Published: September 17, 2021
federal study of more than 600,000 COVID-19 cases between April and July shows
that unvaccinated individuals are 4.5 times more likely than vaccinated
individuals to become infected with the virus, 10 times more likely to be
hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease.
news for Sonoma County is that new cases have dropped by nearly 60 percent
since the first week of August and hospitalizations are also declining. As of
Tuesday, 51 COVID-19 patients were in Sonoma County hospitals compared to 84 a
month ago. This includes 17 patients in ICU beds, down from 24 a week ago.
Unvaccinated individuals account for most COVID-19 patients in local ICUs.
COVID-related deaths have been reported so far in September, following 33 in
August and 16 in July. The county reported one COVID death in May and four in
June. In Sonoma County, 633 cases of the Delta variant have been identified.
priority continues to be getting first doses to eligible residents and our
vaccination rate has increased since July. Nearly 360,000 county residents have
received at least one dose, with an average of 972 doses administered a day
over the past 30 days, compared with 737 doses a day in July. This means 83
percent of our 12 and older population is fully or partially vaccinated.
County of Sonoma’s COVID-19 Data and Statistics hub for more information:
This week’s digest
provides helpful and important updates on the following:
vaccine requirement for large employers
on the status of in-person school
COVID-19 vaccine clinics and expanded testing
on vaccine booster shots
community resources & support
county news items
preparedness tips & resources
New Vaccine Requirement for Large Employers
President Joe Biden announced last week that
all companies with more than 100 employees will need to require vaccination or
weekly testing. The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) is in charge of formulating and enforcing the rule, which
will be rolled out in the coming weeks and will affect 80 million
Roughly 17 million health care workers
employed by hospitals and other institutions that accept Medicare and Medicaid
reimbursement will also face strict new vaccination requirements. Biden will
use the Defense Production Act to increase the production of rapid testing kits
and said he would work with retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, to expand
The federal employee mandate will apply to
employees of the executive branch and all federal agencies and members of the
armed services, but not to those who work for Congress or the federal court
system. Federal employees have until November 22 to be fully vaccinated.
Details of the president’s Path out of the
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.
There have been 330 COVID-19 cases in county
schools since classes started in August. Of these cases, 305 are students and
25 are staff members.
- 193 cases in elementary schools
- 54 cases in middle schools
- 82 cases in high schools
- Seven exposures have been 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
Please visit the Sonoma County Office of
Education for more information:
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics & Expanded Testing
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.
Getting the vaccine remains our best defense against the
worst outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.
View the vaccine clinics page here:
to a surging demand in testing, the County Department of Health Services has
boosted capacity to 17,000 tests per week. Appointments are strongly
recommended as walk-ins are limited.
For details or appointments at COVID-19
testing clinics, including a pop-up testing calendar, please visit:
Residents who need help making a vaccination
or testing appointment can call the Sonoma County Testing and Vaccine
hotline at 707-565-4667 (4701 in Spanish).
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.
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
People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need
to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have
Update on Vaccine Booster Shots
President Biden has proposed vaccine boosters for health
workers, nursing home residents and other older adults who were vaccinated
eight months ago or more. Notwithstanding, the county’s main priority continues
to be getting first doses administered to all eligible residents, even if
booster shots are approved by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for the
In Sonoma County, about 10,000 residents who received the
Pfizer vaccine would be eligible to receive a third dose starting on September 20.
About 40,000 more residents would become eligible in October.
Currently, third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines
are authorized for patients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
If you are not sure whether you qualify for a third dose of the Moderna or
Pfizer vaccines, please consult with your primary care physician.
For this group, these are additional doses and not booster
shots. The additional dose is intended to improve response to the initial
vaccine series among immunocompromised people. This is not the same as a
booster dose, which is given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine
series is likely to have waned over time.
For more information, please visit:
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:
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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
- 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