How we’re slowing coronavirus

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Sonoma County is working to minimize the impacts and spread of coronavirus, decrease severe illness, and prevent deaths within the entire community. Our response strategically prioritizes communities with the greatest needs using race disparity research, community voices and wisdom, and public health best practices.

Testing

Sonoma County offers free community-based testing to residents through fixed testing sites, a dedicated testing site for close contacts, and mobile pop-ups to provide greater access to testing for all of our residents. Testing is free, and no ID is required. People tested through our County lab receive results through text or email within 24-48 hours.

The County also advocates for increased state testing resources, such as the state-run testing sites in Santa Rosa, Windsor and Petaluma.

Find out how to get tested here.

Contact tracing

When someone tests positive for coronavirus in Sonoma County, whether at a hospital, state testing site or our own lab, the County will follow up to conduct a case interview. These interviews help identify people who have had close contact to a person with coronavirus. The County’s team of contact tracers will contact those close contacts to provide testing options, quarantine or isolation details, and links to resources for support. Our team provides free testing for anyone who is a close contact. 

Our contact tracing team is made up of nurses, trained contact tracers, and social service workers to meet the needs of the community, including bilingual, bicultural staff. 

Helpful data

In order to provide resources and testing to the areas most impacted, the County’s epidemiologists analyze local coronavirus data and make program recommendations. This team, in partnership with the same GIS experts who bring you our fire maps, also maintains the coronavirus dashboard to share important, transparent and timely data.

Information for our Latinx community

The County knows that in addition to providing all coronavirus information in English and Spanish, the Latinx community needs different, culturally relevant information at times, and receives information using different channels than English speakers.

The County relies on data, bilingual and bicultural staff and stakeholders to inform Spanish language communications. We coordinate with Latinx stakeholders to disseminate information using trusted voices, Spanish media channels, and innovative methods like videos in Latinx supermarkets. 

Additionally, the County partners with community organizations like On the Move and the CURA Project, which is a collaborative of 15 local grassroots organizations. Community organizations educate and provide residents with services like financial support and incentives, information, personal protective equipment, and other assistance for farm workers, laborers, and other Latinx and indigenous-speaking communities.

Financial Assistance

The County and nonprofit partners are offering residents who meet financial thresholds and who lack access to paid leave emergency financial assistance to help offset the cost of staying home during the quarantine and isolation period. This assistance is available to residents regardless of imigration status.

Isolation and Quarantine Support

The County offers individuals quarantine and isolation support if they are unable to isolate or quarantine safely at home because they live with other people who are vulnerable to COVID. The County has vouchers or hotel rooms with medical services, meals and laundry for free during isolation and quarantine.

Alternate Care Site

The ACS is for individuals who have coronavirus that do not require hospitalization, but still require some level of monitoring by medical staff such as Registered Nurses and Medical Assisted Personnel; and those who are pending coronavirus tests who are unable to isolate at home. The ACS is located in a Healdsburg hotel with a capacity of 60 rooms.

Information and Education

The County shares public health recommendations and resources from local, state and federal partners using a wide array of tools. Most notably, the County uses SoCoEmergency.org, social media, media partnerships, print advertising, digital programmatic advertising, radio, TV and streaming services to provide information and encourage safe behavior. 

Business Partnerships

The Sonoma County Health Services Department and Economic Development Board (EDB) provides information to employers to increase worker safety. Increasing worker safety and decreasing the spread of COVID-19 is a key component of a safer economy. Tools include the one-stop resource shop SoCo Launch, the Sonoma Safe self certification to help businesses create required coronavirus workplace safety plans,  and much more. Additionally, EDB sends regular newsletters with updated information directly to businesses, holds webinars with subject matter experts and is a point of contact for the business community. 

When the County learns of three or more people testing positive at one workplace, our public health nurse teams will launch an outbreak investigation to support employers in containing the outbreak and preventing further transmission. We help employers identify close contacts among staff, support employees through isolation and quarantine, and provide free testing to contacts at the end of their quarantine to clear them to return to work. We also work with employers to identify mitigation measures to prevent outbreaks in the future.

Non-Congregate Care Sites

The County’s non-congregate sites, often referred to as NCS, offer temporary shelter to individuals who have not been diagnosed with coronavirus, but are considered at high risk of serious complications should they contract the virus. Individuals who are unsheltered and are over the age of 65 or have underlying medical conditions meet the criteria for placement at NCS locations. The County has the capability to shelter about 60 people at non-congregate sites, with the ability to serve an additional 100 people if needed.

Public Health Lab

The Public Health Lab has redirected all resources and expanded capacity to test for coronavirus with new equipment, additional staff and supplies. The Lab provides guidance on specimen collection and testing procedures, monitors regional lab resources and provides aggregated testing results to the state. The lab currently has capacity to process 750 specimens per day.