Subscribe

Sonoma under curfew

Keep holiday gatherings to own household, Sonoma County health officer asks.|

Sonoma County was on the cusp of hitting the data requirements to move into a less restrictive tier when the rest of the state saw a surge in coronavirus cases leading the governor to call for a curfew that started on Saturday, Nov. 21.

The curfew, which started Saturday and is set to expire Dec. 21, is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. It is unlikely to have a negative effect on most businesses in Sonoma Valley, said Mayor Logan Harvey.

“Most people are home by 10. People always joke that Sonoma shuts down by 8:30, 9,” Harvey said. “Other than a few bars, that’s always been true. I don’t see it having much affect.”

Harvey said he doesn’t know how the county plans to enforce the curfew, and said the City of Sonoma has no additional resources available to enforce it.

Sonoma County Sheriff spokesperson Juan Valencia said the department cannot walk onto private property to check on rules-breakers should a complaint be called into law enforcement.

Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s health officer, said Monday that the governor essentially put the “emergency brake” on any tier movement and the state has not given the county a health equity metric for a couple weeks. Sonoma County has been in the purple tier, the most restrictive of the four color-coded tiers defined by the state, and was making strides to move out of it when the surge took place.

The health equity metric is one of three factors in determining a county’s tier level under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The others are an adjusted case rate per 100,000 people over a seven-day average, and the positivity rate over a seven-day average.

Mase said the county was averaging 11 to 12 cases per 100,000, and that has gone up to 15 cases per 100,000, but the numbers for the week of Oct. 25 looked good and would have qualified for the red, or “substantial” tier, which allows some non-essential indoor business operations to open. But in order to move into a new tier the data must remain constant or improve for two weeks. The county’s numbers did not meet the requirement the following week.

The enhanced strategy the county put in place in October and the discovery of non-electronically counted tests is starting to give Mase hope though.

“Everybody can be assured that we can meet those metrics,” she said.

Sonoma Valley continues to have a higher case rate than other parts of the county, sitting in the top five of all the county’s ZIP codes for active case rates.

Sonoma County has administered more than 280,000 tests and has 11,486 (or 2.26 percent of the population) active cases. About half of those cases trace the source of transmission to close contact.

Small private gatherings and restaurants are among the sources for transmission, and Kathryn Pack, health program manager for the county’s epidemiology team, said there are some cases traced to Halloween activities, though data is still be processed.

It is a “bit difficult” to track cases among restaurant customers given that tracing asks people to account for their activity for 14 days, and some people don’t remember all the places they have been, she said.

Of the active cases, 71 percent are among the Hispanic/Latino community, which accounts for 27 percent of the county’s population.

There are 1,706 active cases, which is .34 percent of population, 155 deaths (1.3 percent of cases,) and 9,625 cases recovered (84 percent of cases) in the county. Sonoma Valley Hospital declined to provide a number for hospitalized patients.

Mase encouraged people to avoid gathering with people outside of their households.

“Really there is no safe way to gather indoors this year with people who are not in your household,” she said. “The safest way to celebrate the holidays is to gather only with those who are already in your household. If you want to celebrate with non-household members we ask that you keep it outdoors, keep it small, short and stable.”

Where to get tested in Sonoma County

Pop-up testing takes place ta Sonoma Park & Ride in Boyes Hot Springs every Monday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. It is free and open to everyone regardless if they have symptoms.

The State of California and OptumServe are offering free testing to the general public by appointment only at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds (1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa) and the Bluebird Community Center (25 Bluebird Drive, Windsor). The testing is billed to residents’ insurance providers, but those without insurance can receive a test without any out-of-pocket costs. Fill out the patient survey at lhi.care/covidtesting to find a location and schedule an appointment. Results may take up to six days to receive. For more information, call 888-634-1123.

The County of Sonoma is offering pop-up testing at a number of spots across the county. Pop-up locations include Cloverdale Plaza, Coddingtown Mall and Roseland Library in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg Day Labor Center and the Burton Recreation Center in Rohnert Park. Tests are provided for free and whether or not you have symptoms of COVID-19. Check the county’s pop-up calendar for more details.

CVS offers free drive-thru COVID-19 testing to adults and children ages 10 and older at select locations throughout California. In the North Bay, the self-swab testing is available at 2075 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa, 291 South Coombs St. in Napa and 150 South Main St. in Fort Bragg. Children ages 10-15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Testing availability is limited, and appointments must be made at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.

Sutter Health is offering coronavirus testing by appointment only. Before being tested, call the COVID-19 advice hotline at 866-961-2889 or make an appointment with your doctor for a video consultation. The testing is billed to patients’ insurance providers. For more information, visit sutterhealth.org.

West County Health Centers is offering coronavirus testing to current patients who have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Screening appointments before testing can be scheduled by calling the health center at 707-824-3391. The testing is billed to residents’ insurance providers. For more information, visit wchealth.org.

Kaiser Permanente members can take an assessment online to see if coronavirus testing is deemed necessary. A referral and appointment is needed before a patient can be tested. The testing is billed to residents’ insurance providers. Call 1-866-454-8855 or visit healthy.kaiserpermanente.org to fill out the COVID-19 assessment.

Project Baseline is offering free drive-thru testing to residents who are at least 18 and aren’t experiencing severe symptoms. Testing is available by appointment only at Rite Aid (955 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa). Before making an appointment, residents must register with Project Baseline at projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/. For more information, visit socoemergency.org.

ADX Healthcare is offering drive-thru testing at the Sonoma Community Center (276 E. Napa St., Sonoma) on weekdays from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Testing also is available at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa) on week days from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. and the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds (175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma) on weekdays from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. No doctor’s referral is required, and testing is available to residents ages 2 and older. People make an appointment and pay for the test, which costs $149, online before completing a supervised self-swab at the testing site. For more information, visit covid19.adxhealthcare.com.

Albertsons Pharmacies has partnered with Phosphorus Diagnostics to offer at-home COVID-19 tests for $139.99 at Safeway (2785 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa). Residents either can pick up their test or have it delivered for an additional fee. Once they’ve completed the test, samples can be returned to the lab in a prepaid FedEx envelope. They’ll be notified of their results via text or email. For more information, visit scheduletest.com.

Contact Anne at anne.ernst@sonomanews.com.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette