CAO Banner Image

Weekly Roundup for Oct. 29, 2021

Published:  October 29, 2021

Greetings Neighbors,

Sonoma County has requested an allotment of pediatric coronavirus vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, which could be available as early as next week. The Pfizer dose for younger children would be one-third of the strength given to people 12 and older, with two shots given three weeks apart. Children have higher levels than adults of the antibodies that are essential for preventing infection, but are at least as likely as adults to be infected.

Once the pediatric vaccine is authorized, parents will be encouraged to have their children vaccinated at clinics planned for school sites, local pharmacies or the offices of their primary care physicians. Sonoma County’s doctors, health care clinics, schools, pharmacies and public health leaders are working together to educate families about the vaccine and to ensure vaccines are distributed as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. 

Watch this week’s community briefing with local health officials on the topic of pediatric vaccines:

County of Sonoma YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/c/CountyofSonoma

County of Sonoma Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/CountyofSonoma

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

  1. Trick-or-treat safely with advice from the experts
  2. Update on guidance for booster shots
  3. Update on public indoor mask exemption for cohorts
  4. Upcoming testing & vaccine opportunities
  5. COVID-19 community resources & support
  6. Other news items from County of Sonoma
  7. Emergency preparedness tips & resources

HEALTH OFFICIALS OFFER ADVICE FOR A SAFE HALLOWEEN
While door-to-door trick-or-treating was discouraged last year because the county’s case rate was high and climbing, and vaccines were not yet available, county health officials are offering encouraging guidance regarding this year’s Halloween and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. 

Vaccines have been available for 10 months, and health officials believe it’s safe to do outdoor trick-or-treating for Halloween and take part in outdoor Día de los Muertos activities this year. Families are encouraged to enjoy their traditions again, and can stay safe while having a good time. 

Suggestions include:

  • Trick-or-Treaters should avoid large groups and should wear masks that cover mouth and nose.
  • Before eating any treats, people should wash their hands or disinfect with sanitizer.
  • Indoor gatherings of unvaccinated people, including children, should be avoided.
  • If you are sick or concerned that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, stay home.
  • People greeting trick-or-treaters at the doorstep should wear masks while distributing candy.
  • Instead of inviting children to reach into a communal candy bowl, consider handing out individually wrapped treats or placing them on a table.
  • Do not distribute candy if you are sick or have been exposed to the coronavirus.

As more people get vaccinated, we can hope to return to a sense of normalcy and start to enjoy holidays that we missed last year. With the virus still circulating in the community, we just need to do it safely.

Read the full press release:
https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Press-Releases/Outdoor-trick-or-treating-in-Sonoma-County-is-safe-this-Halloween-with-precautions/

UPDATE ON GUIDANCE FOR BOOSTER SHOTS
Sonoma County residents who received any of the three COVID-19 vaccines are now eligible for a booster shot if they meet new criteria outlined Monday by the county Department of Health Services.

Three groups of people should get a booster dose six months after they received their second shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine:

  • People 65 or older.
  • People from the ages of 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of COVID-19 because of social inequities. They include people from certain racial and ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities and others who are more likely to get sick and die from COVID-19 because of social factors, like poverty and access to healthcare, that influence health and quality of life.
  • People 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities. 

Two groups may receive a booster dose, if they want one, six months after they received their second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine:

  • People from the ages of 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of COVID-19 because of social inequities.
  • People 18 and older who are at increased risk of COVID-19 because of their job or institutional setting.

Everyone 18 and older who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster dose at least two months after their first shot.

Anyone qualifying for a booster can “mix-and-match” any of the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Individuals may receive either the same or a different COVID-19 vaccine, depending on advice from a health care provider, individual preference, availability or convenience.

Individuals who qualify should contact their primary care doctor, local pharmacy or visit MyTurn.ca.gov to schedule a booster shot.

Read the full press release:

https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Press-Releases/Sonoma-County-issues-guidance-on-COVID-19-booster-shots--mix-and-match-boosters/

UPDATE ON PUBLIC INDOOR MASK EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN GROUPS

County of Sonoma health officials amended a health order to allow certain stable groups of people, such as those in gyms, classes and offices, the option of lifting the mandate on wearing masks indoors if they verify that all members of the group are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The amendment applies to indoor gatherings of 100 or fewer people including in offices, gyms, fitness centers, employee commuter vehicles, religious gatherings, college classes, and other organized gatherings of individuals who meet regularly. 

Employers, hosts, and organizers must control access to the setting, and the setting cannot be open to the general public. It does not allow proof of a negative test as a substitute for proof of vaccination.

Read the full press release here:

https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Press-Releases/Sonoma-County-health-officer-allows-some-groups-option-to-go-maskless-indoors/

Frequently asked questions:

https://socoemergency.org/amendment-no-1-to-the-order-of-the-health-officer-of-the-county-of-sonoma-c19-25/#faq

The amended health order is available here:

https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/health-orders/

Sonoma County and other Bay Area jurisdictions recently agreed metrics that will need to be met before any county will lift the indoor mask mandate for the general public. 

These include having a case rate of less than 50 per week per 100,000 residents for at least three consecutive weeks, having a “low and stable” hospitalization rate and having 80 percent of the county’s entire population fully vaccinated or waiting at least eight weeks from the approval date for pediatric vaccines for those ages 5 to 11.

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES FOR TESTING & VACCINATION 

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. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. 

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/

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 issues guidance on COVID-19 booster shots, mix-and-match boosters
  • Defendant found guilty by jury of all counts in serial rape case

https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/DA/Press-Releases/Defendant-found-guilty-by-jury-of-all-counts-in-serial-rape-case/

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TIPS AND RESOURCES

  • The County of Sonoma strongly recommends subscribing to the following alert and warning systems:

     

       

         

           

            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