Published: December 17, 2021
seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases this week, likely because of holiday
gatherings and recent rains and colder temperatures, which means we are
spending more time indoors.
hospitalizations in Sonoma County – an increasingly important barometer – are
relatively stable with 27 COVID patients hospitalized, including two in ICU
beds. Five COVID-related deaths have been reported for November after 11 in
October, 25 in September, 38 in August and 17 in July.
all of the 416 reported COVID-19 deaths that have occurred in Sonoma County
have been unvaccinated residents. In Sonoma County, people who are unvaccinated
are 15 times more likely to be hospitalized and 13 times more likely to die
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; and get tested, especially before any holiday
gatherings. Local health officials strongly recommend getting a rapid test
before you attend or host gatherings, and always stay home if you’re sick.
Today’s digest provides helpful and important updates on the following:
- Update on vaccines & testing in Sonoma County
- Booster update: 16- and
17-year-olds now eligible for shots
- New state mask mandate;
what it means locally
- Omicron variant: what
you need to know
- Helpful guidance for
holiday gatherings, travel
- COVID-19 community
resources & support
- Other news items from
County of Sonoma
Local Vaccine Distribution & Testing Opportunities
To date, nearly 85 percent of the county’s eligible population is partially
or fully vaccinated, including nearly 11,000 of the newly eligible children age
5 to 11.
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.
There are more than 40 vaccination
clinics being held at designated schools throughout the county to serve people
who do not have convenient or affordable access to healthcare providers.
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.
A list of upcoming school clinics
is available on the Sonoma County Office of Education website:
The County’s vaccine clinics webpage is also 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:
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:
Local Teens Now Eligible for COVID-19 Boosters
Booster eligibility now includes everyone 16 and older. Only the Pfizer
booster is available to 16- and 17-year-olds, but those 18 and older can choose
either a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their last dose. Anyone who
got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine must wait two months after
their first dose to get a booster. People can mix-and-match boosters from any
To date, 122,177 boosters have been
administered in Sonoma County since they were authorized, including more than
65,000 doses administered to residents under age 65.
Read the full Sonoma County press
Data on Sonoma County booster doses
is available here:
New State Mask Mandate; What It Means Locally
With case rates rising and amid
uncertainty over the Omicron variant, California is again requiring residents
to wear masks in indoor public settings. The mandate will remain in place for
30 days until at least Jan. 15, 2022.
Fortunately, the new order only
applies to counties that do not already have indoor masking mandates regardless
of vaccination status, so the impacts on Sonoma County are limited and no
changes are expected to the county’s current masking policies. The amendment
announced in October by Sonoma County’s health officer — which allowed some
gyms, churches, employers and other organizations to let stable cohorts of
fully vaccinated individuals go maskless indoors — remains unchanged.
Read the Sonoma County press
Learn more about the new mandate
from the California Department of Public Health:
Update on the Omicron Variant
Although we are still dealing with
the highly contagious Delta variant, county public health is sequencing all
COVID-19 samples and no cases of Omicron have been reported to date.
However, it is important to note
that very little is still known about transmissibility, clinical presentation
and disease severity, and risk of infection regarding the new variant.
Booster doses of both the Moderna
and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are likely to offer a substantial increase in
protection against the Omicron variant, according to health officials.
At least 39 cases of the variant
have been identified in California. While all three U.S.-authorized COVID-19
vaccines appear to be less protective against the Omicron variant in laboratory
testing, a booster dose likely restores protection, according to a study
released on Tuesday.
Omicron is more infectious than
previous variants of concern, including about twice as transmissible as the
Delta variant. The true impact of the virus is not always felt immediately,
with hospitalizations and deaths often lagging well behind initial outbreaks.
Learn more about Omicron from the
World Health Organization:
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
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
Obtain a digital copy of your
California vaccine record here:
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
COVID-19 Community Resources and Support
Free COVID-19 testing is
available for tribal communities at Sonoma County Indian Health Project.
Call (707) 521-4500 for details.
Other County of Sonoma News
Sonoma County approves initial ARPA allocations for
county and community