UPDATE: Seetoday’s latest information
Tuesday, September 15: 50 new cases overnight, 2 new deaths. Since the outbreak started: 5,987cases, 52 deaths.Compare previous report, Monday, Sept 14:Summary
- Solano County reported 50 new cases today, total of 5,987 cases since the outbreak started. Over the last week, Solano reported 225 new cases, an average of 32 per day.
- Deaths – 2 new deaths today, total of 52 Solano deaths.
- Active cases – Solano reported 4 moreACTIVE cases today, total of 212. Note that only 32 of these 212 people are hospitalized, so there are a lot of infected folks out among us, hopefully quarantined. Is the County equipped to contact trace so many infected persons? Who knows? To my knowledge, Solano County has no reporting on contact tracing.
- Hospitalizations – the number of currentlyhospitalized persons included 1 fewer individuals today, total of 32. This despite the increase intotal number hospitalized since the outbreak started, plus 4 today, total of 298. Evidently more released than admitted (see age group hospitalization stats below).
- ICU Beds –The County reported 50% of ICU beds available, down from 56% available yesterday. (After 7 weeks, still no information about availability of ventilators.)
- Testing – The County reports today that 649 more residents were tested since yesterday, new total of 82,008. Solano has a long way to go: only 18.3% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.
Positive Test Rate: TOPSY TURVY … DOWN AGAIN
Solano County reported today that our 7-day average test rate fell overnight by 1.8% from 4.9% to 3.1%. I was skeptical about the remarkably low rate last week: our supposedly smooth 7-day moving average has been jumping all over the place lately (see note about delayed adjustments below). For the record, two weeks ago we saw Solano rates above 7% for the first time since we peaked at 9.3% on July 22. Last week we bottomed out at 2.7%. The County’s line graph looks like a flat line and tells us absolutely nothing, so I decided today that it isn’t worth posting here. Health officials and news reports focus on percent positive test rates as one of the best metrics for measuring the spread of the virus. The much more stable California 7-day test rate fell slightly today from 3.5% to 3.3%. (Note that Solano County displays past weeks and months in a 7-day test positivity line graph which also shows daily results. However, the chart does not display an accurate number of cases for the most recent days, as there is a lag time in receiving test results. The 7-day curve also lags behind current unknown results.)
- Youth 17 and under – 5 new case today, total of 656 cases, representing 11% of the 5,987 total cases. No new hospitalizations among this age group, a total of 5 hospitalizations since the outbreak began. Thankfully, no deaths. In recent weeks it seems too many youth are ignoring public health orders. Cases among Solano youth rose steadily over the summer, from 5.6% of total cases on June 8 to 11% on August 31 and has remained at 11% since then. Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11% may seem low. The significance is this: 1) youth numbers have increased steadily and at a faster rate than the other age groups, and 2) youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact 5 youth have been hospitalized.
- Persons 18-49years of age –27 new cases today, total of 3,596 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 60% of the 5,987 total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups. The County reported no new hospitalizations in this age group today, total of 94 hospitalized since the outbreak began. No new deaths among this age group today, total of 4 deaths. Some in this group are surely ignoring public health orders, and many are providing essential services among us. I expect his group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
- Persons 50-64years of age –12 new cases today, total of 1,146 cases. This age group represents 19% of the 5,987 total cases.
1 new hospitalizationtoday, total of 80 hospitalized since the outbreak began. 1 new death in this age group today, a total of 8 deaths.
- Persons 65 years or older – Yesterday, I reported Solano’s LARGEST SINGLE WEEKEND INCREASE in this age group since I began keeping records on April 20: 31 new cases, 3 new hospitalizations and 2 deaths. The outbreak continues: 7 new cases today, 3 new hospitalizations and 1 new death. Now we can report that this is almost assuredly related to news of an outbreak at the Parkrose Gardens Alzheimer’s and Dementia care facility in Fairfield, where 31 patients and 8 staff have tested positive. This age group’s 588 cases represent 9.8% of the 5,987 total cases. Total hospitalizations since the pandemic began number 119 today, and deaths total 40 in this age group. In this older age group, 20.2% of cases required hospitalization at one time. This group accounts for 40 of the 52 deaths, or 77%.
- Benicia added 5 new cases today, total of 153 cases since the outbreak began.
- Dixon added 1 new cases today, total of 399 cases.
- Fairfield added 15 new cases today, total of 1,955.
- Rio Vista added no new cases today, total of 40 cases.
- Suisun City added 4 new cases today, total of 433 cases.
- Vacaville added 4 new cases today, total of 993 cases.
- Vallejoadded 21 new cases today, total of 1,995 cases.
- Unincorporated areas added no new cases today, total of 19 cases.
Cases, Hospitalizations & Deaths by Race / Ethnicity
The County report on race / ethnicity includes case numbers, hospitalizations, deaths and Solano population statistics. This information is discouragingly similar to national reports that indicate significantly worse outcomes among black and brown Americans. Note that all of this data surely undercounts Latinx Americans, as there is a large group of “Multirace / Others” which likely is composed mostly of Latinex members of our communities.
- Asian Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 9% of cases, 12% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
- Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 18% of hospitalizations, and 23% of deaths.
- Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 31% of cases, 33% of hospitalizations, and 27% of deaths.
- White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 20% of cases, 22% of hospitalizations and 21% of deaths.
The County’s new and improved Coronavirus Dashboard is full of much more information, too extensive to cover here on a daily basis. The Benicia Independent will continue to summarize daily and highlight a report or two. Check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.
Coronavirus outbreak at Fairfield nursing home
FOX2 KTVU News, September 15, 2020
31 nursing home residents and eight staff members at Parkrose Garden nursing home in Fairfield have tested positive for COVID-19.
FAIRFIELD, Calif.–A Fairfield nursing home is dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak, amid criticism from some staff and families.
Parkrose Gardens is a 102-bed facility that specializes in memory care: dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“I would like to figure out a way to talk to my mom,” said the daughter of one resident, who is among 31 to test positive for coronavirus,” she said.
The daughter preferred to stay anonymous, to protect her mother, 69, diagnosed with dementia while in her mid-50’s.
“I’ve been told she is okay and doesn’t show symptoms, but I want to see that for myself, I want to talk to her, it worries me,” she said.
She is also concerned that many employees she has come to know over two years are gone.
“I know they’re completely understaffed right now, a lot of people left, probably scared, I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that everyone has COVID.
Outside the facility Monday, employees declined to describe conditions inside.
“I don’t want to lose my job,” shrugged one.
Off-camera, one health care worker at Parkrose told KTVU that proper protocols were not followed, leading to the outbreak.
“I haven’t hugged my dad since March,” admitted one woman, arriving to retrieve her elder father’s belongings after his death at Parkrose.
He had been in 2-week quarantine after testing positive, but she believes his death was from other causes.
“As far as I know my dad did not die of the virus, he died because he was 94 years old with dementia and was ready to go, and died in his sleep, peacefully.”
Parkrose Gardens is owned by Meridian Senior Living, which owns 11 congregate living facilities in California and dozens more across the country.
In a statement, it responded, in part: “We are continuing to monitor and adjust out precautions…we will continue to implement the stringent infection control policies and practices.”
But communication remains a sore spot.
“I’m used to talking to my mom every other day,” said the daughter, who feels certain her mother is distressed and confused at her isolation and change in routine.
“She doesn’t understand what’s going on, she doesn’t even understand there’s a coronavirus going on.”
Her mom has an iPad but the last time they were able to speak on Facetime was prior to her positive test.
“They say not they can’t give her the iPad because of risking contamination, or the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach to her room, so there are all these obstacles.”
She hopes for direct contact and more details about the scope of the outbreak.
“I’m not blaming anyone, I just want some answers.”
[For details see Governor Newsom’s press release on Initiatives to Support Older Californians During COVID-19 Pandemic. – R.S.]
Plan to feed California seniors during pandemic first of its kind in the nation
KTVU Fox2 News, by Jana Katsuyama, April 25, 2020
MARTINEZ, Calif.–Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new program Friday that would use state and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)funding to help restaurants begin cooking and delivering meals to home-bound seniors at risk for COVID-19, but who might not be eligible for home meal deliveries under regular nutrition program guidelines.
The idea is to help seniors and get the struggling restaurant industry back in business and preference would be given to independent restaurants.
“For restaurants to start rehiring people or keep people currently employed and start preparing meals, 3 meals a day 7 days a week and have them delivered to seniors,” said Gov. Newsom.
Home-style meals are take home only at Vic’s Restaurant in Martinez, and Rose Anne Meyers says her family-run business has been struggling.
“Our employees, we have very few at the moment, but the few we do have they need it for their families,” said Meyers.
The state and FEMAfunds would pay about $66a day for three meals.
Restaurant owners like the idea, but say they’d need to read the fine print.
“When you deliver food, there’s additional cost than just the food. You have the delivery, the gas,” said Meyers.
Businesses hungry for details on how to apply, will have to wait though. The state says local jurisdictions will handle the roll-out, with a focus on independent restaurants.
The governor’s announcement caught some counties off guard, however, without guidance from the state on the program details and which restaurants qualify or how they’ll be selected.
“It definitely could help our budget in some of the senior programs that we’ve rolled out. So it all depends on what the Governor has laid out in who qualifies for the program,” said Tim McGallian, Mayor of Concord.
Mayor McGallian already helped launch a meals program for seniors over 60 who don’t qualify for standard nutrition programs. He says the new program could help pick up some of the costs which Concord has been paying.
The public funding however would go to private businesses, whereas the Concord program is keeping the public school districts’ food service workers employed with meal deliveries at a much lower cost using Meals on Wheels.
“On a normal basis, our meals cost about $7 per meal. Right now we have a partnership with Mt. Diablo Unified school district and Concord. Those meals are about 2.50 each,” said Caitlin Sly, Meals on Wheels Diablo Region’s Executive Director.
Sly says there is a huge need and she’s glad the Governor is taking action, but hopes non-profits who have been working to meet demand will get some relief soon too.
“We here at Meals on Wheels Diablo Region have increased our home delivered meals program by over 35% since the onset of this outbreak,” said Sly.
San Francisco’s Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of the Human Services Department of Disability and Aging Services, says the program could help 40-50,000 seniors in the city who are not eligible for CalFresh or regular home meal programs. Statewide, it could help millions of seniors.
Local officials say keep an eye out for more details in the coming weeks.
They note these are emergency funds tied to the COVID-19 crisis so it likely will only be available while the stay at home orders are in place.
[BenIndy Editor: I can find no reports of coronavirus infections in Solano County senior facilities. Hope and pray for our elders in this pandemic! – R.S.]
KPIX5 CBS SF Bay Area, April 10, 2020
PLEASANT HILL (CBS SF) — Contra Costa health officials reported Friday another resident death amid a growing outbreak of coronavirus at two senior care facilities.
The county reported 21 people have been infected at Carlton Senior Living at 175 Cleaveland Road in downtown Pleasant Hill. Eight of those confirmed positive are residents and 13 are staff members, according to Contra Costa Health Services.
In addition, CCHS said a second person has died at Orinda Care Center, where earlier this week 50 people had tested positive for COVID-19.
CCHS said it was working closely with management of the senior living facilities to contain the spread of the virus. The county said both CCHS and John Muir Health have provided infection control guidance as well as PPE supplies for residents and staff, and was working to offer COVID-19 testing.
As of Friday morning, county health officials reported 511 total cases of coronavirus in Contra Costa, including people who have recovered. There have been nine deaths in the county because of the illness.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday the state has identified seven sites with hundreds beds to take care of senior care residents who are forced from their current facilities, including the USNS Mercy hospital ship.
There are 1,224 major senior care facilities statewide; of those, 191 were being monitored by state health officials where there have been 1,266 individuals and staff members who have contracted the virus, Newsom said.
There are also 7,464 smaller care facilities statewide, Newsom said, where 94 are being monitored with outbreaks that have 370 residents and staffers ill with the coronavirus.
“You may consider those numbers and say that sounds relatively modest,” said Newsom of the numbers of infections in senior care facilities. “That doesn’t show the entire picture. There have been some appropriate headlines about certain areas of the state of California and specific facilities that have become hot spots, where we have seen a disproportionate number of people contracting the disease and number of people tragically passing away. What we have done is … put in new guidelines that have been backed up by staff, what I would refer to as SWAT Teams, of infectious disease control professionals, working with the CDC and others, to saturate those areas of concern and focus.”
Newsom added the additional staff focusing on senior centers was working to “quickly identify those individuals, isolate, quarantine, and ultimately trace and track the pattern of the infection.”
“We are making calls in an unprecedented way,” said Newsom. “It’s not an exaggeration, 1,500 field offices every single day, calling every single nursing facility in the state.”
The governor also said “SWAT teams” of infectious disease specialists will be dispatched to the most serious outbreaks and deals had been made to temporary staffing agencies to fill in when a facilities caregivers are sidelined by positive coronavirus results.