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Weekly Roundup for Sept. 3, 2021

Published:  September 3, 2021

As of Tuesday, 75 COVID-19 patients were in Sonoma County hospitals. This included 19 in ICU beds. While the number of COVID-related hospitalizations is at its highest level since February, the rate appears to have leveled off over the past two weeks. However, deaths typically lag hospitalizations by several weeks. The county reported 21 COVID-related deaths in August after 16 were reported in July. That compares to one reported COVID-related death in May and four in June.

Importantly, 97 percent of the 356 COVID-19 deaths that have occurred in the county have been among unvaccinated residents. Sonoma County residents who are eligible for a vaccine and choose not to receive one continue to put themselves and others at risk. Even if a vaccinated individual is infected with the highly contagious Delta variant, they are protected against the worst outcomes of hospitalization and death. In Sonoma County, 444 cases of the Delta variant have been identified so far.

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

  1. Update on the status of in-person school
  2. State offers new app to find out if you were exposed to COVID-19
  3. Free upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and testing clinics
  4. COVID-19 community resources & support
  5. Other county news items
  6. Emergency preparedness tips & resources

Update on the Status of In-Person School

As of Wednesday, nearly 64 percent of county children ages 12 to 15 have received at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19, and 54 percent are fully vaccinated against the disease.

The Association of Bay Area Health Officials (ABAHO) issued a statement this week indicating that measures such as masks, distancing and vaccinations should stop the spread of the virus on school campuses. They acknowledged that the harm of halting in-class teaching and reverting to online education outweighs the current health threat. 

Since students returned to classrooms in August, 108 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, with students accounting for 90 and staff for 18. Just 10 cases were identified as in-school transmission. With 66,000 public school students in the county and more than 8,000 staff, cases to date are minimal.

Read the full statement from ABAHO here:
https://covid-19.acgov.org/covid19-assets/docs/press/joint-release-2021.08.26.pdf

The County of Sonoma has returned to holding weekly community briefings streamed live on Facebook in English at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and in Spanish on Thursdays at 4 p.m. Community COVID-19 briefings on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26 included an update on school reopening that offered parents the opportunity to ask questions.

The briefings are recorded and available for viewing on the county’s YouTube channel in English and Spanish for those who are unable to watch them live.

All recent briefings may be viewed on the county Facebook or YouTube here:

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 process for 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.

Back-to-School fact sheet from the California Department of Public Health:

"CA Notify" Smartphone App Alerts Possible Exposure

California now offers a free service that allows residents to find out if you were exposed to COVID-19, as well as notify others if you test positive, while remaining anonymous. Personal information is never collected, so app users and others can stay safe. According to the state, once you activate CA Notify on your smartphone, it does all the work as long as Bluetooth is on. Alerts are sent if app users were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Privacy is protected as identities are not known and specific locations are not tracked. 

To learn more, including how to activate CA Notify, please visit:
https://canotify.ca.gov/

California residents may also access a digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record here: https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/

Residents are urged to keep their paper CDC card in a secure place.

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 daily from 10:30 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 Monday through Friday from 9:30 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.

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services also expanded testing opportunities in partnership with Curative, LHI, Molecular Matrix, and Fox Home Health, which increased the County’s capacity from 1,000 tests per week to 14,000 tests per week. 

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