Solano’s Dr. Matyas gives details on yesterday’s report of 6 COVID deaths, tier assignments and recent numbers

Solano awaits guidelines on post-Covid blueprint from state

Terry Warren of Vallejo receives her second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Suisun City, Monday, April 5, 2021. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)
Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, April 6, 2021

FAIRFIELD — Solano County health officials are expecting the state to soon release its plan for after its current Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The post-Covid guidelines could go into effect in just a couple of months, Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said in a phone interview Monday.

“They were sounding pretty reasonable for what they were saying at the time,” Matyas said about the guidelines.

However, the details of the plan, and its exact rollout date, have not been specified.

In the meantime, the county is not expecting any changes to its red-tier status.

That is both good news and bad, Matyas suggested. He said he was concerned the county could regress into the more restrictive purple tier, while other indicators suggested the orange tier was possible.

Dr. Bela Matyas

“The problem is it is pretty volatile. One day we are talking about going back into purple, and the next day we are talking about getting into the orange,” Matyas said. “That’s how volatile it’s been.”

The weekend numbers helped to settle that a bit.

The county reported 100 new cases since Friday’s update, an average of 33.33 cases per day through Monday – taking the overall total to 31,401.

The daily average is a significant improvement over the 51 new cases Thursday and 61 new cases Friday, with a seven-day average of 41.7.

There were six new Covid-related deaths reported, all men over 65 with underlying health issues, and all from the holiday surge.

Matyas said he believed five died in December, the other in January. Four were from the state prison, the other two were from the community.

It brings the pandemic death total in Solano County to 203.

Matyas also reported that the makeup of the recent increases in confirmed cases was as the Public Health Division suspected, largely younger people. That helped explain why hospital-related numbers were not seeing the same rise.

Matyas also noted that 68.8% of the county’s population over 65 have received their vaccinations, which he described as “encouraging” for the protection of the most vulnerable population in the county.

Overall, about 39% of the county’s population of 16 and older residents have been inoculated, Matyas said.

Monday’s number of individuals hospitalized with the disease was 15, part of the downward trend experienced despite the daily cases climbing during the same period.

The seven-day positivity testing rate did not improve over the weekend, holding at 6.5%. However, active cases dropped for the first time in more than a week, falling by 35 to 297.

“I was hoping it would be below 6,” Matyas said of the testing rate.

Vallejo added 39 new cases over the three days, bringing its total to 9,333. Fairfield added 20 for a new count of 8,559. Vacaville’s tally is at 8,206 after 23 new cases, the county reported.

Suisun City (2,146) added 10 cases; Dixon (1,805) added two; Benicia (898) added four; Rio Vista (353) added one; and there was one new case to take the total in the unincorporated area of the county to 101, the county reported.

The number of individuals who have been tested climbed by 832 since Friday and was reported at 192,973.

The state’s color-coded Covid-19 monitoring system designates the purple tier for counties where transmission of the novel coronavirus is considered to be widespread. Shutdown orders for counties in the purple tier are the most severe. The red tier – where Solano sits – is for counties with a substantial spread of the virus. The orange tier designates moderate virus transmission, while the yellow tier is reserved for counties where the spread of the virus is deemed to be minimal.

Restrictions to slow the spread of the virus are eased as counties move from purple to red, red to orange and orange to yellow. The state has previously reported that it is developing criteria for a new green tier with even fewer restrictions than the yellow tier.