Four new COVID deaths in Solano County, and my reflections on the dilemma of differing numbers

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

By Roger Straw, Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Different COVID numbers from different sources

Roger Straw, Editor, The Benicia Independent

Editor: Posted below is my usual report, detailing the latest update from Solano County Public Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard.  Note, however, that the County’s numbers often don’t agree with other sources.

Information supplied by Solano hospitals, vaccine clinics and testing sites travels through a multitude of routes to federal and state agencies and then back down to various reporting sites, including Solano Public Health.  Timing among data sources is not always the same.  Solano County ONLY reports on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, while some other sources update daily.

A recent post by Vallejo Nextdoor subscriber Peggi Cole cited a very interesting source:  Smartnews has a Solano County COVID page that shows data updated at 5:31pm tonight, about the same posting time as our Solano dashboard.  But Smartnews is showing nearly 200 more total cases than our County’s dashboard, only 1 new death while the County dashboard shows 4, and – surprisingly – a total of 415 COVID-related deaths rather than our Public Health Department’s reporting of total deaths today at 385.  Smartnews also shows a much LOWER 7-day number of new cases than totals I have taken from the County dashboard.  I’m not at all sure why – impossible to know.  I may have to figure out a new way of reporting on COVID in Solano….  – R.S.

SUMMARY: Wednesday, February 2, 2022: Solano County reported 547 new infections today and 4 new COVID-related deaths.  Solano County and Benicia continue to experience an extremely high transmission rate!

Solano Public Health COVID dashboard, Wednesday, February 2, 2022:

DEATHS:  Solano reported four new deaths in today’s report, all age 65+.  Trending: The six new deaths reported on Monday were ALSO over 65 years of age.  The County has seen increasing COVID-related deaths each month since last November, rising to 30 in January.  (Compare with last winter: 24 deaths in January 2021, 42 in February and 33 in March.)  A total of 385 Solano residents have now died of COVID or COVID-related causes over the course of the pandemic.

CASES BY AGE GROUP: The County posts a chart showing Solano cases per 100K by age groups.  The 18-49 year age group is catching the virus at a far higher rate than others.  Those over 65 have been least likely to be infected.
MORE ON AGE GROUPS:  My color-coded chart (below) shows a record over TIME, including recent data.  It shows an alarming steady increase among youth and children.  The chart displays quarterly and recent snapshots in time by age group, each as a percentage of total cases since the outbreak began.  Increases are in red and decreases are in green as reported by Solano County.  Note the continuing increase among children & 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 17.2% as of today.  (From the CDC covid-data-tracker.)

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE: Solano is experiencing an EXTREMELY HIGH transmission rate, with a total of 3,667 new cases over the last 7 days, up from around 500 at Christmastime.  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 3,931 ACTIVE cases today is down from 4,510 at last report, but nearly double the 2,000 active cases we had at the New Year and only 329 on December 1.

CASES BY CITY – Wednesday, February 2, 2022:

  • Benicia added 18 new cases today, a total of 2,822 cases since the outbreak began.  Benicia has seen 148 new infections in the last 7 days, far above the CDC’s HIGH rate of community transmission. (For a city with Benicia’s population, anything over 27 cases in 7 days is considered HIGH TRANSMISSION). >>Note that the Benicia City Council is considering adding multiple metrics rather than the single metric of the CDC’s 7-day case count to determine when it is safe to lift certain COVID restrictions (see Benicia Chooses to Continue Mask Mandate, 1/19/22)Note above that Solano County is currently also experiencing EXTREMELY HIGH transmission.
  • Dixon added 14 new cases today, total of 3,894 cases.
  • Fairfield added 125 new cases today, total of 18,815 cases.
  • Rio Vista added 16 new cases today, total of 991cases.
  • Suisun City added 36 new cases today, total of 5,000 cases.
  • Vacaville added 114 new cases today, a total of 17,936 cases.
  • Vallejo added 220 new cases today, a total of 23,001 cases.
  • Unincorporated added 4 new cases today, a total of 186 cases.

TEST RATE:  Solano County’s 7-Day Percent Positive Test Rate shot up after Christmas and has continued through today’s incredibly high 29%.  SOLANO DOES NOT COMPARE FAVORABLY: The California 7-day % positive rate fell significantly to 11.1% today.  [Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Center]  The U.S. 7-day % positive rate also fell today to 19.46% from 23.4% on Monday. [Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker.] 


CURRENT hospitalizations rose today from 131 to 139 persons.  Currently hospitalized persons in Solano peaked higher than ever before on Jan 22, at 207 persons in hospital. (Note that the County’s previous high was 176 on Jan 7, 2021.)

TOTAL hospitalizations – Solano Public Health updated its age and race hospitalizations charts today, adding only 2 persons, both age 65+.  Our total since the beginning of the outbreak is now 3,511 hospitalizations.

ICU Bed Availability in Solano County fell slightly today from 21% at last report to 20% available today, in the Yellow danger zone.

Ventilator Availability  fell today, from 59% to 56%

HOW DOES TODAY’S REPORT COMPARE?  See recent reports and others going back to April 20, 2020 in 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.

See also my BENINDY ARCHIVE of daily Solano COVID updates (an excel spreadsheet).  I have also archived the hundreds of full CORONAVIRUS REPORTS posted here almost daily on the Benicia Independent since April 2020.