in the Bay Area, which led the nation with its shelter orders, we’re smarter than that. But it’s critical that everyone follows the rules. And stop trying to wiggle out of them. We’re talking about:
• Firearms dealers who filed a federal lawsuit claiming they have a Second Amendment right to stay open. Apparently, they haven’t noticed that the First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble have also been jettisoned. During a global health crisis, there’s no essential need to purchase weapons, even if Trump seems to think there is.
• A Lodi church that refuses to end services, claiming First Amendment rights to exercise religion. Members of Cross Culture Christian Center should consider what happened at Bethany Slavic Missionary Church near Rancho Cordova, where, according to the Sacramento Bee, 71 members have contracted the virus, one parishioner has died and the bishop and other church officials have been hospitalized.
• Operators of Golden Gate Fields racetrack who prioritized people’s ability to play the ponies rather than the public health – until the Alameda County district attorney on Thursday ordered the operation shut down.
• Attorneys for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who asked a federal judge to deem them an essential service so they could serve subpoenas and interact with witnesses before her criminal fraud trial, scheduled to start this summer. The judge, in a teleconference hearing, wasn’t buying it.
• Labor leaders for the Bay Area construction trades, who want to keep working. The Bay Area health orders allow limited construction for critical public services, affordable housing and other essential reasons. But that’s not good enough for the members of the local and state Building and Construction Trades Council, who insist they’re better at sanitizing and social distancing than other occupations.
This is hard. People are making huge sacrifices, including often their jobs and income. But we must all put the common good ahead of our personal interests – as difficult as that might be in many cases. People’s lives depend on it.
The more exceptions to the health orders, the more the coronavirus will travel, the more our hospitals will be overwhelmed and the more people will die. It’s that simple.
Solano County reported 15 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing the county’s total number of Novel Coronavirus cases to 88.
Officials began posting data on the number of cases in each Solano County city. Officials had originally resisted providing that information, arguing it violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The city of Vallejo has the most COVID-19 cases at 28, closely followed by Fairfield’s 26. Vacaville has 14 reported infections, while the cities of Benicia, Dixon, Rio Vista, Suisun City, and unincorporated areas of the county all had less than 10 cases, according to the county.
Office of Emergency Services Manager Don Ryan said by phone Monday that the county will begin testing first responders and medical personnel at the Solano County Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
He stressed that the testing is not open to the general public, noting that tests for the public may begin next week, depending on supplies and the availability of personnel.
Ryan said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided the county with about 2,500 testing kits. The goal is test the medical personnel and first responders through Friday, he said.
“Of course, since they interact with the public so much, we want to make sure they are not spreading it,” he said.
Ryan said he hopes to test about 250 each day.
Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan said by phone on Monday said the testing was “sorely needed.”
“I’m thankful they are doing this,” he added.
County officials reported last week that an 85-year-old person was the first confirmed death associated with COVID-19.
They said the individual had recently traveled outside the country and had multiple severe underlying health conditions.
A bulk of the total cases, 64, are considered “non-severe,” according to the county. For this designation, there are 51 cases for individuals between the ages of 19 and 64, and 13 for persons 65 and older.