COVID-19 case rates are finally starting to decline in Sonoma County following the dramatic holiday surge, but Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase is still urging residents to continue to get tested.
“We really want to remind everybody that there are many COVID testing opportunities that you can use if you were exposed or if you’re worried. Knowing your status helps protect yourself and others, reduces transmission and does move Sonoma County closer to getting back to work and school, and testing ensures that you don’t pass the disease to friends, family and coworkers if you are an asymptomatic person with COVID,” Mase said.
Getting tested can also help the county’s adjusted case rate.
According to Mase, the state awards credit to the county for more testing, so more tests means the county can get an adjustment factor for its case rates. For instance, if the county is doing double the average testing than the state, then the county will receive an adjusted case rate.
“Getting tested remains a valuable tool to help us get out of the purple tier,” Mase said. “And we still have a lot of cases ... You can be one of the 30% of people that has no symptoms or have really minor symptoms and it doesn’t mean you’re not infectious. You can transmit to COVID to those around you even if you are asymptomatic.”
As of Feb. 17, the county case rate per 100,000 people per day is 13.8. The overall testing positivity rate is 4% and the healthy places index equity testing quartile is 5.4%.
Mase reminded people that testing is free and confidential and is available to everyone regardless of immigration status.
There are several testing sites across the county and test results are usually released between 24 and 48 hours.
To view testing locations or to make an appointment, visit: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/1edbb41952a8417385652279305e878d/page/page_19/.
County vaccination effort
As of Feb. 17, the county has administered 102,828 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Dr. Urmila Shende, the county’s COVID vaccine lead, 63,028 residents have received the first dose and 19,900 have been fully vaccinated with the first and second dose.
Percentage wise, about 15% of the county’s 16+ population have received their first dose. About 5% have received the second dose.
The county is still in Phase 1b, tier 1 of the COVID vaccine distribution plan and only the following groups are eligible for the vaccine:
•Persons 70 and older
•Education and childcare
•All prior Phase 1a, tier 1-3 eligible residents
“We now have the capacity to administer significantly more than 3,000 doses per day, but we continue to be limited by the supply we receive from the state,” Shende said during the county’s Feb. 17 Sonoma County COVID briefing.
The county is still getting more needs in arms per capita than in any other similar sized county according to District 3 Supervisor Chris Coursey.
For vaccine information, visit: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/?src=redstripe