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COVID-19 Status Update – Reopening Metrics, Testing Options, School Reopening, Sports Guidance & Vaccine Distribution

Posted on February 26, 2021


COVID-19 Status Update

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Sonoma County remains the most restrictive “purple” tier in the state’s framework.  As of February 23rd, the County has 14 new daily cases per 100,000 (down slightly from 14.2 last week), a test positivity rate is 4.6 percent (up from 3.9 percent) and an equity metric positivity rate of 7.7 (up from 5.4 percent). The County needs to be below 7 daily cases as well as have a test positivity rate and equity metric positivity rate below 8 percent for two consecutive weeks in order to move into the next less restrictive tier (red).

Help move Sonoma County out of the Purple Tier- Get Tested!

Although our case rate is down significantly in recent weeks, Sonoma County is still experiencing widespread community transmission and test positivity has increased. Knowing your COVID status helps you protect yourself and others, reduces transmission, and helps move Sonoma County closer to getting people back to work and school. You can get tested for free at sites throughout Sonoma County seven days a week and test results are usually given within 24 to 48 hours.

For testing sites throughout the County seven days a week, go to Sonoma County’s COVID-19 Testing and Tracing page, and visit the pop-up testing calendar for times and locations of places you can get tested.

Pop Up Testing in Sonoma Valley This Week

7 AM – 7 PM Weekly LHI Mobile Unit at Hanna Boys Center
The LHI Mobile COVID-19 Testing Unit has relocated to Hanna Boys Center 7 am-7 pm 2-3 days/week. The unit will be there today (2/26) through Sunday (2/28). Registration for the self-administered nasal swap test is required, simply:

  • Register and make an appointment online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123
  • Arrive shortly before your appointment with your mask and wait in line, have your patient ID number handy!
  • Check-in with your patient ID number. You will then be handed the testing materials and directed to a window on the exterior of the bus.
  • A health care practitioner provides you with instructions on administering the test (swap the inside of each nasal cavity 5 times) and return through the window.

Future dates for this unit will be posted on the County’s pop up calendar.

2 PM – 4 PM on Wednesdays at St. Leo’s
Sonoma Valley Community Health Center offers 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.

10 AM – 4 PM on Mondays at St. Leo’s – Curative
The County Health Department recommends that only those with symptoms of COVID-19 use this option at this time. 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.

School Reopening Plans

Recent guidance under California’s Safe Schools for All Plan allows Sonoma County schools serving grade levels from transitional kindergarten to sixth grade to be eligible to return to in-person learning with an approved COVID-19 Safety Plan, based on the County’s adjusted daily case rate of less than 25 per 100,000 residents for five consecutive days. All other grade levels are restricted from returning to in-person learning until Sonoma County moves into the red tier.

Before reopening for in-person instruction, eligible schools serving grades TK-6 are required to submit their COVID-19 Safety Plan to state and local health officials for review and approval, and to make the approved plan available online. These plans address in detail the safety precautions that a district and individual school sites must take to ensure the safety of students and staff including: detailed testing protocols, how contact tracing will be handled, the logistics of student dropoff, room spacing, air ventilation, and much more.

Upon approval of the safety plan, schools may reopen as long as the County has a case rate below 25 per 100,000 residents for five consecutive days for grades TK-6. Once the County moves into the red tier for five consecutive days, schools serving any grade level (TK-12) can reopen.

A list of schools that have submitted COVID Safety Plans for review by the County Health Officer as well as those schools that have been cleared for reopening is now being posted at https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/education/.

Schools located in Sonoma Valley that have submitted COVID-19 Safety Plans to DHS for Review:

  • Kenwood School
  • Sonoma Valley Unified School District
  • Sonoma Charter School – Approved

Schools located in Sonoma Valley with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Approved School Waivers:

  • The Presentation School
  • St. Francis Solano Catholic School

Youth and Recreational Adult Sports – Outdoor Low-Contact Sports Now Permitted

The state’s new guidelines outlining when certain sports can resume outdoor and indoor play based on a county’s tier are effective today, Friday, February 26th.

In the guidelines, youth and adult sports are classified by their level of contact and transmission risk. The classification applies to competition or training/practice with others. It does not apply to individual conditioning or exercise. The following outdoor low-contact sports are permitted in Widespread or Purple Tier counties such as Sonoma County:

  • Archery
  • Badminton (singles)
  • Biking
  • Bocce
  • Corn hole
  • Cross country
  • Dance (no contact)
  • Disc golf
  • Equestrian events (including rodeos) that involve only a single rider at a time
  • Fencing
  • Golf
  • Ice and roller skating (no contact)
  • Lawn bowling
  • Martial arts (no contact)
  • Physical training programs (e.g., yoga, Zumba, Tai chi)
  • Pickleball (singles)
  • Rowing/crew (with 1 person)
  • Running
  • Shuffleboard
  • Skeet shooting
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Track and field
  • Walking and hiking

Please refer to the State’s chart of which sports are allowed in each tier of the state Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

For the full list of sports within each category, as well as additional safety guidelines, visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreat ional-sports.aspx

Vaccine Distribution – Weather-Related Shipping Delays, Blue Sheild to Serve as the State’s Third-Party Administrator

This week, the County of Sonoma expanded eligibility to include residents 65-69 years old, grocery and restaurant workers (see the County’s press release in English and Spanish).  Unfortunately, due to national weather-related shipping delays, a number of clinics were postponed, including the Sonoma Valley Health Partners (SVHP) drive-through clinic originally scheduled last Sunday.  Appointments for the SVHP first dose vaccinations have been rescheduled for this coming Saturday (2/27) and those who were scheduled to receive their second dose on Saturday (2/27) have been rescheduled to Sunday (2/28). Some clinics – including the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center clinic at the Veteran’s Building – have postponed first dose vaccinations until further notice due to the disruption in supply.

As of Wednesday, 97,575 Sonoma County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is equal to more than 23 percent of the county’s adult (16+) population. The County now has the capacity to administer more than 5,000 doses per day, but supply remains limited. The County’s allocation this week is 7,610 doses.

Starting March 7th, Sonoma County’s vaccination campaign is set to fall under third party administrator Blue Shield as part of the State’s effort to help optimize and accelerate COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution equitably, efficiently, and safely throughout the state.  Once Sonoma County is switched over to the new system of administering vaccinations, all vaccination appointments will be made through the state’s My Turn website. All residents are encouraged to register to be notified when they are eligible or when appointments open up at https://myturn.ca.gov/.

The County’s vaccine distribution website, SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine is continually updated, giving the public detailed information about the vaccination rollout, safety and how the vaccine is being disseminated in Sonoma County.

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