Category Archives: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Dr. Bela Matyas thinks he knows better than the CDC, will not recommend masks despite Solano surge

Solano County Health Officer Won’t Follow CDC’s Indoor Mask Recommendation

Most residents said they will follow CDC’s guidelines despite the county not echoing the recommendation

NBC Bay Area, by Jodi Hernandez, July 27, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control is reversing course and is now recommending that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks indoors, specially in parts of the country where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

In the Bay Area, Solano County has been seeing 100 COVID-19 cases a day, which is more than double from last week. However, the county health officer does not think masking up indoors.

Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County’s health officer, said the CDC’s recommendation is misguided.

“The transmission that’s occurring in people’s homes, backyards, camping,” he said, “it’s not an environment where masking recommendations are going to apply.”

“Nothing has changed with respect to the science to warrant the CDC’s change in its recommendation,” he said.

Most people in Solano County said they will follow the CDC’s guidance despite the county not echoing the recommendation.

“I am fine wearing a mask,” Benicia resident Linda Martino said. “I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

The owner of Art Centric in Benicia even put up her “masks required” sign up again.

“Now that we’re seeing cases rise, I want to protect myself as well as my customers,” said Aline Karpoyan.

“I’d like to be through with this,” said resident Laura Harper.

“Everybody get vaccinated, get past the masks and past the COVID thing all together.”

BREAKING: CDC recommends indoor masking for all in Bay Area

CDC recommends entire Bay Area issue indoor mask mandate

SFGate, by Eric Ting, July 27, 2021
The CDC’s map of California counties by COVID-19 transmission rates. Masks are recommended in red and orange counties. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) – Click here (or on the image) to go to interactive CDC map.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its masking guidance Tuesday to advise that all individuals — including vaccinated ones — wear masks indoors in areas with “high” and “substantial” COVID-19 transmission.

According to the CDC’s map, four Bay Area counties — San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano — are classified as areas of “high” transmission and the other five — Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Napa — are classified as areas of “substantial” transmission. Masking is currently recommended but not required in every Bay Area county except Solano.

Given how Bay Area counties have previously handled the pandemic, it seems highly likely the region will turn their recommendations into mandates following the updated CDC guidance. A mask mandate is currently in effect in Los Angeles County.

Across California, most counties fall into the “high” or “substantial” categories.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday the state would issue updated statewide guidance sometime after the CDC guidance was released.

The CDC said the change in guidance is based on new evidence showing that while fully vaccinated individuals are protected against severe disease from the delta variant, they can transmit it to unvaccinated individuals more easily than other strains of the virus.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that when earlier strains of the virus were dominant, infected vaccinated people were found to have low levels of virus in their nose and throats and were deemed unlikely to spread the virus. That has changed with the delta variant, where Walensky said the level of virus in infected vaccinated people is “indistinguishable” from the level of virus in infected unvaccinated people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

SFGATE: “Solano guidance is not completely in line with assessments of the virus by the Centers for Disease Control”

Solano County: COVID patients may return to work after 10 days, even with ‘lingering symptoms’

SFGATE, by Alyssa Pereira, August 5, 2020
FILE: Hand washing stations are posted for guests at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on July 2, 2020 in Vallejo, which is located in Solano County. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images / 2020 Getty Images
Hand washing stations are posted for guests at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on July 2, 2020 in Vallejo, which is located in Solano County. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Solano County issued new guidance to residents Tuesday, stating that employees in the county who test positive for COVID-19 may return to work after isolating for 10 days, whether or not they continue to exhibit symptoms of the disease caused by the virus. Typical symptoms may include coughing, fever, or respiratory issues.

“Anyone who tested positive and has isolated for 10 days from the date that their symptoms began is no longer infectious, even if some may have lingering symptoms,” said Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Health Officer. “We understand that businesses have concerns about employees returning to the workplace; however, re-testing is unnecessary to prove that employees can no longer spread the disease. Once the 10-day isolation has been completed, employees may return to work.”

Matyas added that there is no need for that person to re-test at the end of the 10-day isolation, as “most people with confirmed COVID-19 will continue to have positive test results for several weeks.”

Solano County’s guidance is not completely in line with assessments of the virus by the Centers for Disease Control. A survey of available data found that people with “mild to moderate” COVID-19 symptoms are infectious for no longer than 10 days. However, those with more serious “severe to critical” symptoms have been found to be contagious up to “20 days after symptom onset.”

Additionally, the CDC recommends that a person who tests positive for the disease and exhibits symptoms may end isolation after 10 days if their fever has returned to normal for at least 24 hours and other symptoms have improved.

“These findings strengthen the justification for relying on a symptom based, rather than test-based strategy for ending isolation of these patients, so that persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities,” the CDC added.