Dr. Matyas on Solano COVID-19 spike: adding unconfirmed cases, blaming ‘unpermitted social gatherings’

Matyas: “no evidence that opening the businesses in the county has been a big part of the spike.”

Official blames unpermitted social gatherings for spike Solano in Covid-19 numbers

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, June 18, 2020
Demonstrators march down Texas Street in Fairfield while protesting the death May 25 of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn., Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Solano County Public Health reported Wednesday that waiting for paperwork from state laboratories on suspected Covid-19 cases was delaying investigations into how transmissions were being made.

“I just decided the delays were just too big and we are wasting too much time to do the investigations,” Dr. Bela Matyas, the public health officer, said in a Wednesday phone interview.

So he decided to count those cases – resulting in a spike of 105 new cases in Wednesday’s update.

Matyas said he fully expects that some of the numbers will be dialed back, but having timely investigations was more important.

The numbers also indicated the active cases climbed from 70 in Tuesday’s report to 132 in Wednesday’s update, a gain of 62.

However, there were no new deaths and the number of residents who are hospitalized with the disease decreased from 14 to 10, the county reported. There have been 97 hospitalizations since the outbreak started, the county reported.

“When I drive around town, I get the sense that it is pre-Covid.” – Dr. Bela Matyas

Matyas said there are three primary sources of the transmissions: dozens of vineyard cases out of Napa and Sonoma counties involving mostly Fairfield residents; graduation parties and other as-of-yet unpermitted social gatherings; and the recent protest marches.

“When I drive around town, I get the sense that it is pre-Covid,” Matyas said of the social gatherings.

He said there is no evidence that opening the businesses in the county has been a big part of the spike.

The report also reflects 1,381 additional tests having been completed.

Despite the big number shifts, Rio Vista and the unincorporated areas of the county continue to be reported as having fewer than 10 cases apiece.

However, one of the 105 new cases was found in one of those jurisdictions.

Fairfield experienced the highest increase with 46 new cases, bringing the city’s total to 219, or 27.7% of the 792 cases in the county.

Vallejo added 34 cases for a total of 371, or 46.8% of all cases in Solano.

Vacaville has 98 cases, 16 new, while Suisun City added five to reach 51 and Dixon added three for a total of 17. Benicia stayed at 25 cases.

Most people who have Covid-19 experience only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health problems, experience more severe illness such as pneumonia and at times, death.

The vast majority of people recover. The World Health Organization reports people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.