Sonoma County Tops 1000 Coronavirus Cases, 32 in 24 Hours, “R” Number Shows Spread

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Sonoma County has passed 1000 total cases of detected coronavirus, and as of Thursday had logged 1006 cases with an increase of 32 in the past 24 hours.  487 of those cases are active.

This increase comes as the result of 484 new tests conducted.  In the last few weeks the number of positive cases per 100 thousand population, as measured during a 14 day period, has surged upward.  This number now stands at 61 per 100 thousand over the latest 14 day period.  This contrasts with late May when this number hovered at or below 40 per 100 thousand, and is a key metric used by virus forecasters.  Health officials do not believe the increase is solely due to increased testing.

The number of positive cases as a percentage of total tests stood at 2.2 percent in Sonoma County, well below the state level of 5.1 percent.  Here are the state figures for number of tests conducted, and the percentage of those that came back positive.  The positive ratio in California has increased by half a percent in just the past 14 days, a troubling sign.

One key metric of virus spread is the so called “R-effective” number.  This is the calculation of the number of people to whom an infected person is likely pass the virus.  Anything over 1 indicates the virus is spreading.  According to the latest state modeling, Sonoma County’s R number has been trending upward, and shows that an increasing spread of the virus is likely underway.

Still, although the county’s public health officer has said community spread is likely increasing in the county, the hospital capacity locally is well positioned to meet the current need .  As of Friday, Sonoma County hospitals were treating 8 patients who were positive or suspected of being positive for the coronavirus, and county ICUs reported 5 positive or suspected positive patients.

Across the state, the numbers are more troubling, as new daily hospitalizations are rising at a more rapid pace.

This reflects a state case count that is also rising after flattening out for weeks.

Finally, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled new modeling for the state this week that shows upward trends are expected in virus spread and hospitalizations across the state as a whole.

Although there is wide variance among the models, taking the different models together in an “ensemble” forecast indicates that hospitalizations statewide could more than triple in the next month.

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