Posted: January 14, 2022
A month ago, we averaged around 60 new cases of COVID-19 per day. We are now seeing over 800 cases per day, and case rates are expected to continue to climb over the next two to three weeks.
In response to the surge, Sonoma County health officer Dr. Sundari Mase this week called on residents to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days and limit interactions with people outside their home. immediate focus. This means restricting trips to work or school, and necessary trips like the grocery store or the doctor.
Additionally, a new county health order prohibits large gatherings of more than 50 people indoors or more than 100 people outdoors (when social distancing is not possible) through Feb. 11.
While breakthrough cases in vaccinated people are increasing, these cases tend to be mild or asymptomatic; unvaccinated people are at greatest risk. Unvaccinated people 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 contract COVID-19. They are 13.7 times more likely to die from the virus.
High 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 over 5,000. Officials recognize how frustrating this can be, and the county is working with state and federal partners to increase testing, including providing home testing.
Anyone who tests positive using a home antigen test is urged to report the result by calling the county’s COVID hotline at (707) 565-4667.
Important message from Dr. Sundari Mase [Watch]:
Frequently asked questions regarding the new health order on gatherings:
Remember, we know what works: get boosted and vaccinated; Wear a surgical or tight-fitting N95 mask; Increase ventilation; Stay home if you are sick; and practice social distancing.
Today’s summary provides useful and important updates on the following:
- Latest virtual community update on COVID-19 available for viewing
- Upgrade your mask, health officials urge
- What to do if you contract COVID-19
- Vaccine and testing opportunities in Sonoma County
- Mortgage relief available for some homeowners
- Resources and support from the COVID-19 community
- Other Sonoma County News
Latest community update available for viewing
This week’s COVID-19 update with county health officials was streamed live Wednesday, Jan. 12, on the county’s Facebook page. A Spanish version aired on Thursday, January 13.
The update included the latest health orders, information about the Omicron variant and the county’s rising case rate, in addition to questions from members of the public and the media.
Both versions can be viewed on the county’s YouTube channel here:
Health officials urge face coverings update
Masks remain a key tool to reduce the transmission of the virus. While cloth masks can stop large droplets exhaled by an infected person, a surgical mask or other FDA-approved mask is the best option because it also filters out smaller aerosols and particles that transmit the COVID-19 virus.
The best masks to prevent COVID-19 are 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 layers of fabric. Whatever type of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or at the sides.
Read “Make the Most of Masking” from CDPH:
What to do if you contract COVID-19
With many people testing positive these days and with changing federal recommendations, there is some confusion about what to do if you have contracted COVID-19. If you test positive, the first thing to do is self-isolate for at least five days to protect your health and avoid infecting others.
- Stay in a separate room from those that are not infected.
- Use a separate bathroom if you can.
- Wear a mask around others, even at home, and ask others in your home to do the same.
- Use an N-95, KF-94, or a three-ply surgical mask if possible.
- Open the windows, if possible.
- If your residence has an HVAC system, make sure it has a new filter.
Take a test on the fifth day, 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 get out of isolation. If you can’t get tested, you can end your isolation after 10 days if you don’t have symptoms.
If you used a home test, you should report the results to the county health department at (707) 565-4667. Notify loved ones that they have been exposed. A close contact is someone who spent at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour period within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19, unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested five to seven days after exposure, even if they have no symptoms.
Unvaccinated people should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you have symptoms, self-isolate immediately and contact your health care provider if you have difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue skin, lips, or nail beds.
Learn more about home isolation instructions on SoCoEmergency.org:
Local vaccine and testing opportunities
Sonoma County public health officials, doctors, health care clinics, schools, pharmacies and community groups continue to work together to educate families about the safety and benefits of the vaccine and to ensure that vaccines are distributed as quickly, safely and equitably as possible.
Immunization clinics are being held at designated schools throughout the county to serve people who do not have convenient or affordable access to health care providers. Parents are encouraged to contact their pediatrician or a local pharmacy.
Visit the Sonoma County Office of Education to learn more about clinics for students and families:
The County Immunization Clinics webpage is also continually updated to make it easier to see which clinics are operating each day, where they are, and how to book an appointment.
Residents who need help scheduling a vaccination or testing appointment can contact the Sonoma County Testing and Vaccine Hotline at (707) 565-4667 (4701 in Spanish).
Check out the vaccination clinics and appointments page here:
For more details or appointments at COVID-19 testing clinics, including a pop-up testing schedule, please visit:
Mortgage relief available for homeowners behind on loans
California homeowners who have fallen behind on their home loans can apply for a state grant to pay off mortgage payments missed during the pandemic. The California Mortgage Relief Program fully covers delinquent mortgage payments with a grant of up to $80,000 per household. The money will go directly to a homeowner’s mortgage agent. Registration is free and funds do not need to be refunded.
Candidates can check their eligibility and apply through the online portal here:
Eligible applicants must be at or below 100% of their county’s median income ($116,300 for a four-person household in Sonoma County), own a single-family home, condo, or manufactured home, and have faced pandemic-related financial difficulties after January 21. , 2020, and also meet at least one of the following qualifications:
- They receive public assistance.
- They are heavily overcrowded with accommodation.
- They have no alternative options for mortgage relief through their mortgage manager.
COVID-19 Community Resources and Support
- Free COVID-19 testing is available for tribal communities from the Sonoma County Indian Health Project. Call (707) 521-4500 for details.