Benicia sees uptick in COVID infections, largest 2-day increase since October 1

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

By Roger Straw, Friday, December 17, 2021
[See Important details on California’s new mask mandate AND the extension of Benicia’s mask mandate BELOW.]

Friday, December 17: Solano County reports 152 new infections and 1 death.  Solano County and Benicia remain in a SUBSTANTIAL rate of community transmission.  Uptick of 16 cases in Benicia(Details: Cases By City.)

Solano County COVID dashboard SUMMARY:
[Sources: see below.]

DEATHS: Solano reported 1 new death today, someone aged 65+.  The County reported 27 COVID deaths in September, 18 in October, 11 in November, and 15 so far in December (26 of us have died in the last 30 days, since November 17).  A total of 341 Solano residents have now died of COVID or COVID-related causes over the course of the pandemic.

CASES BY AGE GROUP: The County reported 152 new COVID cases over the last 2 days!  38 of these 152 new cases (25%!) were youth and children under 18.  81 (53%) were age 18-49, 19 (only 12%) were age 50-64, and 14 (only 9%) were 65+.
BELOW: color-coded analysis of CASES REPORTED BY AGE GROUP, expressed as a percentage of TOTAL CASES.  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.  The population of those age 0-17 in Solano County is roughly 22%.COMPARE – U.S. cases among children and youth aged 0-17 as percentage of total cases is at 15.7% as of today.  (From the CDC covid-data-tracker.)

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE: Over the last 7 days, Solano has seen SUBSTANTIAL community transmission, with 299 new cases, down from 333 on Wednesday.  CDC FORMULA: Based on Solano County’s population, 450 cases in 7 days would move Solano up into the CDC’s population-based definition of a HIGH transmission rate, and we will need to drop below 225 cases in 7 days to rate as having only MODERATE community transmission.

ACTIVE CASES: Solano’s 369 ACTIVE cases is up substantially from Wednesday’s 290 active cases.

CASES BY CITY on -Friday, December 17:

  • Benicia added 16 (!) new cases today, the City’s largest 2-day increase in over 2½ months, since October 1, and a total of 1,653 cases since the outbreak began.  Benicia has seen 26 cases over the last 7 days, continuing in the CDC’s SUBSTANTIAL 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 experiencing SUBSTANTIAL transmission.

  • Dixon added 6 new cases today, total of 2,634 cases.
  • Fairfield added 31 new cases today, total of 12,767 cases.
  • Rio Vista reported 3 new cases today, total of 643 cases.
  • Suisun City added 22 new cases today, total of 3,386 cases.
  • Vacaville added 39 new cases today, a total of 12,613 cases.
  • Vallejo added 34 new cases today, a total of 13,917 cases.
  • Unincorporated added 1 new case today, a total of 151 cases.

POSITIVE TEST RATE:  Solano’s 7-day percent positivity rate was 5.0% today, up from Wednesday’s 4.0%.  COMPARE: Today’s California rate is 1.8%.  [Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Center]  Today’s U.S. rate is 7.46%. [Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker.] 


CURRENT hospitalizations were up today from 18 to 22 persons.

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 3,180 COVID patients since the beginning of the outbreak.  (Data on age is more reliable than that on race/ethnicity.)

ICU Bed Availability is down today, from 50% on Wednesday to 46% today, still in the County’s safe GREEN zone.

Ventilator Availability today is up today from 81% to 85%.


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…

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.