Solano Health Dept: Benicia back in HIGH community transmission rate, countywide 2-day increase of 186 cases

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

By Roger Straw, Friday, December 10, 2021
[See Important new details on the extension of Benicia’s mask mandate BELOW.]

Friday, December 10: Solano County reports
186 new infections. Solano remains in a SUBSTANTIAL rate of community transmission;  Benicia moves up into HIGH transmission rate over past 7 days.

Solano County COVID dashboard SUMMARY:
[Sources: see below.]

DEATHS: Solano reported no new deaths today.  The County reported 27 COVID deaths in September, 18 in October, 11 in November, and 13 so far in early December (24 of us are dead in the last 23 days, since November 17).  A total of 339 Solano residents have now died of COVID or COVID-related causes over the course of the pandemic.

CASES BY AGE GROUP: The County reported 186 new COVID cases in the last 2 days.  43 of these 186 new cases (23%) were youth and children under 18.  90 (48%) were age 18-49, 34  (18%) were age 50-64, and 19 (10%) were 65+.  BELOW: color-coded analysis of CASES REPORTED BY AGE GROUP, expressed as a percentage of TOTAL CASES.  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 15.7% as of today, up from 15.5% on Wednesday. (From the CDC covid-data-tracker.)

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE: Over the last 7 days, Solano has seen SUBSTANTIAL community transmission, with 397 new cases, up from 328 on Wednesday and approaching HIGH transmission (450 new cases).  CDC FORMULA: Based on Solano County’s population, 450 cases in 7 days would move Solano up into the CDC’s population-based definition of a HIGH transmission rate, and we will need to drop below 225 cases in 7 days to rate as having only MODERATE community transmission.

ACTIVE CASES: Solano’s 402 ACTIVE cases is up from Wednesday’s 373, and far above our summer rates.

CASES BY CITY on Friday, December 10:

  • Benicia added 10 new cases today, a total of 1,627 cases since the outbreak began, and 28 cases over the last 7 days.  This moves Benicia back into the HIGH rate of community transmission for the first time since October 18.  (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 experiencing SUBSTANTIAL transmission.

  • Dixon added 10 new cases today, total of 2,615 cases.
  • Fairfield added 50 new cases today, total of 12,698 cases.
  • Rio Vista reported 5 new cases today, total of 640 cases.
  • Suisun City added 8 new cases today, total of 3,353 cases.
  • Vacaville added 46 new cases today, a total of 12,539 cases.
  • Vallejo added 56 new cases today, a total of 13,846 cases.
  • Unincorporated added 1 new case today, a total of 147 cases.

POSITIVE TEST RATE:  Solano’s 7-day percent positivity rate was 4.6% today, down from Wednesday’s 4.9%.  COMPARE: Today’s California rate is 1.9%.  [Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Center]  Today’s U.S. rate is 7.5%. [Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker.] 


CURRENT hospitalizations were steady today at 21 persons, still above the range we saw during last summer.

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 did not update its age and race hospitalizations charts today.  Solano hospitals reported a total of 3,180 COVID patients since the beginning of the outbreak.  (Data on age is more reliable than that on race/ethnicity.)

ICU Bed Availability is down today, from 39% on Wednesday to 33% today, in the County’s GREEN zone.

Ventilator Availability today is up a bit today from 74% to 75%.

On Tuesday, 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, at which time the City Manager is empowered to unilaterally lift the mask mandate.  But four Councilmembers (excluding Mr. Largaespada) chose to remain cautious under the current mandate.  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 then for changing the METRICS by which the City will determine 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.