Even if you don’t check out a book, it’s a great place to just sit and read a magazine or get on the internet!
Here’s from the Benicia library website about pandemic hours and masks: “The Benicia Public Library has restored regular service hours, and we are excited to welcome you back inside our building. Whether you want to use a computer or plug into our free Wi-Fi, visit an exhibit, borrow materials or just browse our bookcases, we are here for you. Please bring your mask and library card. If you do not have one, they are free.”
The mask requirement applies whether you are vaccinated or not.
Seems vaccinated staff and visitors are granted asylum from masking at the John F. Kennedy and Springstowne libraries in Vallejo.
Both facilities are exempt from the Vallejo City Council’s Sept. 7 “mask mandate” for all public buildings, vaccinated or not, because they are “subject to the county and library policies, procedures, rules and regulations that govern all library branches,” according to Suzanne Olawski, director of Library Services in Fairfield.
In Solano County, only Vallejo and Benicia have mask mandates in place.
Vallejo Councilmember Katy Miessner and Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan said they received complaints from citizens visiting the local libraries after noticing some staff members going maskless.
Hannigan said that she “received an email from a resident citing librarians were not wearing masks, some were. When asked why they weren’t masked a librarian stated that the county doesn’t have a mask mandate and since they were in a county facility they believe they are exempt from the Vallejo mask mandate.”
Hannigan said she forwarded the email to Olawski.
“The City (Vallejo) owns the buildings and contracts with the County for library services,” Olawski said late Friday. “Per the operating agreement, the libraries operate as branches of the Solano County Library.”
A sign posted at the JFK Library entry effective June 15 states that “by entering this facility without a face covering you are self-attesting that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” For individuals who are unvaccinated, there is a list of reasons they could still be exempt from masking.
Information counter staffers at both Vallejo libraries sit behind framed Plexiglas shields. At JFK, most staffers still wore masks. Most of the staffers at Springstowne didn’t.
“If an employee is fully vaccinated, it is optional for them to wear a mask at work,” Olawski said. “However, any staff member not vaccinated is required to wear a mask at work. Face coverings are available to any employee that requests one, regardless of their vaccination status.”
Olawski added that “the county’s practice at this time is masks are not required for people over the age of 12 if they are vaccinated.”
Anyone over the age of 12 not wearing a mask in the library “is self-attesting to being vaccinated,” Olawski continued. “however, there are individuals who may be exempt from wearing a face covering because of medical or physical impairment issues.”
Not good enough, Miessner said, already “deeply disappointed that Solano County Public Health decided the County didn’t need an indoor mask mandate, given the delta variant causing increases to Vallejo’s infection rates and hospitalizations. So I was furious when I heard the county decided they can disregard Vallejo’s mask mandate in Vallejo libraries.”
The library, continued Miessner, “is a place where children tend to gather and children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated depend on adults who are, and who wear masks. Obviously, Vallejo children can’t depend on Solano County Public Health. But I was grateful that Vallejo had the authority to act on our own.”
If the policy was up to Hannigan, “all county employees working inside buildings in any city with a mask mandate should be masked,” adding that President Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate for public agencies and vaccine recommendation for private employers “is the right direction.”
“Implementing vaccine mandates for employees and contractors is the only way we will get closer to ending this pandemic and reduce the opportunity for new variants,” Hannigan said.
Vallejo Councilmember Rozzana Verder-Aliga said she “agrees that public and private buildings, offices and businesses should follow the mask mandate passed by the Vallejo City Council last week. This mask mandate is for the health and safety of our residents and everyone.”
Verder-Aliga said masks are mandated where she works at the Solano County Behavior Health Clinics in Vallejo and Fairfield and also mandated at the county courthouse in Fairfield where she served on jury duty.
The Vallejo City Council said it will re-visit the mask mandate in mid-October.
Because Benicia’s public library is not part of the county library system, masks are required for everyone, Steve Young said Friday. Any changes, the mayor added, will be based on COVID case count.
The county currently “does not mandate masks for vaccinated people in indoor public spaces, except for those venues where the state specifically requires, such as public transportation. schools, and healthcare facilities,” Solano Public Health Director Bela Matyas said Friday.
Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown sent a letter dated Aug. 27 to Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell and the Vallejo City Council encouraging the city re-instate a mask mandate — which it did — and noting that she doesn’t have enough votes on the board of supervisors to implement a (county-wide) mandate.
“I am in full support of a mask mandate in Solano County,” wrote Brown, emphasizing that “the science supports requiring face coverings” and that “the unvaccinated are filling our hospitals at alarming rates. Vaccinations are crucial to beating the virus, but so are mask mandates.”
FAIRFIELD — The 2021-2022 academic year has only just begun but already the Fairfield-Suisun School District has dozens of reported Covid-19 cases.
Nancy Dunn, president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, reported Thursday that 50 students and staff had called into the district’s schools reporting positive test results for Covid-19.
Dunn made her report Thursday night during the school board meeting.
She said the numbers reflected 16 in-person instructional days with an average of a little more than three notices per day. Those numbers had increased by Saturday to 52 students and 11 staff members.
Those numbers are updated on the district’s new Covid-19 dashboard, which was created to keep track of reported cases of the disease. The dashboard went live Sept. 3, according to Jaden Baird, executive director of Administrative Services and Community Engagement.
It is easily available for anyone to view on the district’s website.
The dashboard is updated as soon as the information is added to the system. The district has two staff members working on the updates, including one for students and one for staff.
A disclaimer on the dashboard reads:
“The statistics displayed on this dashboard for students are, for the majority, self-reported cases. We are relying on our parent community to notify us as to whether or not a student is positive for Covid. There have been a few cases in which a student has come to school symptomatic and were tested immediately and found to be positive. Even in these few circumstances, due to staff and students following our protocols, no transmission at school occurred. Once a parent notifies us of a positive case, contact tracing begins and all close contacts are notified.”
Dunn said it is a difficult time for teachers and students who want to feel safe while attending school. She said the dashboard is a positive because it makes the information readily available to parents, staff and to the community.
“These numbers are in spite of masks indoors and vaccinations,” she said.
Dunn also reported that not a lot of reports of mask violations have been made but those that were reported were swiftly dealt with.
“Because of the quick action of staff, I believe it has kept the numbers from being higher,” she said.
Dunn said staff are concerned about the expiration Sept. 30 of the Covid Leave Act. Employees currently are eligible for 10 days of Covid leave with pay.
Many staff members don’t have personal leave because they haven’t been in the district long enough to have paid leave, Dunn said. She said some teachers are already stretched to make it to the end of the month. She said if this is not renegotiated, it could mean a lot of financial hardship for teachers who contract the disease.
“So far student cases have all been reported from parents and none of those cases was from exposure within the school,” Superintendent Kris Corey said. “It is parents calling in saying the child is positive. We don’t ask for a note from the doctor for the students but take them at their word.”
Corey spoke Thursday about contact tracing, which is required for anyone who reports being positive for Covid-19. She said it is “a monstrosity.” It takes many hours to determine close contacts and who needs to be notified, and who has been vaccinated or not, she said.
“It takes a lot of time to do the contract tracing,” Corey said. “It is different for teachers than students.”
It’s different for employees because they need a doctor’s note. The district then goes through a different process with them.
Students or staff who are vaccinated or who want to remain on modified quarantine and continue to come to work or school need to be tested for Covid-19 during that time period, she said.
“It takes a lot of time during the day to test students, so we are working (on) refining process and working on testing outside of the school day,” Corey said. “They will need to come at those times to be tested.”
Corey asked for volunteers to assist with the testing. They will be compensated for their time, she said.
There you will see that as of 9:23am on July 24, among all Californians, 52.7% are fully vaccinated, meaning they have either received both shots of a two-dose regime from Pfizer or Moderna, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Solano County had administered 458,724 doses of vaccine. 58.4% of county residents had received at least one dose, but only 48.8% were fully vaccinated.
Our fully vaccinated rate of 48.8% puts us right around average, ranking 27th among California’s 58 counties. Our one-dose measure ranks us a little better, 22nd out of 58 counties.
It’s interesting to compare Solano to our Bay Area neighbors: among the fully vaccinated, Solano ranks dead last among our 9 Bay Area and nearby neighbor counties.
At least 1 dose
Only Sacramento County has fewer residents who have received only 1 dose.
And… vaccination rates by Solano cities and zip codes – Benicia at 80%!
I tracked down Benicia’s vaccination rate on the State of California’s Open Data Portal. It’s complicated, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how I got there, but here’s the page you want: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/ca.open.data/viz/LHJVaccineEquityPerformance/MapView. This will open a map showing the instruction, “Click anywhere to load an interactive data experience.” You click on the map and another map that looks identical opens. But this map is interactive – click the + (plus sign) 2 or 3 times to enlarge the map, and then you can hover your mouse over our Solano cities and zips for detailed information. Here’s what I found hovering over Benicia (click the image to enlarge).
In Benicia, zip code 94510, we have a vaccination rate among the 24,819 of us who are 12 years and older… of 80%!
You can explore the map to see your city’s zip code. But I’ll save you a trip – here are the Solano cities/zips I was able to find AS OF TODAY. Note that these numbers are all higher than the LA Times numbers above. I suspect that is because this data calculates a percentage based on residents 12+ while the LA Times most likely uses total population.
Solano County zip code
Share of population vaccinated
Vallejo / Mare Island 94592
Vallejo all zips
Suisun City 94585
Green Valley/Ffield 94534
Travis AFB 94535
Rio Vista 94571
Something is surely off about the Travis numbers. Is the Air Base not reporting?
Interesting that EVERYONE in Elmira is vaccinated!