Category Archives: California Department of Public Health

Solano and other Bay Area Counties – detailed tracking of status on State COVID watchlist

[NOTE: Details on Solano County below.]

Coronavirus:  How close are Bay Area counties to coming off state monitoring list?

Santa Clara and San Mateo are nearing the threshold

Vallejo Times-Herald, by Evan Webeck and Harriet Rowan, 8/6/20

It’s been close to a month since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced additional restrictions for counties on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list. In that time, the list has grown to encompass every county in the Bay Area and over 90% of the state’s population.

Is there anywhere in the Bay Area close to escaping the list? We’re tracking the metrics county-by-county below, using data compiled by this news organization. Currently, hospitalizations are trending in the right direction in most of the region, but there isn’t one county that meets the per-capita case threshold necessary to come off the list, according to our calculations.

San Mateo County, with a rate of 12.5 cases per 10,000 residents over the past two weeks, is closest to falling below the state threshold of 10, followed by Santa Clara County, with a per-capita rate of 13.9 per 10,000.

The California Department of Public Health uses six criterion to determine if there is elevated disease transmission, increasing hospitalizations or limited hospital capacity in a county.

  1. Testing rate: Below 1.5 per 1,000 population per day over past 7 days
  2. Case rate: Above 10 per 10,000 population over the past 14 days
  3. Positivity rate: 8% or higher over past 7 days if 14-day case rate is less than 10 but higher than 2.5 per 10,000
  4. Hospitalizations: Increase of 10% or more in 3-day average vs. previous 3 days
  5. ICU capacity: 20% or less beds available
  6. Ventilator capacity: 25% or less ventilators available

Falling out of line with any one of the six metrics for three days lands a county on the list. To come off, a county has to meet all six markers for three straight days.

Under the most recent health order, counties on the monitoring list for three days are also forced to close gyms, personal-care services, nonessential offices, places of worship and malls in addition to the statewide closures of bars, indoor dining and other indoor entertainment. To be eligible to open schools for in-person learning, a county must be off the list for 14 days.

Note: CDPH uses a 7-day lag when tracking its data, while this news organization compiles the most up-to-date data from county health departments. Recently discovered underreporting of tests and cases could skew the data. Because of the faulty data, CDPH has temporarily paused adding or subtracting counties from the monitoring list. There is no standardized number of ICUs and ventilators per county publicly available, so that data is not included below.


population: 1.67 million

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 15.7 (+6.6% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 3.7%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 194.3 (-2.5% since previous 3-day period)

Contra Costa

population: 1.15 million

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 15.3 (-14.5% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 12.32%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 98.3 (-5.7% since previous 3-day period)


population: 263,000

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 31.0 (-43.7% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 15.86%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 23.3 (-10.4% since previous 3-day period)


population: 140,000

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 21.5 (+22.9% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 11.24%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 8.3 (-28.8% since previous 3-day period)

San Francisco

population: 884,000

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 19.7 (+22.9% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 2.96%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 93 (-9.4% since previous 3-day period)

San Mateo

population: 775,000

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 12.5 (-11% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 7.16%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 55.7 (-0.1% since previous 3-day period)

Santa Clara

population: 1.95 million

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 13.9 (-4.9% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 7.48%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 175.7 (-5.7% since previous 3-day period)


population: 441,000

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 19.3 (-21.5% since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 15.33%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 45.3 (+7.1% since previous 3-day period)


population: 501,000

Cases per 10,000 (past 14 days): 19.8 (+27.3 since previous 14-day period)

Positivity rate (past 7 days): 12.42%

Hospitalizations (past 3 days, average): 41.7 (-5.2% since previous 3-day period)

Solano Nursing Homes do not appear in State’s “snapshot” of homes with COVID-19 – good news?

By Roger Straw, April 20, 2020
Gateway Care & Rehabilitation Center, Hayward CA |

In light of news reports of serious regional [SF Chron] and national [Washington Post] outbreaks of COVID-19 in long term care facilities, we have been listening intently for information about Solano County nursing homes and congregate retirement facilities, without much luck.

On Friday, April 17, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a “snapshot” listing of all known skilled nursing facilities reporting COVID-19 among staff or residents.  The list did not include any facilities in Solano County.  No news is good news, presumably.

However, according to the CDPH, the data is incomplete.  “The data is comprised of a point in time snapshot of the 86% of SNFs [skilled nursing facilities] who reported their data within the last 24 hours.”

It is possible that Solano facilities are among the 14% of California facilities who did not report during that time frame.

There are 1224 skilled nursing facilities in California.  In Friday’s CDPH listing, 258 reported having one or more COVID-19 case.

In an April 17 newsletter, Solano County Public Health stated “Solano Public Health staff is checking in with long-term care facilities and skilled nursing homes to ensure that these agencies are prepared to handle outbreaks and that seniors continue to be protected.”  It is not clear whether County officials plan to share publicly what they find.

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) does an excellent job of describing the missing elements in the State’s report:

California Identifies 261 Nursing Homes with Residents and Staff Who Have COVID-19
What Data’s Missing; What Action is Needed Now?

“It is critical that California start treating outbreaks in long term care facilities with the same urgency it does for wildfires. The state should deploy multi-agency strike teams that have command of all available public and private resources to every facility with an outbreak and appoint commanders to lead efforts to save residents lives and to keep the public well informed about their actions and outcomes on a daily basis.

“Beyond containing tragedies, California officials must do much more to prevent them. […continued]

Medicare identifies 9 nursing homes in Solano County, 4 in Fairfield, 3 in Vallejo and 2 in Vacaville.  Other types of long-term health care facilities are listed on the CDPH’s Cal Health Find Database.

Perhaps the best listing of congregant retirement facilities in Solano County is a simple Google search for retirement communities in solano county.

Coronavirus updates (March 18) from Solano County, State of California


Press Release, Solano County

March 17, 2020
News Contacts:
Matthew A. Davis, Sr. Management Analyst and Public Communications Officer, (707) 784-6111, (AND)
Jayleen Richards, Public Health Administrator, Health and Social Services Department, (707) 784-8616,

Solano County Public Health emphasizes the Governor’s measures to promote social distancing and self-isolation to stem the spread of COVID-19 virus

SOLANO COUNTY – Solano County Public Health Officials support California Governor Newsom’s orders regarding social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community and are encouraging Solano County residents to review and implement these best practices.

Solano Public Health officials are encouraging vulnerable populations – older adults age 65 and older, individuals with compromised immune systems and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease – to practice social distancing and stay at home, except for essential needs, including to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care or go to an essential job.  Solano Public Health is also advising these individuals to avoid group activities, making unnecessary trips and spending time in public areas (restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues, social gatherings, etc.).

“We are in full support of the Governor’s measures to promote social distancing and are reiterating this message to residents in Solano County,” says County Public Health Officer Bela Matyas, M.D., M.P.H.  “When people implement these best practices, it helps our health care providers with respect to staffing and capacity necessary to provide care to those who need it the most in our community.”

Multiple Bay Area Counties have announced their own orders that reiterate Governor Newsom’s orders for social distancing, as there has been sustained community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Solano Public Health is monitoring the situation in the Bay Area closely and is in contact with neighboring health departments, local hospitals and the state.

Solano Public Health is advising residents to follow these social distancing measures:
– Close bars, nightclubs, wineries, gyms and movie theaters
– Close restaurants, except for takeout service
– Maintain distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others
– Postpone or cancel gatherings, meetings and community events where large numbers of people are within 6 feet off each other

In addition to social distancing, Solano Public Health encourages everyone to follow these simple daily routines to help stem the spread of respiratory disease in our community:
– Wash hands with soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds
– Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve or arm (not your hands)
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick
– Stay home when you are sick
– Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth
– Perform routine surface cleaning, particularly for items which are frequently touched such as doorknobs, handles, remotes, keyboards and other commonly shared surfaces
– Get a flu shot to protect against the flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19
– If you feel ill, contact your health provider for advice and treatment options

For more information, visit these state and local resources on Coronavirus (COVID-19):
– Office of the Governor, Gavin Newsom, click here
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here
– California Employment and Development Department, click here
– California Labor Workforce and Development Agency, click here
– Solano County Small Business Development Center, click here
– Solano County Health and Social Services, Public Health website, click here
– Solano County Public Health Facebook Page, @SolanoCountyPH, click here

The public can review Governor Newsom’s directive to fight COVID-19 by clicking here.

State of California – Department of Public Health

Guidance Documents: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

A list of various guidance documents can be found below:

Benicia asthma rate well above average – statistics

By Roger Straw, March 27, 2019

Yesterday, Benicia  Mayor Elizabeth Patterson circulated an E-Alert titled “Asthma Rates in Solano County.” She supported claims being made that Benicia asthma rates are high, showing a detailed chart published by the California Department of Public Health.

The Mayor was challenged, evidently, on the accuracy of claims that Benicia asthma rates are at 30%.  Patterson wrote, “Questions are being raised about the asthma rates in Solano.  A quick search to confirm the stated 30% corrects that information below. However, in other studies the rate was listed higher.  Here is the  link.”

Today, Mayor Patterson sent another email clarifying her original source for the 30% figure: a Solano County report, “Asthma Rate by Zip Code.”   That March 2016 report showed “Prevalence of ASTHMA among Solano County adult residents is 2.2X the prevalence among all Californians.  Solano County: 30.1%, California: 14.2%.  Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Additional data analysis by CARES. 2011-2012.”

Patterson wrote, “You will see where I got my original 30% rate. Now [2018] the county shows approximately 24% for Benicia and so we are talking about a 6% difference.  The data from the County is based on data from medical facilities.  We have done presentations at the City Council and posted the information with various caveats. County Health is doing a good job and the information is getting updated. But at the end of the day, we have unhealthy air that contributes to asthma, cardio-vascular problems and diabetes.