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Weekly Roundup for September 10, 2021

Published:  September 10, 2021

As of Tuesday, 75 percent of eligible Sonoma County residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This important milestone was reached amid efforts to keep our most vulnerable community members safe from the highly contagious Delta variant. In Sonoma County, 557 cases of the Delta variant have been identified.

Sonoma County continues to outpace national and state vaccine averages with more than 667,000 doses administered since the first vaccine shipment arrived in mid-December 2020. To date, 323,604 county residents age 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

At the same time, Sonoma County hospitals and ICUs remain overloaded with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. To protect those under 12 who cannot be vaccinated right now and to reduce school infection rates, we must continue communal efforts to increase vaccinations. 

Deaths in Sonoma County due to COVID-19 jumped to 33 for August after we recorded just one COVID-related death in May, four in June, and 16 in July. All those who have died were either unvaccinated or were elderly with underlying medical conditions. 

  1. Update on the start of in-person school
  2. County issues new guidance for youth sports
  3. Vaccination required for home health workers, pharmacists
  4. Free upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and testing clinics
  5. COVID-19 community resources & support
  6. Other county news items
  7. Emergency preparedness tips & resources

Update on the Status of In-Person School

The County of Sonoma, in collaboration with the Sonoma County Office of Education, is implementing measures to keep our schools as safe as possible with the resumption of in-person instruction. 

Since students returned to classrooms in August, 235 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in county schools, with students accounting for 215 cases and staff members for 20. There were 121 cases in elementary schools, 41 cases in middle schools, 72 cases in high schools and seven exposures linked to school sports. 

How COVID-19 cases at schools are handled is determined by the number of cases involved and exposure. Clusters of three or more cases at a school are an indication that spread may be happening on campus. When cases arise, exposure will be tracked through contact tracing and testing as necessary. 

Universal masking means that classrooms and schools will not be closed for a few cases through the use of a modified quarantine protocol and reporting when students or staff test positive for COVID-19. If parents do not feel comfortable with in-person instruction for their child, they can opt for an independent study program, which will vary be district. 

Please visit the Sonoma County Office of Education for more information:
https://www.scoe.org/pub/htdocs/coronavirus.html

New COVID-19 Guidance Issued for Youth Sports

The Sonoma County Health Officer issued new guidance for youth sports that includes a requirement to wear masks indoors for all participants, coaches, personnel and spectators, regardless of vaccination status. Masks also are required for both competition and practice, during physical education, conditioning/weightlifting, and other indoor activities. 

The full guidance includes a range of recommendations, including for testing, locker rooms and transportation:

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly recommended for all participants who are eligible, as well as coaches, staff and volunteers.
  • Having as many athletes and staff as possible fully vaccinated will greatly decrease the risk of transmission of the virus among teammates and between teams, and will provide protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • Vaccinations will also decrease disruption in team activities, since fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine if they are close contacts to a case of COVID-19.
  • Overnight travel is not recommended, but when it does occur, team members not from the same household should sleep in separate rooms or in consistent groups when feasible.  

Read the full press release here:
https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Press-Releases/Sonoma-County-health-officer-issues-health-order-for-pharmacists--home-health-care-worker-vaccination;-issues-youth-sports-guidelines/
   

The full guidance is available for viewing here:
https://socoemergency.org/guidance-from-the-health-officer-youth-sports-and-extracurricular-activities/

Home Health Workers, Pharmacists Required to Get Vaccine

A new Sonoma County health order requires home health care workers and pharmacists to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo regular testing, consistent with other sectors such as education, fire and law enforcement, which are under similar vaccination or testing health orders. 

The health order applies to all businesses and governmental entities with personnel who are home health care workers or pharmacists and takes effect on Sept. 24.

Also this week, Sonoma County health officials issued a health order requiring jail inmates to be tested for COVID-19 upon entry, regardless of vaccination status. The inmate testing order takes effect Oct. 1.

There have been 146 COVID-19 cases arising out of detention facilities in Sonoma County. In the most recent outbreak, 45 inmates as well as six correctional staff at the Main Adult Detention Facility tested positive for COVID-19.

Read the full press release here:
https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Press-Releases/Sonoma-County-health-officer-issues-health-order-requiring-testing-for-jail-inmates/

All of Sonoma County’s health orders and guidance can be found here:
https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/health-orders/

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine & Testing Schedule

The County’s vaccine clinics page is continually updated including a pop-up calendar to make it easier to see what clinics are operating each day, where they are located and how to make an appointment. 

View the vaccine clinic pop-up calendar here:  https://socoemergency.org/events/category/pop-up-vaccine/

In addition to pop-up and one-day vaccine clinics, multi-day vaccine clinics also are available:

  • The Roseland clinic is operated by Fox Home Health at 779 Sebastopol Road. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Rohnert Park Community Center clinic at 5401 Snyder Lane is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sutter operates a daily clinic at 2360 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Alliance Medical Center’s clinic at 1381 University Ave. in Healdsburg is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Fox Home Health also operates a clinic Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at 1400 N. Dutton Ave., Suite 17, Santa Rosa.
  • Rohnert Park Health Center operates a clinic Tuesday through Friday at 5900 State Farm Dr., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. No appointment needed.
  • Petaluma Health Center’s clinic is Tuesday through Thursday at 1179 N. McDowell Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

With expanded capacity to conduct 17,000 tests per week, increased demand for testing in Sonoma County has made it more difficult to walk in and get tested at a testing site. As such, appointments are strongly recommended. 

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. 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/

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

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.
  • Listos California offers disaster preparedness information in indigenous languages at its Farmworkers Initiative webpage. 
  • Information for businesses: SoCoLaunch.org.  

Other County of Sonoma News

Emergency Preparedness Tips and Resources

  • As we continue into fire season, make sure you know your official evacuation zone. Click on the link for County of Sonoma here:
    https://socoemergency.org/get-ready/evacuation-map/
  • Reminder to prevent equipment sparked fires due to lawn mowing, trailer chains, or driving on dry grass or brush, or with low tire pressure. For additional CAL FIRE information on equipment safety, please visit: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/equipment-use/.
  • Hot weather is here and everyone is at risk for heat-related illness. Stay hydrated, limit your time outdoors, and check in on those who are susceptible to heat-related illness. Here are some tips to stay cool and preparing for a heatwave:
    https://socoemergency.org/get-ready/local-hazards/heat-advisories/
  • Defensible space is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. Learn how to build defensible space around your home: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/get-ready/defensible-space/
  • The County of Sonoma strongly recommends subscribing to the following alert and warning systems:
        • SoCoAlert – Upon signing up for SoCoAlert, select to receive alerts through landline calls, cell phone text messages or pre-recorded verbal messages and email. The system also works with telephone devices for the deaf.
        • Nixle – Receive email and text messages from local fire and law enforcement agencies that include public safety messages as well as emergency information. Text your zip code to 888777 to opt-in or sign up online to receive email, text or voice messages with alerts and advisories.
        • Stay informed, sign up for alerts at https://socoemergency.org/receive-alerts/.

      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