Category Archives: Solano County Health Officer Bela Matyas

Solano’s 3 new COVID deaths not new – County is updating records

Solano reports 3 more Covid-related deaths, but from past months

Fairfield Daily Reporter, By Todd R. Hansen, September 24, 2020

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s Covid-19 death total rose Wednesday to 60, but the three deaths actually occurred in May, June and July.

Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer

Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said the Public Health Division is conducting an audit of its records in comparison to death certificates and that is when the discrepancy was found.

“We knew they were Covid-positive, but we didn’t know they died (because) they died at home and there was no autopsy,” Matyas said.

He noted, again, that all Covid-related deaths are recorded in those terms because the virus is present even if it is not the primary cause of the death, or in some cases, not even a contributing cause.

“So what we are trying to do is reconcile the number of deaths with the death certificates,” he said.

Matyas said he expects more to be uncovered as the survey continues.

More troubling to the county moving forward was the 38 new confirmed cases reported Wednesday.

The county needs to be closer to 18 new daily cases in order to move into the orange tier from the red tier, a step that will ease more restrictions on businesses that are open and allow even more businesses and community activities to restart.

Solano County was in the most-restrictive purple tier in the state’s color-coded monitoring system until Tuesday, meaning there was widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The red tier represents substantial transmission of the virus, while the orange tier represents moderate spread of the virus and the yellow tier indicates minimal transmission.

The state puts the county’s daily case average at 28 because it uses a slightly different reporting structure than the county’s approach of using the day of testing.

Still, Matyas said it will be a challenge for the county to knock the average down by 10 cases per day, especially if there are any more care facility outbreaks.

The other critical piece is the seven-day positivity testing rate, which as of Wednesday was 3.3%, comfortably below the high end of the orange tier allowance of 4.9%.

The total number of cases in Solano County rose to 6,232.

The deaths are up to 60, with hospitalizations climbing from 20 Tuesday to 22 Wednesday and active cases increasing from 220 to 244, the county reported.

Fairfield, after a day with no new cases reported, added 13 to its total, now at 2,035. Vallejo added 10 to reach 2,060, while nine new cases in Vacaville took that city’s count to 1,043.

There were two cases added to Rio Vista’s tally, which is reported at 47, and one in Benicia, with a new total of 164 cases. There were no new cases reported in Dixon (453) or in the unincorporated area of the county, which has 22 cases.

The number of completed tests was reported at 85,685, up 335 over Tuesday’s update.  [continued]

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


September 22, 2020

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

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.

  • 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)

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


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.


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.


To find the status of activities in the County, visit
For more information about COVID-19 in Solano County, visit or call the Coronavirus Warmline at (707) 784-8988, email and on Public Health’s Facebook page, (@SolanoCountyPH).


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

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SFGATE: “Solano guidance is not completely in line with assessments of the virus by the Centers for Disease Control”

Solano County: COVID patients may return to work after 10 days, even with ‘lingering symptoms’

SFGATE, by Alyssa Pereira, August 5, 2020
FILE: Hand washing stations are posted for guests at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on July 2, 2020 in Vallejo, which is located in Solano County. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images / 2020 Getty Images
Hand washing stations are posted for guests at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on July 2, 2020 in Vallejo, which is located in Solano County. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Solano County issued new guidance to residents Tuesday, stating that employees in the county who test positive for COVID-19 may return to work after isolating for 10 days, whether or not they continue to exhibit symptoms of the disease caused by the virus. Typical symptoms may include coughing, fever, or respiratory issues.

“Anyone who tested positive and has isolated for 10 days from the date that their symptoms began is no longer infectious, even if some may have lingering symptoms,” said Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Health Officer. “We understand that businesses have concerns about employees returning to the workplace; however, re-testing is unnecessary to prove that employees can no longer spread the disease. Once the 10-day isolation has been completed, employees may return to work.”

Matyas added that there is no need for that person to re-test at the end of the 10-day isolation, as “most people with confirmed COVID-19 will continue to have positive test results for several weeks.”

Solano County’s guidance is not completely in line with assessments of the virus by the Centers for Disease Control. A survey of available data found that people with “mild to moderate” COVID-19 symptoms are infectious for no longer than 10 days. However, those with more serious “severe to critical” symptoms have been found to be contagious up to “20 days after symptom onset.”

Additionally, the CDC recommends that a person who tests positive for the disease and exhibits symptoms may end isolation after 10 days if their fever has returned to normal for at least 24 hours and other symptoms have improved.

“These findings strengthen the justification for relying on a symptom based, rather than test-based strategy for ending isolation of these patients, so that persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities,” the CDC added.

Dr. Matyas: details on 3 new COVID deaths, “The surge is real.”

Covid-19 claims 3 more lives in Solano

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, July 20, 2020
Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer

FAIRFIELD — Three more Solano County residents died due at least in part to Covid-19, the county Public Health Division reported Monday.

The deaths bring the total to 34.

Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said one of the deaths was an individual older than 65 who had been in an intensive care unit for more than a month with respiratory problems, including Covid-19.

The others were between 19 and 45 and between 45 and 64, respectively, and each had “significant” underlying health issues, Matyas said.

Matyas said he could not think of any of the county’s Covid-19 fatalities who did not have some kind of health issue that contributed to their deaths.

Many of those individuals were exposed to the disease by younger members of their families or younger friends.

Matyas reported that 53% of the 2,759 cases – or 1,462 cases – are directly linked to family socialization, and another 19% are categorized as “community transmissions,” which the county could not link directly to one person or group.

Another 12% are linked to workplace contacts, Matyas said.

The news comes on a day on which other critical novel coronavirus statistics eased a bit.

While the number of hospitalizations increased to 53, active cases decreased by 146 to 247 and the seven-day positivity testing rate fell from 9.1% Friday to 7.9% Monday, the county reported.

Matyas remained concerned about the hospital data, but added he thought the Fourth of July surge was waning.

The overall number of cases spiked to 2,759, up 205 over Friday afternoon’s report.

“We are still averaging about 70 to 80 cases a day, so the surge is continuing,” Matyas said.

The numbers prove the increases are not simply due to more testing, he said.

“The surge is real,” Matyas said.

The county plans to begin a campaign to further inform residents about the direct link between Covid-19 cases and social gatherings.

Testing reached 44,267, which is 2,769 more than reported Friday.

Vallejo experienced a spike of 82 cases to bring its total to 921, while Fairfield added 63 cases to reach 944, the county reported.

Vacaville went from 420 cases to 453; Suisun City went from 193 to 205; and Dixon went from 135 to 145. Benicia added two cases to bring its count to 57, while Rio Vista added two cases to reach 25.

The unincorporated area of the county has nine cases, up one from Friday’s report.  […continued…]