Dr. Matyas: We’re assuming you are going to get together with family and friends…

How Solano County is approaching private gatherings differently

While avoiding public gatherings, Solano County Public Health recognizes it is important for people’s mental health to interact with others.

ABC10 News Sacramento, July 30, 2020

SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. — In several counties across the Sacramento region, private gatherings are being blamed for the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

However, Solano County Public Health Director Dr. Bela Matyas said his department recognizes that it is not healthy to tell people to avoid their friends and family.

“Honestly, it’s not a really good message,” Matyas said. “It’s not a message that really tends to work for anyone.”

In the county’s most recent newsletter, the public health department said that while the risk of exposure is higher with every gathering, people need human interaction for their mental health. While Matyas, like other health officials, have said gathering with friends and family put people at risk, the county would prefer if people do plan to gather, they do it in the safest possible way.

“We’re assuming you are going to get together with family and friends; when you do, please do the following things to protect people,” Matyas said.

  • Practice social distancing, including wearing a mask, if possible.
  • Have your elder relatives stay at home and connect with them over the phone or through video messaging services like Zoom, Facetime, and Facebook Messenger.
  • Gather outdoors instead of inside.
  • Have fewer people gather together to minimize the number of people potentially exposed.
  • Avoid sharing food or utensils.
  • Avoid singing, chanting or shouting.

“The whole idea here is we know that the virus is transmitting on our respiratory droplets, so what can you do to minimize that transmission even though we are together,” Matyas said. “It’s not perfect — I don’t want to pretend its perfect — but in an imperfect world, it is the best we are able to come up with.”

Solano County has seen a slight drop in the number of new cases reported each day recently, but is still working to keep its total number of coronavirus cases from rising. Currently, the county has reported 3,520 cases with 250 active cases from the last ten days.