Dr. Matyas to Solano Supes: the surge is real, and 95% of recent new cases directly linked to social gatherings

Vallejo surpasses Fairfield with most Solano Covid-19 cases

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, July 29, 2020
Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer

FAIRFIELD — Vallejo has, once again, become the leader in Covid-19 cases in the county.

The city added 49 new confirmed cases to raise its count to 1,142, surpassing Fairfield with 1,124 cases, the Solano County Public Health Division reported Tuesday afternoon.

The total number of cases countywide jumped by 105 to 3,388. The county also reported that hospitalizations climbed back to 50, up from 45 in Monday’s report, and above Friday’s 49 cases. However, the seven-day positivity testing rate fell from 5.9% to 5.8%.

The numbers likely did nothing to turn down the heat on the debate of just how “sick” Solano County really is.

Even Dr. Bela Matyas, the county’s public health officer, has said the numbers offer a mixed message on Covid-19 in the county, but he has said the recent surge is very real and not just the result of big testing numbers.

He told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that because the county is on the state watch list, it will take a great deal of change in the numbers to be taken off that list.

That, in turn, will dictate when businesses can reopen and when students can return to the campus classrooms.

Matyas said there have been discussions about letting elementary school students back in the classrooms because they learn better in that environment, and because of socialization benefits. But trying to keep masks on children, and then have them keep proper distancing, is a nearly impossible task.

Matyas offered that if area residents conducted themselves the same at home or similar social gatherings as they do out in public and at work, with social distancing and other precautions, the problem would be lessened.

He said that 95% of the new cases during the recent surge, say over the past month or so, have been directly linked to social gatherings, and that the last eight residents who have died contracted the disease through family contact.

He did note that there have been some small outbreaks at local assisted-living facilities, as well as the two prisons in Vacaville. But county health surveillance of those facilities caught the presence of the novel coronavirus early and that has helped in controlling the spread.

Vacaville added 15 cases to increase its total to 578, while Suisun City now has 248 cases, up 10, and Dixon added seven cases to reach 179. Benicia’s count is at 80 after six new cases. Rio Vista, with 26 cases, and the unincorporated area of the county, with 11 cases, each added one case.

The number of completed tests is at 50,925, which is 886 more than reported Monday.  […continued…]