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Late Wednesday Sonoma County reported 606 new coronavirus cases, its highest one day total since the pandemic began. This is almost double the previous high, of 343 cases. The huge number underscores the seriousness of the current crisis and winter surge across the region. The number of COVID19 deaths in Sonoma County stands at 166 as of Wednesday.

In all, California recorded a record 51,700 new cases on Wednesday and was among many states logging record high numbers of cases and levels of virus transmission. The death toll in California on Wednesday was 393, and the death rate is up 206% over the past two weeks.

State and regional health officers say it will take at least two weeks before lockdown restrictions make an impact on virus transmission, and only then if residents observe them.

The case rate per day, per 100 thousand across Sonoma County is now over 35, but those numbers are based on a 7 day average and 7 day lag, so the actual real-time numbers are certainly much higher.

The county website shows hospitalizations at 65, ICU remaining capacity at 33% in the county, and positivity rate at 7.4%. However all of the numbers have a lag time.

By contrast, the California state coronavirus dashboard shows much higher positivity rates for Sonoma County. Their rate is 12.1%, an almost 5% increase in the last two weeks. They also show that as of December 15th there were 69 patients hospitalized for COVID19 in Sonoma County and 22 ICU beds available.

As of Wednesday the Bay Area region’s remaining ICU capacity was 12.9% and falling, prompting a regionwide stay at home order to take effect.

The state as a whole saw remaining ICU capacity fall to 4.1%, with a positivity rate of 11.3% and a case rate of 63.9 per 100 thousand per day. These are all records.

State health officials say the next few weeks will be critical in slowing the spread of the virus, as approximately 12% of all new cases will require hospitalization, and approximately 12% of those hospitalizations will require ICU care. That is expected to overload the state’s ICU bed capacity in the coming weeks.

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