Category Archives: Coronavirus

Benicia School Superintendent Young: Letter on COVID-19 plans

YOUNG: “…transitioning to in-person instruction is not like flipping an on-off switch…. For now, we will remain in our virtual learning model until the Board approves any changes.”

Solano County COVID-19 Tier Status

Sep 22, 2020 | Latest News, nCoV
Charles F. Young, BUSD Superintendent

Dear BUSD Community,

I hope this communication finds everyone safe and well.

As you know, the Governor implemented a new Covid-19 monitoring system on Friday, August 28, 2020.  There are four tiers to the system: Tier 1 is purple-wide spread; Tier 2 is red-substantial; Tier 3 is orange-moderate, and Tier 4 is yellow-minimal.

As of today, September 22, 2020, Solano County has moved to Tier 2, red-substantial.  If our county remains in the Tier 2 status for 14 consecutive days, school districts will be permitted to hold in-person instruction.  The maintenance of Tier 2 status would allow for schools to implement an approved hybrid model as districts phase into in-person instruction. For more information on Solano County Covid-19 data, see https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

While we view this as positive news, it is important to note that transitioning to any in-person instruction, including the hybrid models presented before the start of the school year, takes a good deal of planning and preparation. Our administrators, teachers, staff, and Board have been working together to monitor the changing landscape and consider the District’s options. Our planning includes aspects that must be bargained with the teachers union (BTA) and the classified staff union (CSEA).

It is important to note that transitioning to in-person instruction is not like flipping an on-off switch; rather, it is more like bringing a sizable power-grid back on-line, which has to be done thoughtfully, carefully and judicially to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved.

We are currently working on next steps and will discuss them in detail at the October 16th Board meeting. For now, we will remain in our virtual learning model until the Board approves any changes.

We appreciate your patience as we work through this process with the health and safety of everyone involved as our primary goal.

In partnership,
Charles F. Young, Ed. D
Superintendent

Solano County press release: Loosening some COVID restrictions, “…best defense is to continue with the safety protocols”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 2020

  • News Contacts:
    Matthew A. Davis, Sr. Management Analyst and Public Communications Officer (707) 784-6111 and MADavis@SolanoCounty.com (AND)
  • Jayleen Richards, Public Health Administrator, Health and Social Services Department (707) 784-8616 and JMRichards@SolanoCounty.com

State moves Solano County into red tier (Tier 2) on COVID-19 framework; allows businesses to reopen some additional indoor activities with modifications

SOLANO COUNTY – The California Department of Public Health announced today that Solano County has been moved into the red tier (Tier 2) on the state’s COVID-19 response framework, allowing for more local businesses and activities to resume some additional indoor activities, with modifications.

“Solano County has made progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” says Bela T. Matyas, M.D., M.P.H., Solano County Health Officer. “As more businesses reopen, we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 infection, and our best defense is to continue with the safety protocols—wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands.”

Before the move today, the State had placed Solano County in the most restrictive tier; Tier 1, the purple tier, where COVID-19 infection rates are considered “widespread,” and many indoor businesses operations remained closed or with limited capacity. The transition into Tier 2, the red tier, allows for more business with indoor operations to increase capacity. Businesses need to continue to adhere to the State’s Industry Guidance for social distancing best practices to help protect employees, customers and the community to continue to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection.

MOVING INTO TIER 2 (RED) ALLOWS:
  • Restaurants indoor dining (max 25% capacity of facility or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • All retail indoors (max 50% capacity of facility)
  • Shopping centers, swap meets indoors (max 50% capacity of facility, closed common areas)
  • Personal care services – hair and nail salons, barbershops (open with modifications)
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums (max 25% capacity of facility)
  • Places of worship (max 25% capacity of facility or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Movie theaters indoors (max 25% capacity of facility or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity of facility)
BUSINESSES MUST STILL IMPLEMENT STATE-MANDATED INDUSTRY GUIDANCE:

Prior to opening under Tier 2, all businesses must review the Solano County Health Order, complete a State COVID-19 general checklist and ensure a written plan is on file and available for public review. Information and resources on Guidance for Industries is available on the Solano County website at www.SolanoCounty.com/COVID19.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS

If Solano County continues to make progress in preventing COVID-19 transmission, additional business sectors and indoor activities can progressively begin to open, with modifications, within the next three weeks, per the State’s Industry Guidelines. If the County’s COVID-19 metrics worsen, the County would be directed to revert to a more restrictive tier as soon as two weeks from today. Per state regulations, K-12 schools can reopen to classroom-based learning with COVID-19 modifications after two weeks of the County in Tier 2, providing there is no new surge in COVID-19 infections.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING FOR ANYONE IN SOLANO COUNTY

As more businesses begin to reopen, remember that you can be tested for COVID-19 for free, regardless of symptoms. Same-day appointments are available. Sign up at www.Lhi.Care/CovidTesting and/or by calling (888) 634-1123.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To find the status of activities in the County, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.
For more information about COVID-19 in Solano County, visit www.SolanoCounty.com/COVID19 or call the Coronavirus Warmline at (707) 784-8988, email COVID19@SolanoCounty.com and on Public Health’s Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/SolanoCountyPH (@SolanoCountyPH).

SOLANO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

675 Texas St., Suite 6500, Fairfield, CA 94533
fax (707) 784-7975   *   www.solanocounty.com

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BREAKING: Solano County may move into COVID-19 red tier Tuesday Sept 22

Solano to move Tuesday into less restrictive Covid-19 red tier

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, September 21, 2020

FAIRFIELD — Solano County will move Tuesday into the state’s less restrictive red tier – allowing schools to reopen in two weeks and allowing for more businesses to open as well.

“It looks like Solano will move to the red tier tomorrow,” Jaylene Richards, the Solano County Public Health administrator, said Monday in an email response to questions from the Daily Republic.

“Based on the data we have (at the local level), we thought we would move to red tier next week, but it looks like the state will say that we will move to red tomorrow,” Richards said in the email.

A formal press release is expected to be released after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s anticipated announcement.

Solano COVID test rate back up to 5% while California’s rate dips to 2.8%


[For a complete archive of day by day data, see my Excel ARCHIVE – R.S.]

Monday, September 21: 90 new cases over the weekend, no new deaths.  Since the outbreak started: 6,175 cases, 55 deaths.  Compare previous report, Friday, Sept 18:Summary

  • Solano County reported 90 new cases over the weekend and today, total of 6,175 cases since the outbreak started.  Over the last week, Solano reported 238 new cases, average of 34 per day.
  • Deaths – no new deaths today, total of 55 Solano deaths.
  • Active cases – Solano reported 28 fewer ACTIVE cases today, total of 236.  Note that only 20 of these 236 people are hospitalized, so there are a lot of infected folks out among us, hopefully quarantined.  Is the County equipped to contact trace so many infected persons?  Who knows?  To my knowledge, Solano County has no reporting on contact tracing.
  • Hospitalizations – the number of currently hospitalized persons was 7 fewer today, total of 20.  However, the total number hospitalized since the outbreak started increased by 15, total of 331 (see age group hospitalization stats below).
  • ICU BedsThe County reported 44% of ICU beds available, down 1% from Friday and down from 56% a  week ago Monday.  (After 7 weeks, still no information about availability of ventilators.)
  • Testing – The County reports today that 1,517 residents were tested over the weekend, new total of 84,849.  Solano has a long way to go: only 18.9% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.

Positive Test Rate – back up to 5%

Solano County reported today that our 7-day average test rate rose to 5.0% from Friday’s 2.9%.  Our supposedly smooth 7-day moving average has jumped all over the place recently (see note about delayed adjustments below).  For the record, just two weeks ago we saw Solano rates above 7% for the first time since we peaked at 9.3% on July 22.  Week before last we bottomed out at 2.7%.  The County’s line graph for positive test rate looks like a flat line and tells us absolutely nothing, not worth posting here.  Health officials and news reports focus on percent positive test rates as one of the best metrics for measuring the spread of the virus.  The much more stable California’s relatively stable 7-day test rate fell slightly today from 3.3% to 2.8%(Note that Solano County displays past weeks and months in a 7-day test positivity line graph which also shows daily results.  However, the chart does not display an accurate number of cases for the most recent days, as there is a lag time in receiving test results.  The 7-day curve also lags behind current unknown results.) 

By Age Group

  • Youth 17 and under – 11 new case today, total of 675 cases, representing 10.9% of the 6,175 total cases.  No new hospitalizations among this age group, a total of 5 hospitalizations since the outbreak began.  Thankfully, no deathsIn recent weeks it seems too many youth are ignoring public health orders.  Cases among Solano youth rose steadily over the summer, from 5.6% of total cases on June 8 to 11% on August 31 and has remained around 11% since then.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11% may seem low.  The significance is this: 1) youth numbers have increased steadily and at a faster rate than the other age groups, and 2) youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact 5 youth have been hospitalized.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – 60 (!) new cases again today, total of 3,705 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 60% of the 6,175 total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups.  The County reported 5 new hospitalizations in this age group today, total of 108 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths among this age group today, total of 4 deaths.  Some in this group are surely ignoring public health orders, and many are providing essential services among us.  I expect his group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
  • Persons 50-64 years of age – 17 new cases today, total of 1,181 cases.  This age group represents 19% of the 6,175 total cases.
    4 new hospitalizations today, total of 89 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths in this age group today, a total of 11 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – Last week Monday, I reported Solano’s LARGEST SINGLE WEEKEND INCREASES in this age group since I began keeping records on April 20: 31 new cases, 3 new hospitalizations and 2 deaths.  The increases continued through Friday last week.  Case numbers slowed down over the weekend: only 2 new cases, total of 613.  But this age group saw 6 new hospitalizations over the weekend, total of 129.  The recent spike may be related to news of an outbreak at the Parkrose Gardens Alzheimer’s and Dementia care facility in Fairfield, where 31 patients and 8 staff were reported on September 15 to have tested positive.  This age group’s 613 cases represent 9.9% of the 6,175 total cases.  Thankfully, no new deaths were reported today, total of 40 in this age group.  In this older age group, 21% of cases required hospitalization at one time.  This group accounts for 40 of the 55 deaths, or 73%.

City Data

  • Benicia added 4 new cases today, total of 163 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon added 3 new cases today, total of 408 cases.
  • Fairfield added 27 new cases today, surpassing 2000, for a total of 2,022.
  • Rio Vista added 2 new cases today, total of 44 cases.
  • Suisun City added 12 new cases today, total of 449 cases.
  • Vacaville added 18 new cases today, total of 1,027 cases.
  • Vallejo added 24 new cases today, total of 2,043 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas added no new cases today, total of 19 cases.

Race / Ethnicity

The County report on race / ethnicity includes case numbers, hospitalizations, deaths and Solano population statistics.  This information is discouragingly similar to national reports that indicate significantly worse outcomes among black and brown Americans.  Note that all of this data surely undercounts Latinx Americans, as there is a large group of “Multirace / Others” which likely is composed mostly of Latinex members of our communities.

  • Asian Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 9% of cases, 11% of hospitalizations, and 18% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 18% of hospitalizations, and 22% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 31% of cases, 32% of hospitalizations, and 26% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 21% of cases, 22% of hospitalizations and 20% of deaths.

More…

The County’s new and improved Coronavirus Dashboard is full of much more information, too extensive to cover here on a daily basis.  The Benicia Independent will continue to summarize daily and highlight a report or two.  Check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.