Belated Solano County COVID update for Wednesday, Dec. 29

NOTE: The information below is not the latest.  CLICK HERE for today’s latest information.

Last Wednesday, I observed a dramatic discrepancy between Solano’s 7-day test positivity data as displayed on a PC (16%) compared to that displayed on an android phone (22.9%).  I held off posting this update until today, Monday, January 3, hoping for conclusive County numbers.  I asked Solano County Public Health Officer Bela Matyas to clarify and, grateful for my pointing out the error, he is looking into it.  Matyas reports that they have been experiencing “transmission errors” and are looking into quality control measures to reduce such errors.  My best guess is that the 22.9% figure is correct, but as yet the County dashboard has not been corrected.  In advance of tonight’s January 3 County report, I will go ahead with a conflicted analysis of the County’s final 2021 report, below.  – R.S.

December 29, 2021 SUMMARY: Solano County recorded 643 new infections and 2 new COVID-related deaths.  County now in EXTREMELY HIGH rate of community transmission.

Solano dashboard, Wednesday, December 29:

DEATHS: Solano reported 2 new deaths as of Wednesday Dec. 29.  No demographic data was given on these deaths.  Trending upwards: the County reported 27 COVID deaths in September, 18 in October, 11 in November, but 25 deaths in December (36 of us died in the last 6 weeks of 2021).  A total of 351 Solano residents have now died of COVID or COVID-related causes over the course of the pandemic.

CASES BY AGE GROUP: The County did not update the Demographics tab on its COVID dashboard on Wednesday, Dec. 29.  No new information is available on cases by age group.  BELOW: color-coded chart shows CASES SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN BY AGE GROUP, expressed as a percentage of TOTAL CASES SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN.  Increases are in red and decreases are in green as reported by Solano County since April of 2020.  Note  the steady increase among children and youth of Solano County AND THE LARGE INCREASE AMONG YOUNG RESIDENTS TODAY.  The population of those age 0-17 in Solano County is roughly 22%, and of those age18-49 is roughly 41%.COMPARE – U.S. cases among children and youth aged 0-17 as percentage of total cases is at 15.8% as of today.  (From the CDC covid-data-tracker.)

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE: Over the last 7 days, Solano has risen from HIGH community transmission to what I would call EXTREMELY HIGH transmission, with 1,486 new cases, up from 842 at last report.  CDC FORMULA: Based on Solano County’s population, 450 or more cases in 7 days places Solano in the CDC’s population-based definition of a HIGH transmission rate.  We would need to drop below 225 cases in 7 days to rate as having only MODERATE community transmission.

ACTIVE CASES: Solano’s 1,382 ACTIVE cases is up dramatically from the County’s last report of 871 active cases.


Cases by City from Monday Dec. 27, not updated on Wednesday Dec. 29
  • On Monday’s report, Benicia saw 65 new cases over the last 7 days, sending Benicia even deeper into the CDC’s HIGH rate of community transmission.  (see chart below).  Based on Benicia population, MODERATE is defined as less than 14 cases over the last 7 days, SUBSTANTIAL is 14-27 cases, and HIGH is 28 or more cases.  Benicia will need to maintain fewer than 14 new cases-per-7-days for 30 consecutive days before relaxing its mask mandateNote above that Solano County is currently also experiencing HIGH transmission.

CONFLICTING DATA ON POSITIVE TEST RATE:  See explanation at top of this page, and screenshots below.

Solano County info for Dec. 29 showed 22.9% on Android phone, but showed 16% on PC.

COMPARE: The 1/3/22 California rate is 10.8%.  [Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Center]  The U.S. rate jumped to 17.13% as of 1/3/22. [Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker.] 


CURRENT hospitalizations: rose substantially today from 26 persons to 44 persons.  (See also TOTAL hospitalizations, next below…)

TOTAL hospitalizations: Solano County’s TOTAL hospitalized over the course of the pandemic must be independently discovered in the County’s occasional update of hospitalizations by Age Group and by Race/Ethnicity.   Solano Public Health did not update its age and race hospitalizations charts today.  Solano hospitals have reported a total of 3,225 COVID patients since the beginning of the outbreak.  (Data on age is more reliable than that on race/ethnicity.)

ICU Bed Availability fell dramatically on Dec. 29, from 41% at last report to only 20%, now back in the Yellow danger zone.

Ventilator Availability  was up slightly from 68% to 69%.


Wear your mask in indoor public spaces and workplaces!
Due to a recent increase in cases, CDPH has mandated that everyone in California wear a mask in indoor public spaces and workplaces. The order is in effect December 15, 2021 to January 15, 2022.  LEARN MORE…

Masks Required in Solano

Solano County follows State of California guidelines, requiring the wearing of a mask indoors – in all public places – even if you’re fully vaccinated.

From Solano County’s COVID-19 Dashboard:

12/20/21 Update
Mask Requirement Flyers: (English – PDF) (English – Word Doc) (Spanish – PDF) (Spanish – Word Doc)
12/13/21 Update

CDPH Face Coverings Updated Guidance
From December 15, 2021 – January 15, 2022, the state requires wearing a mask indoors – in all public places – even if you’re fully vaccinated. 
CDPH Travel Guidance
CDPH Mega Events Guidance

Solano County guidance for celebrating holiday traditions safely
Visit the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website or the CDC website for additional holiday tips on protecting yourself and your family during the holidays

On December 7, Benicia City Council chose to keep the city’s mask mandate in place for another 30 days and review again in January. All Councilmembers expressed confidence that Benicia’s case numbers are likely to remain in MODERATE transmission for a 30-day period soon, [note that this has NOT been the case – Benicia has lapsed back into the HIGH transmission rate].  After 30 days in the MODERATE rate, the City Manager is empowered to unilaterally lift the mask mandate.  Four Councilmembers (excluding Mr. Largaespada) chose to remain cautious under the current mandate, requiring the 30-days at MODERATE.  If all goes well, the mandate may have been lifted before a possible reconsideration at the January 18 Council meeting.  But if the mandate is still in place on January 18, Council has now directed staff to bring a recommendation at that time for changing the METRICS by which the City determines a safe cutoff date for lifting the mask mandate.   All members agreed that the 7-day-case-rate metric would be strengthened if in some fashion it could be combined with hospitalization rates and vaccination rates.  How to determine those rates, and how to combine them for a determination would be covered in the staff recommendation.
See the video discussion of the Dec. 7 Council meeting – CLICK HERE (then scroll down on the agenda and click on item number 21.A – UPDATE ON FACE COVERINGS MANDATE.)
Vallejo also passed an indoors mask mandate on August 31.  In the Bay Area, Solano County REMAINS the only holdout against a mask mandate for public indoors spaces.

SOLANO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS failed to consider an agendized proposal for a countywide MASK MANDATE on Tuesday, September 14.  Bay Area news put Solano in a sad light: all other county health officers issued a joint statement offering details on when they would be able to lift mask mandates (not likely soon).  TV news anchors had to point out that Solano would not be considering such a move since our health officer had not been able to “justify” a mask mandate in the first place.  The Solano Board of Supervisors has joined with Dr. Bela Matyas in officially showing poor leadership on the COVID-19 pandemic.

HOW DOES TODAY’S REPORT COMPARE?  See recent reports and others going back to April 20, 2020 on my ARCHIVE of daily Solano COVID updates (an excel spreadsheet).

>The data on this page is from the Solano County COVID-19 Dashboard.  The Dashboard is full of much more information and updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday around 4 or 5pm.  On the County’s dashboard, you can hover a mouse or click on an item for more information.  Note the tabs at top for “Summary, Demographics” and “Vaccines.”  Click here to go to today’s Solano County Dashboard.