Category Archives: Covid 19

A COVID-19 Mystery in Benicia / Solano County

By Roger Straw, Friday, February 22, 2021

Solano reports positivity test rate cut by more than half!

Today’s Solano County COVID dashboard update is in at least one way incomprehensible.  Take a look at the  percent positive test result below, and compare it to yesterday’s report.  This is a 7-day average.  How on earth does a 7-day average drop by more than half overnight?  Yesterday an average of 12.4% of those tested were positive.  Today – on average over 6 of those same 7 days – we are to understand that only 5.9% tested positive.  No way.  The formula must’ve changed, or there’s been an error.  I guess we can only wait and see what is posted tomorrow.

All we get is a chart with numbers.  Without further explanation, the County’s dashboard leaves us mystified.

Needless to say, the same goes for total COVID deaths today, which included 161 of our neighbors, family members and friends yesterday, but only 160 today.  Eh?  Surely there’s an explanation?

The following is a somewhat abbreviated report:

Tuesday, February 23: 23 new Solano cases overnight, no new deaths.  Since February 2020: 29,882 cases, over 875 hospitalized, 160 deaths.Compare previous report, Monday, February 22Summary

[Sources: see below.  Daily archive of my Solano updates: Excel ARCHIVE
    • CASES – Solano County reported 23 new cases overnight, a total of 29,882 cases since the outbreak started.
    • DEATHS – without explanation, the County reported one fewer death today.  A total of 160 Solano residents have died with COVID since the pandemic began.  38 COVID deaths were reported here in Solano County just since February 1.  COMPARE: In the month of January, Solano recorded a total of 24 coronavirus deaths.  Combining the two months to date, a total of 62 deaths, or 39% of Solano’s 160 COVID deaths occurred since January 1!  While many other COVID stats are improving, the recent surge in deaths is no doubt the final sad result of our holiday surge.  And we may see another surge in cases and deaths following the Super Bowl.
Positive Test Rate: Supposedly only 5.9% – down by more than half!

Solano County reported our 7-day average positive test was cut by more than half overnight, down to 5.9% from 12.4% yesterday.  It seems totally unlikely for a 7-day average to drop so precipitously overnight.  If it can be believed, Solano has come in under the State’s purple/red tier threshold of 8%.  Even so, DON’T EXPECT A QUICK MOVE DOWN TO THE RED TIER: the State requires a county to meet criteria for the next less restrictive tier (in test rate measures AND case rate measures) for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier.  The much lower and more stable California 7-day average test rate remained at 3.0% today, same as yesterday(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 therefore also lags behind due to unknown recent test results.) 

By Age Group
  • Youth 17 and under – only 2 new cases overnight, total of 3,496 cases, representing 11.7% of the 29,882 total cases.  No new hospitalizations were reported today among this age group, total of 18 since the outbreak began.  Thankfully, no deaths have ever been reported in Solano County in this age groupBut 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 at over 11% since September 30.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11% may seem low.  The significance is this: youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact at least 18 of our youth have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – only 9 new cases overnight, total of 16,478 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 55.2% of the total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today.  A total of 245 are reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  Solano recorded no new deaths in this young group today, total of 10 deaths.  Some in this group are surely at high risk, as many are providing essential services among us, and some may be ignoring public health orders.  I expect this group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
  • Persons 50-64 years of age – only 6 new cases overnight, total of 6,242 cases.  This age group represents 20.9% of the 29,882 total cases.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today, a total of 234 reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were reported in this age group today, a total of 26 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – only 6 new cases overnight, total of 3,655, representing 12.2% of Solano’s 29,882 total cases.  The County reported 1 new hospitalization among persons in this age group today, a total of 381 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were  reported in this age group today.  A total of 125 of our elders have died of COVID, accounting for 78% of Solano’s 161 total deaths.
City Data
  • Benicia added 2 new cases overnight, total of 845 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon added 2 new cases overnight, total of 1,749 cases.
  • Fairfield added 5 new cases overnight, total of 8,127 cases.
  • Rio Vista remained steady today, total of 319 cases.
  • Suisun City added 2 new case overnight, total of 2,015 cases.
  • Vacaville added 8 new cases overnight, total of 7,874 cases.
  • Vallejo added 4 new cases overnight, total of 8,866 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 87 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 Latinx members of our communities.

  • Asian Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 12% of cases, 12% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 17% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 16% of cases, 21% of hospitalizations, and 12% of deaths.
  • Multi-race / Others are 7% of Solano’s population, but account for 33% of cases, 19% of hospitalizations, and 15% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 28% of cases, 31% of hospitalizations and 35% of deaths.

More…

The County’s 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 significant portions.  For more, check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.

Source
Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard (posted on the County website late today).  ALSO see important daily updates from the state of California at COVID19.CA.GOV, embedded here on the BenIndy at Cases and Deaths AND Hospitalizations AND ICU Beds by REGION.

Benicia records no new COVID cases, first time since October 30! Spread continues in Solano County


By Roger Straw, Friday, February 22, 2021

COVID is still spreading and dangerous in Solano County – stay safe!

Monday, February 22: 93 new Solano cases over the weekend, no new deaths.  Since February 2020: 29,859 cases, over 875 hospitalized, 161 deaths.Compare previous report, Friday, February 19:Summary

[Sources: see below.  Daily archive of my Solano updates: Excel ARCHIVE
    • CASES – Solano County reported 93 new cases over the weekend, a total of 29,859 cases since the outbreak started.  In January, Solano added 8,495 new cases, for an average of 274 new cases per day.  February 1 to 22, the County reported 1,668 new cases, an average of 76 per day.
    • DEATHS – the County reported yet another no new deaths today.  A total of 161 Solano residents have died with COVID since the pandemic began.  39 COVID deaths were reported here in Solano County just since February 1.  COMPARE: In the month of January, Solano recorded a total of 24 coronavirus deaths.  Combining the two months to date, a total of 63 deaths, or 39% of Solano’s 161 COVID deaths occurred since January 1!  While many other COVID stats are improving, the recent surge in deaths is no doubt the final sad result of our holiday surge.  And we may see another surge in cases and deaths following the Super Bowl.
    • ACTIVE cases – Solano reported 89 fewer active cases over the weekend, a total of 382 active casesCompare: Solano’s average number of Active Cases during October was 284, average in November was 650, in December 1,658, in January 2,185 – and TODAY we are at 382.  Much better, but still, is the County equipped to contact trace all these infected persons?  My guess is we just sit back and wait for a voluntary 10 day quarantine to expire.  Who knows?  To my knowledge, Solano has offered no reports on contact tracing.
    • HOSPITALIZATIONS – (See expanding ICU capacity and ventilator availability below.)  Today, Solano reported 16 fewer currently hospitalized case, total of 52.  The County also reported no new hospitalizations among the age groups, a total of 877 hospitalized in all age groups since the pandemic began.  Accuracy of the County’s hospitalization numbers cannot be certain.  [For the numbers used in my manual calculation of total hospitalizations, see age group stats belowFor COVID19-CA.GOV numbers, see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County.]
    • ICU BEDS – In late January, Solano hospitals expanded their ICU capacity [see BenIndy, Jan. 25]  Even with the expanded ICU capacity, Solano County fell back into the YELLOW DANGER ZONE Friday at  21% available and barely back in the green zone today at 32%. The State’s COVID19-CA.GOV reports that Solano County had only 5 AVAILABLE ICU BEDS last Friday, but back up to 12 as of yesterday, February 21(For COVID19-CA.GOV info see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County, and for REGIONAL data see COVID-19 ICU Bed Availability by REGION.)
    • VENTILATORS available – Today Solano hospitals have 56% of ventilators available, up from Friday’s 53%, and down substantially from last summer’s reports of 82-94% available.
Positive Test Rate: 12.4% – VIRUS STILL SPREADING, STAY SAFE!

Solano County reported our 7-day average positive test at 12.4%, same as Friday and well over the State’s purple/red tier threshold of 8%.  DON’T EXPECT A QUICK MOVE DOWN TO THE RED TIER: the State requires a county to meet criteria for the next less restrictive tier (in test rate measures AND case rate measures) for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier.  Average percent positive test rates are among the best metrics for measuring community spread of the virus.  COMPARE: The much lower and more stable California 7-day average test rate was 3.0% today, down slightly from Friday’s 3.1%(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 therefore also lags behind due to unknown recent test results.) 

By Age Group
  • Youth 17 and under – 12 new cases over the weekend, total of 3,494 cases, representing 11.7% of the 29,859 total cases.  No new hospitalizations were reported today among this age group, total of 18 since the outbreak began.  Thankfully, no deaths have ever been reported in Solano County in this age groupBut 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 at over 11% since September 30.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11% may seem low.  The significance is this: youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact at least 18 of our youth have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – 48 new cases over the weekend, total of 16,469 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 55.2% of the total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today.  A total of 245 are reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  Solano recorded no new deaths in this young group today, total of 10 deaths.  Some in this group are surely at high risk, as many are providing essential services among us, and some may be ignoring public health orders.  I expect this group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
  • Persons 50-64 years of age – 23 new cases over the weekend, total of 6,236 cases.  This age group represents 20.9% of the 29,859 total cases.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today, a total of 234 reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were reported in this age group today, a total of 26 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – 10 new cases over the weekend, total of 3,649, representing 12.2% of Solano’s 29,859 total cases.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today, a total of 380 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were  reported in this age group today.  A total of 125 of our elders have died of COVID, accounting for 78% of Solano’s 161 total deaths.
City Data
  • Benicia added no new cases over the weekend, total of 843 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon added 3 new cases over the weekend, total of 1,747 cases.
  • Fairfield added 30 new cases over the weekend, total of 8,122 cases.
  • Rio Vista added 3 new cases over the weekend, total of 319 cases.
  • Suisun City added 8 new case over the weekend, total of 2,013 cases.
  • Vacaville added 20 new cases over the weekend, total of 7,866 cases.
  • Vallejo added 29 new cases over the weekend, total of 8,862 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 87 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 Latinx members of our communities.

  • Asian Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 12% of cases, 12% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 17% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 16% of cases, 21% of hospitalizations, and 12% of deaths.
  • Multi-race / Others are 7% of Solano’s population, but account for 33% of cases, 19% of hospitalizations, and 15% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 28% of cases, 31% of hospitalizations and 35% of deaths.

More…

The County’s 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 significant portions.  For more, check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.

Source
Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard (posted on the County website late today).  ALSO see important daily updates from the state of California at COVID19.CA.GOV, embedded here on the BenIndy at Cases and Deaths AND Hospitalizations AND ICU Beds by REGION.

Solano County update on new State guidance for youth and recreational sports

By Roger Straw, February 22, 2021
On Saturday, February 20, Solano County added a new posting on its Coronavirus page, sharing guidance from the California Department of Public Health on sports activities .  The new guidance takes effect on February 26.  The County makes no statement as to if and when Solano County would qualify under the State’s case rate conditions.

Situation Summary
Update (2/20/21):

State Officials Update Youth and Recreational Sports Guidance
The State has updated youth and recreational sports guidance which takes effect on February 26, 2021. Outdoor moderate or high-contact sports (in the red and orange tiers) can be played in the purple tier with an adjusted case rate equal to or less than 14 per 100,000 if certain conditions are met.

500,000 COVID deaths – 4 ways to visualize an almost unimaginable toll

By Roger Straw, February 22, 2021

First, the chilling illustration on New York Times’ front page from yesterday, where each dot represents a death, starting at the top with a single death on February 29, 2020  (Click on the image to enlarge.)  …and be sure to also see the Washington Post story, below.

nytimes.com/2021/02/21/insider/covid-500k-front-page.html

The Washington Post Graphics Department posted 3 ways of imagining 500,000 of us – a caravan of 9,804 buses full of people, 50 on each bus; names listed on a memorial wall like that of Vietnam War dead, only 87 feet tall; and a filled-to-capacity new cemetery the size of Arlington Cemetery.  (This story cannot be shared visually on the BenIndy, but you can view it free at the WaPo. Click here or on the image below.)  Thanks to Washington Post graphics staffers Artur Galocha and Bonnie Berkowitz.

500,000 dead, a number almost too large to grasp

Here are three ways to visualize the monstrous death toll of the coronavirus in this country

washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/500000-covid-deaths-visualized/