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Weekly Roundup for Dec. 10, 2021

Published:  December 10, 2021

The good news this week is that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been relatively stable and we have not seen an increase in deaths in Sonoma County. However, since this is a winter virus, an increase in cases can be expected regardless of the variant, according to public health officials. We are spending more time indoors where the virus spreads especially fast. People will be gathering with family and friends over the holidays, which typically means a bump in cases a few weeks after. 

To date, nearly 27 percent of newly eligible children in the county have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics at schools are reporting strong demand, which has contributed to a very encouraging start to the county’s pediatric vaccine campaign. The county’s top priority is to build on this momentum and get more of our newly eligible children vaccinated and protected. 

Nearly 83 percent of our eligible 5 and older population is now fully or partially vaccinated and health officials remain focused on getting first and second doses administered – and encouraging everyone who is eligible to get a booster shot – in order to get more people fully protected. 

This remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated, with the unvaccinated accounting for most hospitalizations and nearly all deaths. In Sonoma County, people who are unvaccinated are nine times more likely to be infected, 40 times more likely to be hospitalized and 16 times more likely to die. 

It is vital that we use our familiar preventive measures to avoid a surge in cases and hospitalizations. We know what works. Get vaccinated and boosted. Wear a mask. Increase ventilation. Get tested. Stay home if you’re sick.

Today’s digest provides helpful and important updates on the following:

  1. Update on vaccine distribution for children ages 5-11
  2. Update on the Omicron variant
  3. Testing & vaccine clinic schedule update
  4. Helpful guidance for holiday gatherings, travel
  5. COVID-19 community resources & support
  6. Other news items from County of Sonoma

Update on Youth Vaccine Distribution in Sonoma County

Sonoma County public health leaders, doctors, health care clinics, schools, pharmacies and community groups continue to work together to educate families about the vaccine’s safety and benefits and to ensure vaccines are distributed as quickly, safely and equitably as possible.

The county’s pediatric vaccine campaign is off to an encouraging start as nearly 27 percent of the eligible children ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their pediatrician or a local pharmacy to find a vaccine for their children. Pharmacy appointments can be made through Myturn.ca.gov

More than 40 vaccination clinics are being held at designated schools throughout the county to serve people who do not have convenient or affordable access to healthcare providers.

A list of upcoming school clinics is available on the Sonoma County Office of Education website:
https://www.scoe.org/pub/htdocs/school_staff_immunization.html

Update on the Omicron Variant

Although we are still dealing with the highly contagious Delta variant, no cases of Omicron have been reported to date in Sonoma County. However, it is important to note that very little is still known about transmissibility, clinical presentation and disease severity, risk of infection and vaccine effectiveness regarding the new variant. 

This week’s COVID-19 community briefing included updates on both pediatric vaccines and the Omicron variant. The briefing is available for viewing in English on the county’s Facebook page, and in Spanish on the county’s YouTube channel.

Dec. 8 Community Briefing (English):
https://www.facebook.com/CountyofSonoma/videos

Dec. 9 Community Briefing (Spanish):
https://www.youtube.com/c/CountyofSonoma

Upcoming Opportunities for Testing, Vaccination & Boosters

The County’s vaccine clinics webpage is continually updated to make it easier to see what clinics are operating each day, where they are located and how to make an appointment. 

Residents who need help making a vaccination or testing appointment may contact the Sonoma County Testing and Vaccine hotline at 707-565-4667 (4701 in Spanish).

View the vaccine clinics and appointment page here:
https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/vaccine-information/clinics/

If you have symptoms or have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you should be tested regardless of your vaccination status. Appointments are strongly recommended as walk-ins are limited. 

Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless fully vaccinated. 

For details or appointments at COVID-19 testing clinics, including a pop-up testing calendar, please visit:
https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/testing-and-tracing/

Helpful Guidance for Holiday Gatherings & Travel

People planning to travel and attend gatherings over the holidays should make sure they have proper documents required by some destinations, airlines and events to prove their vaccination or testing status. According to guidance from the CDC, people who are not vaccinated should avoid travel and holiday gatherings. 

Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect you, your family and your friends from becoming infected with COVID-19 and avoid another surge in cases like we witnessed last year over the holidays.

Obtain a digital copy of your California vaccine record here:
https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/

If you have lost your vaccine card and your digital record gives you an error, ask your primary care provider to provide you with a copy of your immunization record.

More tips for protecting yourself and others this holiday season:
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Tips-for-Protecting-Yourself-and-Others-This-Holiday-Season.aspx

COVID-19 Community Resources and Support

Other County of Sonoma News

Contact Information

Paul Gullixson
Communications Manager
County Administrator's Office
County of Sonoma
Address
575 Administration Drive
Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464665, -122.725235