Published: December 10, 2021
The good news this week is that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been relatively stable and we have not seen an increase in deaths in Sonoma County. However, since it is a winter virus, an increase in cases can be expected regardless of the variant, according to public health officials. We spend more time indoors, where the virus spreads especially fast. People will be reuniting with family and friends over the holidays, which usually spells a bump in cases a few weeks later.
To date, nearly 27 percent of newly eligible children in the county have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. School clinics report strong demand, which has contributed to a very encouraging start to the county’s pediatric vaccination campaign. The county’s top priority is to build on this momentum and get more of our newly eligible children vaccinated and protected.
Almost 83 percent of our eligible population 5 years and older is now fully or partially vaccinated, and health officials remain focused on administering the first and second doses, and encouraging all who are eligible to receive a vaccine from reinforcement, so that more people are fully protected.
This remains an unvaccinated pandemic, with the unvaccinated accounting for the majority of hospitalizations and nearly all deaths. In Sonoma County, people who are not vaccinated are nine times more likely to be infected, 40 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 16 times more likely to die.
It is vital that we use our known preventive measures to avoid an increase in cases and hospitalizations. We know what works. Get vaccinated and increase the dose. Wear a mask. Increase ventilation. Get tested. Stay home if you are sick.
Today’s summary provides useful and important updates on the following:
Update on Vaccine Distribution for Children 5-11 Years
- Update on the Omicron variant
- Vaccine and Testing Clinic Schedule Update
- Helpful guidance for Christmas gatherings, travel
- COVID-19 Community Resources and Support
- Other news from Sonoma County
Update on Youth Vaccine Distribution in Sonoma County
Sonoma County public health leaders, physicians, health care clinics, schools, pharmacies, and community groups continue to work together to educate families about the safety and benefits of the vaccine and to ensure that vaccines are distributed as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.
The county’s pediatric vaccination campaign is off to an encouraging start, with nearly 27 percent of eligible children ages 5 to 11 having received at least one dose. Parents are encouraged to contact their pediatrician or a local pharmacy to find a vaccine for their children. Pharmacy appointments can be made through Myturn.ca.gov.
More than 40 vaccination clinics are being held at designated schools across the county to serve people who do not have convenient or affordable access to healthcare providers.
A list of upcoming school clinics is available on the Sonoma County Office of Education website:
Update on the Omicron variant
Although we are still dealing with the highly contagious Delta variant, no cases of Omicron have been reported in Sonoma County to date. However, it is important to note that very little is still known about the transmissibility, clinical presentation and severity of the disease, the risk of infection, and the efficacy of the vaccine relative to the new variant.
This week’s COVID-19 community report included updates on pediatric vaccines and the Omicron variant. The information session is available to view in English on the county’s Facebook page and in Spanish on the county’s YouTube channel.
Community Information Meeting December 8 (English):
Community Information Meeting December 9 (Spanish):
Upcoming Opportunities for Testing, Vaccination, and Boosters
The county vaccine clinics website is continually updated to make it easy to see which clinics are operating each day, where they are located, and how to schedule an appointment.
Residents who need help making a vaccination or testing appointment can contact the Sonoma County Immunization and Testing Hotline at 707-565-4667 (4701 in Spanish).
See the vaccine clinics and appointment page here:
If you have symptoms or have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you should be tested regardless of your vaccination status. Appointments are strongly encouraged as walk-ins are limited.
Quarantine if you’ve been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless fully vaccinated.
For details or appointments on COVID-19 testing clinics, including a pop-up testing schedule, visit:
Helpful guidance for travel and holiday gatherings
People planning to travel and attend meetings while on vacation should make sure they have the proper documents required by some destinations, airlines, and events to prove their vaccination or proof status. According to the CDC guidance, people who are not vaccinated should avoid travel and vacation gatherings.
Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your friends from becoming infected with COVID-19 and avoid another spike in cases like the one we witnessed last year over the holidays.
Get a digital copy of your California immunization record here:
If you have lost your immunization card and your digital record is in error, ask your primary care provider to provide you with a copy of your immunization record.
More tips to protect yourself and others this holiday season: