San Francisco Chronicle, by Alejandro Serrano , Anna Bauman , Rita Beamish and Brett Simpson, updated June 18, 2020
7:58 p.m. June 17, 2020 – Solano County case spike reflects ‘preliminarily positive’ data, official says: Solano County reporting 105 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday reflects a change in data reporting and a local outbreak among vineyard workers, county public health administrator Jayleen Richards wrote in an email. The new cases marked a 15.2% increase in Solano County’s total. Richards wrote the county has experienced “significant” delays in confirming results from two state-run test sites and has begun considering preliminary positive tests as positive cases in order to begin case investigations. “The data jump should be a one-time event since we started to include the preliminary data today,” Richards wrote. Wednesday’s case total also includes an outbreak among vineyard workers housed in Solano County and working in other counties who were recently tested for the virus, Richards wrote.
12:12 p.m. June 18, 2020 – Californians must wear masks outside home under new state order: People must immediately begin wearing masks outside the home when they cannot safely distance from other people to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, state health officials ordered Thursday, a day after reporting the largest number of new cases in a single day. The Chronicle’s Alexei Koseff reports.
June 18, 2020 1:35 p.m. – Kids and teenagers appear to be less likely to get the coronavirus and get sick than adults: A study recently published in Nature found that those under 20 are half as susceptible to infection as those that age or older, and only one in five between the ages of 10 and 19 show symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the figure of coronavirus-infected kids younger than 18 at more than 90,000, or around 4% of those with the disease. [BenIndy Editor:Compare at 6.6% in Solano County as of June 17.] See our detailed FAQ on the coronavirus and children for more.
On May 27, I asked Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson to ask Solano Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas a number of questions about recent increases in the number of our youth who are showing up positive for COVID-19. The Mayor passed my questions on to Dr. Matyas that day, and on May 31, he replied with answers to all eight questions – see below.
Solano County is reporting an upward trend in confirmed cases among young persons 18 and under, adding (as of today) 26 more positive cases over the last 20 days, having reported only 6 over the 5 weeks prior. (Latest update…)
MY QUESTIONS & DR. MATYAS’ ANSWERS…
How serious are these youth cases?
The youth cases are mostly asymptomatic, although a few have been mildly symptomatic.
How old – teens or young children?
While we have had a few young children, most of the youth are older teenagers.
Surely the increase can be partially explained away as a result of more testing, but that doesn’t mean the numbers are any less serious. Right?
The increased numbers are apparently the result of increased testing of asymptomatic household contacts of cases and testing of asymptomatic persons at the recently opened Optum sites in Vallejo and Vacaville; we are likely uncovering a phenomenon that has been present all along. As to seriousness, the percentage of positive youths we are seeing seems to match statewide and national numbers. These individuals, while not themselves experiencing serious illness, are nonetheless able to spread the virus to others.
Is the County conducting contact tracing for these youth?
Yes, just as for all positive cases.
Does the County have sufficient staffing for contact tracing?
So far, yes.
What can the County and cities do to intensify communication with our young people and parents?
Presumably, utilizing social media and school-based communication systems.
SO NOW WHAT?
I sincerely hope that parents and youth reading this will take note, and that the County and its cities and school districts will intensify communication about the serious reality of COVID-19 transmission among youth, and from youth to their elders.
Hundreds of Voices of Anger, Impatience and Hopeful, Peaceful Protest
Unofficial estimates put the crowd at Benicia’s Youth Against Brutality rally at over 300.
One of the high school organizers welcomed everyone and began with a recording of Sam Cook’s 1964 soul anthem, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
It’s been a long time, a long time coming But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die ‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky It’s been a long, a long time coming But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will I go to the movie and I go downtown Somebody keep tellin’ me don’t hang around It’s been a long, a long time coming But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will…
The crowd assembled in masks and mostly maintained social distancing of 6 feet.
This reporter wasn’t able to get names of all the young speakers, but every one was moving and articulate. The crowd was with them all the way, clapping, raising signs, and whooping from under their masks.
After the mic was opened for a short time to anyone who wanted to speak, the speakers and organizers led the crowd peacefully down sidewalks on First Street to Marina Green.
Over this past week, we are seeing a sudden and upward trend in confirmed cases among young persons in Solano County.
YOUNG PEOPLE! Please continue to stay safe! Observe social distancing, wash hands frequently and wear face coverings when out and about. It’s not time to let up yet!
The County reported 2 additional cases today and confirmed 3 youths yesterday and 1 each of the two previous days. Before that, in 9 of the 10 previous daily reports, the County reported no new cases in this age group. Last week there were no new cases. What’s going on? (See table below).
Solano County COVID-19
Recent surge in positive cases among youth 18 and under
2 cases were newly reported today of young persons under 19 years of age, total of 13 cases, up from 2.7% to 3.2% of the 410 confirmed cases.
The County adjusted the number of cases of persons 19-64years of age, totaling 1 less than yesterday at 286 cases, 70% of the total. 1 new death in this age group, total of 3. Note that only 36 of the 286 cases in this age group (12.6%) were hospitalized at one time. (It is unclear whether the 2 deaths were ever hospitalized.)
1 new case was reported as a person 65 or older, total of 111 cases, 27% of the total. 1 new death, total of 13. Note that 26 of the 111 cases in this age group (23.4%) were hospitalized at one time, nearly double the percentage in the mid-age group. (It is unclear whether the 12 deaths in this age group were ever hospitalized.)