The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and public health leaders recognized the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic today by paying tribute to health care workers, the county’s partners and the community for crucial work that saved lives, reduced hospitalizations and slowed transmission of the deadly virus. Two years ago this week, the county Health Officer issued a shelter-in-place order to protect the public as the virus spread in the Bay Area. While COVID-19 would take a heartbreaking toll — particularly on seniors, communities of color and essential workers — Sonoma County weathered the pandemic far better than most places in the United States and is emerging from it even stronger because of the collaborative relationships forged during the crisis, said James Gore, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Countless lives have been saved by the tireless efforts of our local health care workers, who worked around the clock to care for more than 2,700 Sonoma County residents who became hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19 over the last two years,” Gore said. “We are grateful for their dedication and professionalism during the most challenging public health emergency the county has ever faced.” “Equally important is the work by the county’s public health team and our partners. They vaccinated more than 380,000 people over the last 15 months, created places for vulnerable populations to quarantine and shelter, and distributed essential aid. Their efforts saved untold lives by keeping people out of the hospital and slowing the spread of the virus,” Gore said. “The community stepped up, too, particularly front-line workers, schools, local businesses and nonprofits who kept our county moving through the crisis. We owe them all a debt of thanks.” As a result of the work by the county, its partners and the community, Sonoma County remained safer and healthier than most places in California and the United States. Among the key metrics:
● 81 percent of Sonoma County residents age 5 and older are now fully vaccinated, compared to 74 percent of Californians and 69 percent of Americans.
● 64 percent of the county’s eligible population is now boosted, compared to 57 percent of Californians and 46 percent of Americans.
● Death rates are significantly lower in Sonoma County, where 97 people per 100,000 residents died from COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, compared to 222 deaths per 100,000 in California and 291 deaths per 100,000 in the United States.The county Department of Health Services thanked the county’s many partners, including local hospitals and federally qualified health centers, home health medical teams, community-based organizations, the Sonoma County Medical Association, education leaders, promotoras and the volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the past two years to educate and vaccinate the public. The department also saluted the county health staff, epidemiology and logistics teams and the COVID-19 Urgent Response and Aid team, known as the CURA Project, which includes groups such as Latino Service Providers, Corazón Healdsburg, IsoCare Network, La Luz Center and many others. Other community-based groups, including La Familia Sana, Raizes Collective, River to Coast, NAACP, Sonoma County Black Forum and Pacific Islanders Task Force played pivotal roles by distributing information and resources to the most vulnerable members of the community.“The pandemic forced organizations across the county to break down silos and collaborate for the common good. The bonds that emerged during the pandemic will last long after it is over, helping Public Health address an array
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