Solano reports nearly 700 new COVID cases over Christmas weekend, Benicia & County now in HIGH rate of transmission

NOTE: The information below is not the latest – Solano County added a two corrections following Monday’s report, including a soaring positivity rate and 4 new COVID-related deaths.  CLICK HERE for today’s latest information.

Solano County records 697 new infections, Benicia sees 46 new infections.  Benicia and County both now in HIGH rate of community transmission.

Solano dashboard, Monday, December 27:
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Solano’s December 27 COVID dashboard has been updated.  Originally showing Test Positivity at 6.5%, it now shows a shocking 16.0%!  Stay tuned for further BenIndy commentary.

ORIGINAL DASHBOARD for December 27, 5pm PDT

DEATHS: Solano reported no new deaths today.  The County reported 27 COVID deaths in September, 18 in October, 11 in November, and 19 so far in December (30 of us have died in the last 40 days, since November 17).  A total of 345 Solano residents have now died of COVID or COVID-related causes over the course of the pandemic.

CASES BY AGE GROUP: The County reported 697 new COVID cases today.  126 of these 697 new cases (18%) were youth and children under 18.  420 (60%) were age 18-49, 107 (15%) were age 50-64, and 44 (6%) 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 AND THE LARGE INCREASE AMONG YOUNG RESIDENTS TODAY.  The population of those age 0-17 in Solano County is roughly 22%, and of those age18-49 is roughly 41%.COMPARE – U.S. cases among children and youth aged 0-17 as percentage of total cases is at 15.8% as of today.  (From the CDC covid-data-tracker.)

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE: Over the last 7 days, Solano has risen from SUBSTANTIAL community transmission to HIGH transmission, with 843 new cases, up from 426 at last report.  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 871 ACTIVE cases is up dramatically from the County’s last report of 454 active cases.

CASES BY CITY – Monday, December 27:

  • Benicia added 46 (!) new cases today, a total of 1,725 cases since the outbreak began.  Benicia has seen 65 new cases over the last 7 days, sending Benicia even deeper into the CDC’s 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 35 new cases today, total of 2,689 cases.
  • Fairfield added 130 new cases today, total of 12,964 cases.
  • Rio Vista reported 4 new cases today, total of 649 cases.
  • Suisun City added 35 new cases today, total of 3,432 cases.
  • Vacaville added 172 new cases today, a total of 12,857 cases.
  • Vallejo added 274 new cases today, a total of 14,267 cases.
  • Unincorporated added 1 new case today, a total of 152 cases.

BREAKING NEWS: POSITIVE TEST RATE:  Solano’s 7-day percent positivity rate was originally reported as 6.5% today, up from last report’s 6.4%.  LATER, the County updated the positivity rate to a shocking 16.0%.  This number, alongside the increase in cases and drop in ICU bed availability – is ominous for what’s to come in our post-holiday winter surge.  COMPARE: Today’s California rate is 3.7%.  [Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Center]  The U.S. rate jumped from last Wednesday’s 8.98% to today’s 14.65%! [Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker.] 


CURRENT hospitalizations: steady today at 29 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 did not update its age and race hospitalizations charts today.  Solano hospitals have reported a total of 3,225 COVID patients since the beginning of the outbreak.  (Data on age is more reliable than that on race/ethnicity.)

ICU Bed Availability fell dramatically today, from 62% last Wednesday to only 32% today, just barely in the County’s safe GREEN zone.   Sad news!

Ventilator Availability today is also down substantially today from 80% to only 65%.


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.