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Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair James Gore urged residents to avoid gatherings and to take care of their loved ones on Wednesday as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continued to rage across the North Bay.
In a video update on the virus, Gore was joined by county Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase in issuing a stark evaluation of the state of COVID-19 cases across the county and the prospects for the next few weeks.
On Monday, Mase issued a new Health Order which caps most outdoor gatherings at 100 people, and indoor gatherings at 50. Although businesses and schools will stay open, Mase asked residents to avoid any unnecessary travel and gatherings, and to upgrade to N95 or other high efficiency masks.
Newly released figures show that new cases have exploded across the Bay Area and Sonoma County, in some cases growing by 500 to 700 percent in just the last two weeks. Across Sonoma County, new cases are averaging more than 700 a day, and with the delay in reporting the actual real-time case rate may be much higher. The daily case rate per 100 thousand residents is now more than 170, and may soon exceed 200.
The number of new cases and the testing posivity rate of 19.2 percent now far exceed levels seen during the worst of last winter’s COVID surge. And, although he virus is generally considered less dangerous for most people than previous major variants, the sheer number of infections, say officials, threatens to overwhelm county and regional hospitals, many of which are strugging with staff shortages due to the virus surge.

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