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COVID-19 Status Update – New Mask Guidance, J&J Vaccine Resumes, Yellow Tier is Within Reach, Council to Discuss Parklets/Public Events & More

Posted on April 30, 2021


Covid 19 Status Update

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Sonoma County remains in the “orange” tier in the state’s framework. California and Sonoma County are on track to fully reopen by June 15, if hospitalizations stay low and Californians continue to get vaccinated. When California fully reopens the economy, the state will move “Beyond the Blueprint” for a Safer Economy. Common-sense health measures such as masking will remain across the state.

This week, the County’s adjusted case rate fell to 1.8 new daily cases per 100,000 (down from 3.4 last week), a test positivity rate of 1 percent, and an equity metric positivity rate of 1.1. If Sonoma County’s metrics hold or improve for the next two consecutive weeks, the County will move to the less restrictive “yellow” tier. Keep up the good work Sonoma!

Want to help Sonoma County get into an even less restrictive tier and fully reopen by June 15th? Keep up the good work by continuing to follow the mitigation measures we are all now so familiar with – wear your mask in indoor public spaces and when in crowds, keep your distance, practice good hand hygiene, limit gatherings and consider getting tested for COVID-19.


Vaccine Distribution

Sonoma County has now administered over 437,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to eligible Sonoma County residents. As of Wednesday, about 64 percent of Sonoma County’s adult (16+) population have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

All residents 16 and older are now eligible for vaccination

Vaccine supply is no longer a major issue in the County. Appointments are readily available. Those interested should register now with www.myturn.ca.gov or call 1-833-422-4255 and sign up on the County stand-by list to be notified when vaccine appointments are imminently available in Sonoma County.

Health officials urge residents to get their second shot

Getting a second dose of vaccine is crucial to more complete protection, and health officials are concerned about the number of people missing their appointments for their second vaccine shots. The County urges residents to get their second shots if they received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

A single dose, when compared to getting both shots of a two-dose vaccine, triggers a weaker immune response and may leave recipients more vulnerable to dangerous variants, some of which are more deadly and more contagious. While a single dose does provide partial coverage against COVID-19, it’s still unclear how long that protection will last.

If you are experiencing difficulty in scheduling your second vaccine appointment, please email vaccinehelp@sonoma-county.org.

Sonoma County to restart Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

On Friday, April 23, the CDC and FDA announced they would accept the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations to lift a pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for all adults. Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase concurs with the findings of the ACIP and Western States Scientific Safety Review (WSSR) that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and that health providers should resume its administration to prevent community spread and severe illness and death from COVID-19. Sonoma County joins the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano and the City of Berkeley in the Bay Area in immediately lifting the pause and resuming administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read the full press release.


This Week’s Testing Opportunities in Sonoma Valley

County health officials recommend that everyone who goes into public – even if they don’t have any symptoms and/or have been vaccinated for COVID-19 – get tested at least once per month and those who regularly interact with the public get tested twice each month. The County of Sonoma continues to increase access to free COVID-19 testing, find options in Sonoma Valley below or visit socoemergency.org/test for a complete list.

  • MONDAYS, 10 AM – 4 PM at St. Leo’s – Curative | These tests are self-administered oral tests. Watch Curative’s instructional video in English and Spanish to find out what to expect. Appointments can be made up to 4 days in advance on their website.
  • WEDNESDAYS, 2 PM – 4 PM at St. Leo’s | Weekly testing at St. Leo’s Catholic Church on Wednesdays from 2 PM – 4 PM. Appointments can be made online at https://sonomacounty.fullslate.com/locations/12058Click here to watch a Spanish language tutorial on how to make an appointment online.
  • FRIDAYS, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM at Sonoma Valley Church of the Nazarene | Weekly testing at Sonoma Valley Church of the Nazarene on Fridays from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM. Appointments can be made online at https://sonomacounty.fullslate.com/locations/14818Click here to watch a Spanish language tutorial on how to make an appointment online.
  • 2/3 Days a Week, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, LHI Mobile Unit at Vintage House | The LHI bus will be at Vintage House from Thursday (5/6) through Saturday (5/8).  Registration for the self-administered nasal swap test is required. Make an appointment online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123

State, County will align with new CDC guidance on mask-wearing

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday, April 27, issued new guidance for mask-wearing for some relatively safe activities, especially for fully vaccinated individuals. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson).

The CDC says everyone can engage in the following activities without wearing masks:

  • Walking, running, hiking or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household, except in certain crowded settings.
  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends.

The CDC says the fully vaccinated can engage in the following activities without wearing masks:

  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
  • Dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

All adults should wear masks and stay six feet apart in large public spaces like outdoor performances or sports events.


Sonoma City Council to Discuss Economic Development Activities During Upcoming Phases of the COVID-19 Pandemic at Monday, May 3rd Meeting

On May 18, 2020, the City Council adopted a Resolution that authorized the City staff, working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Visitors Bureau, and others to take series of steps relating to helping businesses survive during the COVID19 Pandemic. These included:

  • The issuance of temporary use permits, encroachment permits, and/or licensing procedures to allow the city’s businesses to expand their operating space. The resolution mentioned public sidewalks, the Plaza, Grinstead Amphitheater, public rights of way, adjacent private properties, and more;
  • Additional drop-off and delivery parking spaces, along with a clear licensing program for the use of parking spaces for business expansion and to reduce private parking requirements on a temporary basis;
  • The above two items later became “Sonoma Al Fresco” – a way to use outdoor public spaces as “parklets” for dining and other activities during the extended times when retailers’ and restauranteurs’ indoor spaces were closed or restricted; and
  • Fee waivers where appropriate; and
  • Expedited review of these ideas and others via an Ad Hoc Council Committee on Business Recovery and Re-Opening.

As the Sonoma County region has recently re-opened in the Orange Tier and case rates continue to improve, it is time for the Council and community to weigh in about what Sonoma might look like in the potential reopening phases in the coming months. Indeed, should caseloads continue to fall or stabilize, and vaccinations occur at high levels, Governor Newsom has said that following June 15, 2021, many pandemic restrictions may be lifted. Council will discuss and give direction on these activities including the City of Sonoma’s Al Fresco Dining/Parklet Program and Public Events at their regular meeting on Monday, May 3rd.

The public is encouraged to submit comments by e-mail* at publiccomment@sonomacity.org or by attending the virtual meeting on May 3rd and speaking during the public comment period for the agenda item. Find out how to participate in virtual meetings here.

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