Tag Archives: Marin County CA

Solano County has lowest vaccination rate in Bay Area

Marin County is approaching 100% of eligible residents with one COVID vaccine dose

San Francisco Chronicle, by Kellie Hwang, Sep. 20, 2021

Kristina Skierka of Lucas Valley makes an appointment for her second COVID-19 vaccine with Jackson Murphy at the drive-through vaccination location at Larkspur Ferry Terminal in Marin County in April. Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle

Marin County has marked a new pandemic-fighting milestone, with more than 90% of its eligible population now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to county data, 90.7% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated as of Monday. A whopping 97.3% of Marin’s eligible population has received at least one vaccine dose.

Among its total population, Marin’s rate of completed vaccinations is 78%, with 84% partially vaccinated. Marin has the highest overall vaccination rate of all counties in California and is among the top 10 most highly vaccinated counties in the U.S.

The county this weekend tweeted about surpassing the 90% milestone for vaccinations among those eligible, thanking residents “for choosing to be vaccinated for the health of our community,”

Marin County health officer Matt Willis said that means the community is “better protected,” which is measured by “lives saved.”

“It’s gratifying to see the impact,” he said. “There is a clear correlation between communities with high vaccination rates and low case rates.”

Marin’s average daily cases over the past week is just over 10 per 100,000 residents — the lowest figure in the Bay Area and less than half of the figure in California, the state with the lowest case rate in the nation.

Willis said a number of benefits and privileges in Marin County have helped it achieve high vaccination rates, driven by a “strong belief in science” and “strong demand for vaccines.” Willis said the county is a more highly educated, higher-income community, and is also older, with a median age of 47.3, the highest in the Bay Area.

With data showing disparities in vaccination rates broken down along political lines in the U.S. — with rates lower for Republicans than for Democrats — he noted that the county is liberal-leaning, with 61% identifying as Democrats and 13% as Republicans.

Willis also attributed Marin’s vaccination success to the tight-knit nature of the county, contributions from both the public and private sectors, and the county emergency operations center’s coordination efforts.

The Bay Area in general has boasted high vaccination rates, especially when compared to the rest of the state and country. According to the Los Angeles Times vaccine tracker, the Bay Area’s counties with the exception of  Solano  are at the top of the rankings for vaccination rates statewide.

San Mateo County has the next highest vaccination rate after Marin, with 84% of the eligible population fully vaccinated.  Solano  County has the lowest vaccination rate in the Bay Area, with 65% of eligible residents fully vaccinated.

[BenIndy editor: See also detailed data on Solano County vaccines as of 9/20/21 from the Solano County COVID-19 Dashboard.  The “Vaccines – Demographics” tab shows data by race, age, gender and city.  – R.S.]

Marin County data by age category shows the highest vaccination rate is in the 65 and older group with 93% of eligible residents fully vaccinated. The next highest age group is 18- to 34-year-olds at 88%, while the least vaccinated age group is 12- to 17-year-olds at 82%.

According to the U.S. Census, 46% of Marin County residents are 50 or older, 32% is 20 to 49, and 23% is 0 to 19. By comparison, in  Solano , the Bay Area’s lowest vaccinated county, 36% of residents are 50 or older, 40% are 20 to 49, and 25% are 0 to 19.

County data shows that among racial and ethnic groups in Marin, Asians have the highest rate at 89% of eligible residents fully vaccinated, followed by Hispanic or Latino residents at 86% and white residents at 83%. Black and African American residents are the lowest vaccinated group in the county at 78%. (The county notes that these percentages may be underreported by five to 10 percentage points because of missing race and ethnicity data in state vaccination records.)

Willis said similar to many places across the country, “Some members of historically marginalized groups have well-founded reasons to mistrust what they might see as a medical establishment,” especially in the county’s Black and African American communities, which Willis said is “not something that can be solved overnight.”

Mercedes Morgan of Performing Stars helps assemble care packages that will be delivered to COVID-positive residents in public housing in Marin City in July. Performing Stars has helped with COVID vaccination outreach efforts in Marin County. Alvin A.H. Jornada/Special to The Chronicle

But the strong overall demand for vaccines allowed the county to focus its outreach on marginalized groups, Willis said, by working with trusted leaders in the Black and African American communities, particularly in Marin City and Novato. He said the effort, which has included deploying mobile teams there, has resulted in a recent increase in vaccinations.

Willis also said the county has had a “reputation of being a bastion of anti-vaccine sentiment historically,” that is a “small but very vocal group” of mostly affluent white residents.

“Our strategy is really not to waste too much time trying to fight that battle with people who have basically made that decision decades ago as part of a fixed belief,” he said. “Despite the fact they may be vocal, they are a relatively small subset of the population and our numbers show that.”

He said at this point he is “fairly confident” that those who are not vaccinated are “by choice and not for lack of opportunity,” and believes the county did what it could to “remove any barriers related to geography or access.”

Kellie Hwang is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.

Contra Costa is 3rd Bay Area county to order fines for violating COVID health orders

$100 for not wearing a mask? Contra Costa approves fines for health order violators

San Francisco Chronicle, by Catherine Ho, July 28, 2020
Bar manager Marc Pontavella wears a mask and gloves while making a cocktail for a customer at Teleferic Barcelona in Walnut Creek, Calif. Tuesday, June 9, 2020. They Bay Area is opening at a fairly fast pace, with Contra Costa County announcing plans this week to reopen indoor dining and hair salons soon, while it reports near-record new cases.
Bar manager Marc Pontavella wears a mask and gloves while making a cocktail for a customer at Teleferic Barcelona in Walnut Creek, Calif. Tuesday, June 9, 2020. They Bay Area is opening at a fairly fast pace, with Contra Costa County announcing plans this week to reopen indoor dining and hair salons soon, while it reports near-record new cases. Photo: Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

Contra Costa County on Tuesday approved fines for individuals and businesses that violate coronavirus health orders, including not wearing a mask.

The county’s board of supervisors passed an urgency ordinance establishing fines for individuals starting at $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second and $500 for each additional violation within one year of the initial violation.

Fines for businesses will start at $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second and $1,000 for each additional violation within one year of the initial violation.

“Some people are just defiant,” said Supervisor Diane Burgis. “We’re trying to get COVID under control and we need people to put on their masks. … We’re not doing it to make money, to try to control people. We’re trying to get control over this disease and get our economy back so we need people to cooperate, put on their mask.”

Contra Costa is the third Bay Area county, and the largest, to pass administrative fines for not following health measures. Napa and Marin counties this month enacted similar fines of up to $5,000 and $10,000, respectively, for businesses.

Officers designated by the director of Health Services, the director of Conservation and Development, and the Sheriff’s Office will enforce the ordinance. The county has received about 200 complaints from residents reporting businesses and individuals that allegedly broke health order rules.

Individuals and businesses that are fined will have the option to appeal the fine within 10 days.

Officials have said they are focusing more on businesses than individuals — such as if businesses are open when health orders require that they shut down, or if business owners are not enforcing mask-wearing among their workers or customers.

Several members of the public called into the virtual meeting to oppose the ordinance, saying it would curtail their individual liberties and that mask-wearing should be voluntary. Supervisors said voluntary compliance and education have not worked to keep infection rates down. Ample research shows that widespread mask-wearing significantly reduces transmission.

Sonoma County and the city of Berkeley are also considering fines for individuals and businesses that do not comply with COVID-19 safety measures.

Should Benicia and Solano impose fines on COVID violators like Napa and Marin?

Coronavirus: Marin County votes to impose fines on violators of public health orders

Individuals can be fined up to $500 and businesses up to $10,000 — but the goal is to be educational, not punitive
A man leaves a restaurant with a take-out order in between outdoor eating tables at City Plaza on Fourth Street in San Rafael, Calif. on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal)
Mercury News, by Evan Webeck, July 22, 2020

Another North Bay county has the newfangled authority to fine anyone not wearing a mask or complying with social distancing protocols.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary measure to make violations of public health orders punishable by administrative fines, following in the footsteps of officials in Napa County, who put a similar measure in place last week.

The move authorizes city and county employees, as well as police officers, to cite businesses and individuals not complying with the orders, though the priority is first to intervene and educate. Depending on the severity and frequency of the violations, individuals can face fines between $25 and $500, while businesses can be fined between $250 and $10,000.

The policy suggests a “grace period” of up to 72 hours before an enforcement officer would issue a fine, but it doesn’t prevent a citation from being issued on the spot. It also does not eliminate the misdemeanor penalty that such violations were originally categorized as, but supervisors said that enforcement mechanism had rarely been used.

Officials’ goal is to move public health citations out of the lengthy legal system and allow to enforce the orders without levying a misdemeanor the heftier financial penalty that accompanies it.

“It was a pretty steep fine that police officers were reluctant to give,” County Administrator Matthew Hymel said during the virtual board meeting. “A lower-level fine, they’re more comfortable giving that out.”

In a staff report sent to the board recommending the measure, officials also emphasized Gov. Gavin Newsom’s threat to withhold federal stimulus funds — up to $26.5 million from Marin County — from counties that don’t follow the state guidelines.

The county also recently launched a new email address that residents can send complaints about businesses violating the public health orders. Supervisors said they had received about 60 responses since the tool launched last week.

The public can submit complaints to SIPViolation@MarinCounty.gov.

Solano, Napa and Marin COVID-19 cases spike in month of June

Chart shows increase in coronavirus cases, deaths by Bay Area counties

KRON4 News by: Tristi Rodriguez, Jul 2, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Confirmed coronavirus cases are increasing at a threatening rate in the Bay Area and throughout most parts of the United States.

Four U.S. states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — reported a combined 25,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday as the infection curve rose in 40 of the 50 states.

This spike just ahead of the 4th of July holiday weekend, prompting concerns as county officials encourage their residents to stay home.

In just a little over a month, cases have climbed in the Bay Area. As of July 2, the confirmed number of cases neared 26,000.

The chart below shows the percentage of the increase in cases and deaths by county from May 31 to July 2.

The data was retrieved from each respective county health department.

Napa, Solano and Marin counties saw the largest spike in cases.