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Sonoma County Supervisory Board President Calls for Urgent Action in Response to Coronavirus

Susan Gorin, chair of Sonoma County’s supervisory board, stressed on Tuesday the need for urgent action to tackle the spread of coronavirus, a widespread level of community transmission that hampers the county’s ability to open more businesses and public places as other counties in the Gulf region are showing significant progress.

During a virtual meeting of supervisors, Gorin said locals and business leaders are constantly wondering what the county’s plan is to reduce daily co-infections with COVID-19 enough to resume more commercial activity as part of the state’s opening plan. four stages for 58 counties.

Since the end of August, Sonoma County has sunk into the lower stages of opening, forcing them to comply with strict restrictions for months, such as a ban on indoor eating and drinking in restaurants, wine tasting rooms and mulled.

“Everyone is hurt and very stressed and we hope we may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel with some action going forward,”

; Gorin said.

Her comments were directed to the county administration Cheryl Bratton and director of health services Barbie Robinson, who are leading the development of a new multilateral strategic plan to alleviate the severe public health and economic effects of the pandemic disease.

The plan, which public health officials say should be finalized this week, includes: increasing COVID-19 testing; offering financial assistance to residents who become infected with the virus but who have not paid sick leave from their employers; and vouchers for low-income hotel residents who have tested positive for infection but cannot be effectively isolated at home from family members.

Bratton said the plan also includes working with the local business community to increase financial support for employees who are positive for the virus. Specific details of the final plan proposal will be presented to the county supervisors at the board meeting on October 20.

Meanwhile, the county administration told supervisors Tuesday that it will work with health officials this week to identify sources to pay for the implementation of the new pandemic response plan.

Local authorities have admitted that they are trying to emulate some of the successful tactics for responding to the public health pandemic in Alameda and Santa Clara counties. Both counties have made significant progress in suppressing the virus, allowing them to continue to open businesses and ease operating restrictions for others.

Robinson, director of health services, said public health officials were “working frantically” finalizing the details of the strategy. Robinson said the work should be completed by the end of the week.

Robinson and District Health Officer Dr. Sundari Masse briefed the leaders of private meetings on Friday and Monday on the progress of the plan and the elements under consideration.

Such “urgent” COVID-19 legislative meetings are permitted under an executive order from California Gov. Gavin Newsum earlier this year, said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition. Elected officials can receive information and questions and ask questions at such meetings, but are prohibited from discussing any information presented to them during the meetings, Snyder said.

A Press Democrat reporter on Tuesday asked the county for a transcript or notes from the two private meetings. The district authorities have not yet responded.

In response to Robinson, Gorin called the public level of anxiety “quite intense” and stressed the urgency of the situation and the need to inform the public about what new tactics the county plans to take to try to control the spread of the virus.

“I hope we are not delaying the details when we need to post more information on our media channels to inform our community potentially about how we are moving forward,” Gorin said. ourselves, let’s put it there. “

On Tuesday, as expected, government officials announced that Sonoma County would remain at the most restrictive recovery rate due to the high daily rate of COVID-19.

The state evaluates counties every Tuesday using three indicators that measure success or failure in controlling the virus. These are new daily cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the total positive sample rate and the positive sample rate in the most unfavorable neighborhoods in the county.

According to estimates on Tuesday, the rate of transmission of the virus in the county of 10.6 new daily cases per 100,000 does not reach the threshold to qualify for progress under state guidelines. This percentage is 8 or less new daily cases per 100,000 people.

The two levels of test positivity of the district are 5% for the municipality as a whole and 7.5% for disadvantaged residents in the local communities. The latter is known as an indicator of equity in healthcare. While the positive sample rates are below the 8% minimum set by public health officials to resume progress, the county continues to be held back by high levels of virus transmission.

If Sonoma County can meet the state’s minimum requirements on the three criteria, it can resume indoor business with limited capacity in restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and museums, among others. Also, companies that are already allowed to operate indoors could increase their current indoor operating capacity.

As the pandemic continues to have a severe impact on the economy and residents who have contracted COVID-19, Gorin said there is a “growing sense of urgency” among local businesses and residents for local officials to take the necessary action to accelerate the pace of the opening of the county.

You can contact staff writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @pressreno.

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