OMICRON surging in Benicia and Solano County, 78% of new cases among those under age 50

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

January 5, 2022 SUMMARY: Solano County recorded 838 new infections over the last two days, and 1 new COVID-related death.  Solano & Benicia continue in EXTREMELY HIGH rate of community transmission.

Solano dashboard, Wednesday, January 5:

DEATHS: Solano reported 1 new death today, someone age 50-64 who was White.  Trending: The County reported 27 COVID deaths in September, 18 in October, 14 in November, 22 in December, and 5 already in January (41 of us have died over 52 days since the uptick beginning on November 15).  A total of 356 Solano residents have now died of COVID or COVID-related causes over the course of the pandemic.

CASES BY AGE GROUP: The County reported 838 new COVID cases today.  169 of these 838 new cases (20%) were youth and children under 18.  The majority, 483 cases (58%) were age 18-49.  130 cases (16%) were age 50-64, and 56 (only 7%) were 65+.
BELOW: color-coded chart shows CASES SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN BY AGE GROUP, expressed as a percentage of TOTAL CASES SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN.  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 15.9% as of today.  (From the CDC covid-data-tracker.)

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE:  Solano has risen dramatically and daily into what I would call an EXTREMELY HIGH transmission rate, with 2,067 new cases over the last 7 days, up from 1,872 at last report.  This is surely the OMICRON variant spreading wildly.  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 2,708 ACTIVE cases is up dramatically again from the County’s last report of 2,017 active cases.

CASES BY CITY – Wednesday, January 5:

  • Benicia added 38 new cases since Monday, 19 per day and a total of 1,855 cases since the outbreak began.  Benicia has seen 130 new infections in the last 7 days, and so remains in the CDC’s [EXTREMELY] HIGH 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 also experiencing HIGH transmission.

  • Dixon added 29 new cases today, total of 2,792 cases.
  • Fairfield added 211 new cases today, total of 13,614 cases.
  • Rio Vista reported 10 new cases today, total of 679 cases.
  • Suisun City added 49 new cases today, total of 3,597 cases.
  • Vacaville added 162 new cases today, a total of 13,416 cases.
  • Vallejo added 338 new cases today, a total of 15,334 cases.
  • Unincorporated added 1 new case today, a total of 158 cases.

POSITIVE TEST RATE:  On Solano County’s Percent Positive Test LINE GRAPH, we see that rates skyrocketed after Christmas and continue to rise.  In today’s report our 7-day positivity numbers are at 30%, a rate only seen once before, on January 4, 2021.  These numbers come from today’s adjusted Percent positive tests LINE GRAPH.

Solano 7-day test positivity was 31% on Dec. 30, 2021

  COMPARE: Today the California rate is 15.9%.  [Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Center]  The U.S. rate jumped to 27.04% today. [Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker.] 


CURRENT hospitalizations: rose substantially today from 56 persons to 69 persons.  (See also TOTAL hospitalizations, next below…)

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 updated its age and race hospitalizations charts today. The age chart showed 1 previously unreported hospitalization today, a person age 50-64, who was White.  Solano hospitals have now reported a total of over 3,228 COVID patients since the beginning of the outbreak.  (Data on age is more reliable than that on race/ethnicity.)

ICU Bed Availability in Solano County rose from 23% at last report to 30%, still in the Yellow danger zone.

Ventilator Availability  was up from 71% to 76%.


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…

Masks Required in Solano

Solano County follows State of California guidelines, requiring the wearing of a mask indoors – in all public places – even if you’re fully vaccinated.

From Solano County’s COVID-19 Dashboard:

12/20/21 Update
Mask Requirement Flyers: (English – PDF) (English – Word Doc) (Spanish – PDF) (Spanish – Word Doc)
12/13/21 Update

CDPH Face Coverings Updated Guidance
From December 15, 2021 – January 15, 2022, the state requires wearing a mask indoors – in all public places – even if you’re fully vaccinated. 
CDPH Travel Guidance
CDPH Mega Events Guidance

Solano County guidance for celebrating holiday traditions safely
Visit the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website or the CDC website for additional holiday tips on protecting yourself and your family during the holidays

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.