Published: January 14, 2022
A month ago,
we were averaging about 60 new cases of COVID-19 per day. Now we are seeing
more than 800 cases per day, and case rates are expected to keep climbing for
the next two to three weeks.
response to this surge, Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase this week
appealed to residents to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days,
and limit interactions with those outside of their immediate household. That
means restricting travel to going to work or to school, and necessary trips
such as the grocery store or the doctor.
addition, a new county health order prohibits large gatherings of more than 50
people indoors or more than 100 people outdoors (where social distancing is not
feasible) until Feb. 11.
breakthrough cases in vaccinated people are rising, those cases tend to be mild
or asymptomatic; unvaccinated people are exposed to the greatest risks. People
who are unvaccinated in Sonoma County are 2.4 times more likely to be infected
with the virus and 17.9 times more likely to be hospitalized if they get
COVID-19. They are 13.7 times more likely to die from the virus.
demand for testing means walk-ins are not being taken at most sites. A month
ago, the county was averaging 3,000 tests a day. The daily average is now more
than 5,000. Officials recognize how frustrating this can be and the county is
working with state and federal partners to increase testing, including the
supply of at-home tests.
who tests positive using an at-home antigen test is urged to report the result
by calling the county’s COVID hotline at (707) 565-4667.
message from Dr. Sundari Mase [Watch]:
asked questions regarding the new health order on gatherings:
we know what works: Get boosted and vaccinated; Wear a surgical or N95
well-fitting mask; Increase ventilation; Stay home if you’re sick; and practice
digest provides helpful and important updates on the following:
virtual community update on COVID-19 available for viewing
- Upgrade your mask, health officials urge
- What to do if you contract COVID-19
- Vaccine & testing opportunities in Sonoma County
- Mortgage relief available for some homeowners
- COVID-19 community resources & support
- Other news items from County of Sonoma
Latest Community Update Available for Viewing
This week’s COVID-19 update with county health officials was live streamed
on Wednesday, Jan. 12 on the county’s Facebook page. A Spanish language version
was streamed on Thursday, Jan. 13.
update included the latest health orders, information about the Omicron
variant and the county’s increasing case rate, in addition to questions
from members of the public and media.
versions are available for viewing on the county’s YouTube channel here:
Health Officials Urge Update of Facial Coverings
Masks remain a key tool to reduce transmission of the virus. While cloth
masks can stop large droplets exhaled by an infected person, a surgical mask
or other FDA-approved mask are the best options because they also filter
smaller aerosols and particles that transmit the COVID-19 virus.
The best masks for preventing
COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don't have access to one of
these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top.
If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three or more cloth layers. No
matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the
nose or on the sides.
Read “Get the Most out of Masking”
What to Do if You Contract COVID-19
With many people testing positive
these days, and with evolving federal recommendations, there is some confusion
about what to do if you have contracted COVID-19. If you test positive, the
first thing you should do is isolate yourself for at least five days to protect
your health and avoid infecting others.
in a separate room from those not infected.
a separate bathroom if you can.
a mask around others, even at home, and ask others in your home to do the
an N-95, KF-94, or a three-ply surgical mask if possible.
the windows, when possible.
your residence has an HVAC system, make sure it has a fresh filter.
Get a test on day five, 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
exit isolation. If you can’t get tested, you can end your isolation after 10
days if you don’t have symptoms.
If you used an at-home test, you
should report the results to the county health department at (707) 565-4667.
Notify close contacts that they’ve been exposed. A close contact is someone who
spent at least 15 minutes over 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 quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they
have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested five to seven
days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.
Unvaccinated people should stay
home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. If you
have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your health care provider
if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion,
inability to wake or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or
Learn more about home isolation
instructions at SoCoEmergency.org:
Local Vaccine & Testing Opportunities
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.
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. Parents are encouraged
to reach out to their pediatrician or a local pharmacy.
Visit the Sonoma County Office of
Education to learn about clinics for students and families:
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
View the vaccine clinics and appointment page here:
For details or appointments at
COVID-19 testing clinics, including a pop-up testing calendar, please visit:
Mortgage Relief Available for Homeowners Behind on Loans
California homeowners who have fallen behind on home loans can apply
for a state grant to repay missed mortgage payments during the pandemic. The
California Mortgage Relief Program covers past due mortgage payments in full
through a grant of up to $80,000 per household. The money will go directly to a
homeowners’ mortgage servicer. It’s free to enroll and funds do not need to be
Applicants can check eligibility and apply through the online portal
Eligible applicants must be at or below 100 percent of their county’s
Area Median Income ($116,300 for a household of four in Sonoma County), own a
single-family home, condo or manufactured home and have faced a
pandemic-related financial hardship after January 21, 2020, and also meet at
least one of the following qualifications:
- They are receiving
are severely housing burdened.
- They have no alternative
mortgage workout options through their mortgage servicer.
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