County Headed Toward Watch List, Rollbacks with New Cases and Hospitalizations

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As Sonoma County celebrated the July 4th Holiday it also hit another, more sobering milestone.  On Friday, county health officials reported 92 positive coronavirus tests had been returned the day before, almost double the previous daily high of 50 on July 22nd.  49 cases were reported on June 22 and June 27th.

As of midday Monday, the county had not yet updated its numbers over the Holiday weekend.

And the two-week tally of cases, one metric used by the state to put counties on the “watch list” of coronavirus spread, reached 106 on Friday.  At the end of May this number, a calculation of the cases per 100 thousand over a two week period, was below 40.  It has risen through the 70s and 80s in the past 10 days.

Meantime, Marin County joined Santa Clara and Solano counties on the state Watch List.  If Sonoma county joins that list it would be the 4th to do so in the Bay Area.

If a county stays above 100 in its two week tally for three consecutive days it can be put on the Watch List, with the state requiring a rollback of indoor dining and other indoor business activities considered at high risk for coronavirus spread.

As of Friday, hospitalizations of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients was rising and had reached 26, a number that is expected to continue to rise in the coming days.

This number has been boosted by increased testing, and also contact tracing used to isolate new cases.  But health officials also say they are seeing more community spread of the virus as businesses have reopened and people have become more mobile after months under stay-at-home orders.

Another measure of how Sonoma County is doing is the “E-effective” number.  This estimate of the number of persons an infected person is likely to pass the virus to, has dropped recently, after showing spread for days. However the trends shown likely lag real time reporting of new cases.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair Susan Gorin says the county may soon consider rollbacks to reopening, if current trends hold.


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