Posted: January 7, 2022
We hope you had a good holiday season and we wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year. To that end, Sonoma County – like much of the United States – is seeing an expected increase in COVID-19 cases, especially among unvaccinated residents. Case rates are expected to continue to rise over the next two to three weeks, fueled by Omicron and the holiday rallies.
At the height of the Delta outbreak this summer, our case rate was 34 per day. Now we are seeing 200 to 300 cases per day. However, there are currently 34 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county compared to 84 at the height of the delta surge. And only six patients are in intensive care with COVID-19, up from 24 sometimes last summer.
One of the main reasons that the results are better than other stages of the pandemic is the high vaccination rate in our county, including 85 percent of our eligible population aged 5 and over, which is now fully or partially vaccinated. In Sonoma County, unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized if they contract COVID-19, and they are 14 times more likely to die from COVID-related illness.
Demand for testing after the holidays can make it difficult to get tested at a site or get tests at home. Federal and state governments are working to increase the availability of tests, both PCR and antigen, including free home tests. County health officials are urging anyone who tests positive using a home antigen test to report the result by calling the county’s COVID hotline at 707-565-4667.
Remember, we know what works: get boosted and vaccinated; Wear a properly fitted surgical or N95 mask; Increase ventilation; Stay home if you are sick; and practice social distancing.
Today’s summary provides useful and important updates on the following:
- Upgrade your mask, urge health officials
- What to do if you contract COVID-19
- Pfizer recall authorized for 12-15 year olds
- Reporting Face Covering Health Ordinance Violations
- New state rules for visitors to hospitals and long-term care facilities
- Vaccines and Testing Opportunities in Sonoma County
- COVID-19 Community Resources and Support
- Other news from Sonoma County
Health officials call for update to face coverings
Masks remain a key tool in reducing the transmission of the virus. While cloth masks can stop the large droplets exhaled by an infected person, a surgical mask or other FDA approved mask are the best options because they also filter out the smaller aerosols and particles that transmit the COVID-19 virus.
The best masks to prevent COVID-19 are N95, KN95 and KF94, according to a state update Tuesday. If you do not have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask topped with a fabric mask. If you choose a fabric mask, go for a mask with three or more layers of fabric. Whatever type of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding spaces above the nose or on the sides.
Read “Get the most out of masking” from CDPH:
What to do if you contract COVID-19
With many people testing positive these days and with the evolution of federal recommendations, there is some confusion as to what to do if you have contracted COVID-19. If your test is positive, the first thing to do is self-isolate for at least five days to protect your health and avoid infecting others.
- Stay in a room separate from uninfected people.
- Use a separate bathroom if you can.
- Wear a mask around others, even at home, and ask others in your home to do the same.
- Use an N-95, KF-94 or three-layer surgical mask if possible.
- Open windows, if possible.
- If your home has an HVAC system, make sure it has a new filter.
Get tested on the fifth day and if it is negative you can end your isolation. The California Department of Public Health recommends a rapid antigen test, not a PCR test, to determine if you can come out of isolation. If you can’t get tested, you can end your isolation after 10 days if you don’t have symptoms.
If you have used a home test, you should report the results to the county health department at 707-565-4667. Notify nearby contacts that they have been exposed. Close contact is someone who has spent at least 15 minutes in a 24 hour period within 6 feet of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
People who are fully vaccinated do not need to self-quarantine after contact with someone with COVID-19, unless they are showing symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should be tested five to seven days after exposure, even if they have no symptoms.
Unvaccinated people should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with someone with COVID-19. If you have symptoms, isolate yourself immediately and contact your health care provider if you have difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue skin, lips, or nail beds.
Learn more about home isolation instructions on SoCoEmergency.org:
Booster Pfizer authorized for ages 12 to 18
The CDC recommended on Tuesday, following FDA clearance, that Americans who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine request a booster injection five months after the second injection, and not wait six months as the guidelines suggested. previous ones.
The agency also recommended that some immunocompromised children aged 5 to 11 receive an additional primary vaccine 28 days after the second vaccine, corresponding to advice for similar people aged 12 and older. Pfizer’s vaccine is the only vaccine licensed for pediatric use in the United States.
The FDA has also allowed 12 to 15 year olds to receive booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The CDC and the FDA share responsibility for the country’s vaccine policy, and the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee is expected to approve the recommendation in the coming days.
In Sonoma County, 161,771 reminders have been administered since September.
Check out the Sonoma County booster dose data dashboard here:
Learn more about the updated CDC recommendation here:
Schedule a booster shot here:
Report violations of health care orders covering the face
The Sonoma Permit Code Enforcement Unit has received 333 complaints since August regarding public health violations of the public health order requiring face covering in workplaces and public places.
Since Monday January 3:
- 74.2% of complaints (231) concerned businesses, not counting fitness centers.
- 21.3% of these complaints (65) concerned gyms / fitness centers.
- 94% of the complaints concerned employees and / or customers not wearing masks.
- 3 percent involved cases or potential exposures to COVID-19.
Code Enforcement receives all complaints filed by the public through the Safe707 phone line and email, as well as COVID-19 complaints filed through SoCo Report-It.
Complaints that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the enforcement of the code are forwarded to the appropriate city and the partner agency. All complaints within the jurisdiction of code enforcement are investigated by a code enforcement inspector, who visits the property and provides information on the current public health order.
Non-urgent complaints can be lodged by:
Local vaccine distribution and testing opportunities
Sonoma County public health officials, doctors, health care clinics, schools, pharmacies and community groups continue to work together to educate families about the safety and benefits of the vaccine and to ensure that vaccines are distributed as quickly, safely and fairly as possible.
Immunization clinics are held at designated schools across the county to serve people who do not have convenient or affordable access to health care providers. Parents are encouraged to contact their pediatrician or a local pharmacy.
Visit the Sonoma County Office of Education to learn more about clinics for students and families:
The County Vaccination Clinics webpage is also continually being updated to make it easier to see which clinics are operating each day, where they are located, and how to book an appointment.
Residents who need help making an appointment for a vaccination or test can contact the Sonoma County Testing and Vaccine Helpline at 707-565-4667 (4701 in Spanish).
Check out the vaccination clinics and appointments page here:
For more details or appointments at COVID-19 testing clinics, including a pop-up testing schedule, please visit:
COVID-19 Community Resources and Support
- Free COVID-19 tests are available for tribal communities at the Sonoma County Indian Health Project. Call 707-521-4500 for details.
More Sonoma County News