What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

En español »

The County of Sonoma is monitoring and coordinating with the State of California regarding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, is a member of the same family of viruses that causes colds. Because novel coronavirus is new, we are learning more each day about how it spreads.

Symptoms

County residents should contact their healthcare providers if they have symptoms such as fever and cough. If you have symptoms and are concerned about COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider, and they will make the determination if you should be tested for COVID-19. Currently, testing is being reserved for those who are considered most at risk. There is currently a shortage of resources to collect specimens for testing. Currently, there are enough tests in the County.

  • The vast majority of cases around the world are mild, with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • A much smaller percentage of cases are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions.

If you are ill and need medical attention, call your medical provider for guidance.

How is it Spread?

Through coughing and sneezing

Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

Always wash your hands after touching objects or surfaces before touching your mouth, nose to prevent the spread of viruses and germs

Prevention

Treatment is similar to that for other viral infections. The County encourages everyone to practice good hygiene to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as influenza or COVID-19. Recommendation from the CDC include:

  • Social Distancing »
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
    • For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu if you have not done so this year
    • Fewer people getting ill frees up medical resources, and
    • Avoiding the flu will help keep your immune system healthy
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Many coronaviruses naturally infect animals. Of the seven that can infect humans, four are so common that they infect most people at some point. Coronaviruses are thought to spread through the air by coughing, sneezing and close personal contact, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

The outbreak of this new virus began in December 2019. While the illness started in China, people with the virus have been confirmed in many countries including the United States.

Since this coronavirus is new, health authorities are still learning more about the virus and how it spreads. The situation is quickly changing and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides updated information as it becomes available: www.cdc.gov/ncov

The new COVID-19, which is also known as the new coronavirus, is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) refers to the virus, while Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) refers to the disease.

While many who have the virus may have very mild symptoms, some experience symptoms that are more severe. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, and aches. The illness can progress to shortness of breath, pneumonia and related complications. Symptoms may also include nausea with vomiting and diarrhea. Those who are more likely to experience more severe symptoms include older individuals and those with underlying health conditions. At this point, children do not seem to be particularly vulnerable to severe illness. As more data are collected on the outbreak, more information will be known as to who is most affected.

There is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus and no specific cure for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. For severe cases, medical care may be needed to relieve symptoms and support vital organ functions until the patient recovers.​​​

An epidemic is an outbreak that has spread over a large geographic area. When the outbreak spreads globally, it becomes a pandemic. A pandemic is more about how widespread the disease is and NOT how severe the disease may be.

You may have heard about the CDC alerting the country to prepare for a possible pandemic. While we need to be concerned about the possibility that the novel coronavirus will spread more widely, this news is more of a call to action than a cause for alarm, and furthermore, is an opportunity to think through what we can do to be prepared. Because we do not know yet how severe the disease may be, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Yes. Coronavirus, a respiratory illness like the flu or cold, is not spread through tap water. Sonoma Water, our drinking water supplier, uses chlorine to eliminate pathogens, which includes viruses. This ensures safe drinking water for all our customers. There are no impacts from the coronavirus to the City’s public water system. Santa Rosa Water’s staff is highly trained and prepared for emergencies and has contingency plans in place to provide water supply.

While spread from a person who does not yet have symptoms (pre-symptomatic transmission) to others has been documented, we do not know how often or easily this happens.​​

The World Health Organization says studies have shown that COVID-18 may last for a few hours or several days on surfaces. It all depends on temperature, the kind of surface, and humidity. Using a simple disinfectant on all reachable surfaces is a good idea.

At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

You may see some people buying and wearing face masks, but you should know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend that healthy people wear a mask to prevent novel coronavirus. Masks are not foolproof, and there is not strong evidence that wearing one in public will keep you from getting sick. We do not recommend healthy people wear facemasks or respirators to protect from novel coronavirus.​​

Surgical facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).

We know that everyone is concerned about the novel coronavirus. The best thing we can all do is take action to practice safe hygiene and prevention measures to keep ourselves and our family members safe. If you are at higher risk, additional precautions about being in public spaces are recommended below.

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services has engaged public health colleagues from the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for assistance.  DHS will continue to work with them and other partners to respond to cases, to trace contacts, and to understand what is going on in our community. The County Emergency Operations Center has been activated to plan and respond to this public health situation. Colleagues from across county government are helping with the response.

Yes. Sonoma County has confirmed cases of coronavirus, including community spread. Please go to the “Coronavirus in Sonoma County” page on SoCoEmergency.org to find out the latest number of local cases. https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-in-sonoma-county/

The County maintains official emergency information for the public at SoCoEmergency.org and is working with local jurisdictionsto ensure consistent, accurate, information and resources are available messaging for the community. All information is provided available in both English and Spanish, and in numerous other languages using Google Translate.

Load More

Hygiene & Prevention

Start good hygiene practices now, and begin preparing your family and home over the coming days and weeks.

  1. Practice good hygiene:
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
    • Keep your hands clean. Wash hands with soap and water or by using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. And, don’t forget to clean your cell phone, if you use one.
    • Stay away from people who are sick.
    • Do not touch your face (nose, eyes, mouth) because viruses can spread to you when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes. Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what should be done if a pandemic occurs, and what the needs of each person will be.
  1. Plan for how to care for family members if they get sick:
    • Discuss how you are going to care for family members or loved ones if they become ill, including how to protect the ones giving care.
    • Think about a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. If possible, also choose a bathroom that only the sick person would use. Plan to clean these rooms daily. Learn how to care for someone at home.
    • Identify alternative childcare or consider keeping your children at home.
    • If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to stay connected to neighbors, information, and resources. The County is posting regular messages to its website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor.
    • Identify organizations in your community that can help. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.
    • Create an emergency contact list. Ensure that your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, and other community resources.
  1. Stock up on recommended supplies:
    • Keep a 2-week supply of food in the home. You do not need to purchase bottled water. Tap water is safe and coronavirus is not transmitted through the water supply.
    • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home. If you can, have at least a one-month supply of your prescription drugs.
    • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins, and also a thermometer to monitor temperatures of anyone feeling feverish.
    • Ensure a ready supply of cleaning supplies (soap, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizers, bleach, rubber gloves, disposable face masks, tissues, toilet paper, and cold medicines.
  1. Practice self-care to reduce stress:
    • It can be as simple as taking time throughout your day to take a deep breath, connect with a friend or loved one, get adequate sleep, have a cup of tea, listen to music. Here are some other ideas for taking care of mental health during a time of uncertainty: Coping with Stress. If you are experiencing extreme anxiety, call your healthcare provider.

You may see some people buying and wearing face masks, but you should know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend that healthy people wear a mask to prevent novel coronavirus. Masks are not foolproof, and there is not strong evidence that wearing one in public will keep you from getting sick. We do not recommend healthy people wear facemasks or respirators to protect from novel coronavirus.​​

Surgical facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).

Sheltering in place is a more stringent form of social distancing.

Sheltering in place means: Stay home and only go out for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” or for “essential travel” as those terms are defined in the Order.

Social distancing means: Stay 6 feet or more away from others and do not attend or participate in public or private gatherings.

If someone in your household becomes sick with coronavirus or another respiratory illness, there are several actions you can take to care for them and keep yourself from getting sick.

  • Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. Help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider before you travel to the healthcare provider’s office. This will help staff take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected.
  • When possible, household members should try to stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible.
  • If people do not have an essential need to be in the home, they should not visit while a person is ill.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. If hands are visibly dirty, using soap and water is preferable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the patient. Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly.
  • Each day use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions to clean all high-touch surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
  • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids.
  • Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, use a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
  • Place all used disposable gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other trash. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items.
    For the most complete guidance on preventing the spread of coronavirus please visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#f1.​​​

To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with the coronavirus. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread the coronavirus. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

According to the CDC, although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with the coronavirus, it is still recommended that people sick with the coronavirus limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick with the coronavirus. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#animals

Social distancing is a way to slow the spread of a virus. Social distancing includes personal things you can do, and larger public health actions that can be taken. In addition to general health precautions, members of the public may take these measures to protect themselves and others:

  • Avoid large public venues such as theaters or sporting events.
  • Postponing or changing social gatherings or events.
  • Stay away from people who show symptoms of an illness.
  • If you work closely to others, try to keep a distance of approximately three feet from the nearest person while at work.
  • Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.

It is important to consider the impact of social distancing on one’s emotional state as this could make some people feel more extreme emotions.  Read more about how to take care of yourself and loved ones’ emotional health when social distancing, quarantine, or isolation is necessary.

Eating out

Per the current Sonoma County Health Order, issued on March 17, 2020, restaurants are open for delivery, takeout and curbside pick up only. The order was issued as an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID- 19 in our communities. When picking up your food order, continue safe practices of social distancing of at least 6 feet of another person and washing your hands with soap or using hand sanitizer. 

Fresh produce

The coronavirus can’t live in food, though health experts aren’t sure how long it may last on the surface. As with any fresh fruit and vegetables, wash it thoroughly with water before consuming them. According to Consumer Reports’ testing, there’s no data to suggest you need to wash them with soapy water.When in the grocery store, please practice good hygiene by wiping down your grocery cart handle and using hand sanitizer. Use tongs or available plastic sheets to select breads, pastries or salad bar items. Stay away from people who are sneezing or coughing. Don’t touch any produce that you aren’t going to buy.

Load More

Government Response

On March 2, 2020, Sonoma County declared a Local Emergency and a Local Public Health Emergency, and have mobilized staff throughout the County to assist in keeping our community safe from the spread of coronavirus. On March 17, 2020, the Health Officer issued a shelter in place order limiting all but essential business and government operations to mitigate the spread of the disease.

County Health officials are coordinating with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor local coronavirus cases. Officials are also working closely with local schools, health care providers, and other partners to share guidance and tools to keep people safe.

The County maintains official emergency information for the public at SoCoEmergency.org and is working with local jurisdictions to ensure consistent, accurate, messaging for the community. All information is available in both English and Spanish, and in numerous other languages using Google Translate.

HIPAA requires that we do not release patient information that could be used to identify a patient, including the location of a patient. Citation: 45 CFR 164.514. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a 1996 Federal law that restricts access to individuals’ private medical information.

California’s price gouging law prevents business from wrongfully profiteering on essential goods, supplies and services during an emergency. If you are the victim of price gouging due to the coronavirus, or if you have information regarding potential price gouging, you can file a complaint through the Sonoma County’s District Attorney’s office or by calling (707) 565-5317. Read the District Attorney’s statement on price gouging: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/DA/Press-Releases/Ravitch-Warns-Against-Price-Gouging-Coronavirus/.

Yes, on March 3, 2020 Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency to help the state prepare for broader spread of coronavirus. On March 19, the California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health expanded the order to require all individuals living in California to stay at home except for essential needs. The order is in effect until further notice.

This proclamation includes increased protections against price gouging, offers more assistance to local governments, and allows health care workers to come from out-of-state. You can read the proclamation at:

https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/04/governor-newsom-declares-state-of-emergency-to-help-state-prepare-for-broader-spread-of-covid-19/

This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor not to follow the Order punishable by fine, imprisonment or both (although the intent is not for anyone to get in trouble). It is critical for everyone to follow the Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the whole community.

 

We hope you’ll comply with the closure order. If rangers find you in a park, they’ll let you know the parks are closed and ask you to leave. The intent is first to educate and ask for your cooperation. If you refuse to comply, you could be cited.

Currently, Sonoma County residents are under the March 17 Health Order to shelter in place, part of the ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All businesses deemed “nonessential” have been instructed to close. (Read the entire Order, including what consists of an essential business, here.

If you know of a non-essential business that is violating the order, please report it by calling your local law enforcement agency.

For updates on California’s coronavirus response, visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/

The county public health lab as well as other private labs are currently running tests to identify cases in the community.

There is currently community transmission of COVID-19 in Sonoma County. DHS continues to consult public health colleagues from the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for assistance. DHS will continue to work with them and other partners to respond to cases, to trace contacts, and to understand what is going on in our community. The County Emergency Operations Center is activated. Colleagues from across county government are helping with the response.

If your work is not an essential business you are not allowed to go to work and your employer is not allowed to require you to attend except to sustain Minimum Basic Operations as defined in the order.  You may work from home if your work allows.

If you think your employer is violating your rights as an employee you may contact the Department of Industrial Relations – Labor Commissioner at https://www.dir.ca.gov.

At this time, the April 10 deadline for the second property tax installment has not been changed due to the COVID-19 emergency and the continuing Health Order to shelter in place. The deadline is set in state law and will require state action to change it.

However, the Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collectors Office (ACTTC) has authority to extend the payment deadline in the event of an office closure, and waive penalties and interest under certain circumstances, per two California revenue & tax codes (RTC):

  • Per RTC 2619, if the tax collector is closed on April 10, payments would be considered timely and no penalties would apply if paid by 5 p.m. on the day ACTTC re-opens to the public (or midnight for electronic payments). Currently, the ACTTC is scheduled to re-open to the public on Monday, April 6, but this is subject to change.
  • Per RTC 4985.2, ACTTC can waive penalties and interest if late payment is due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the tax payer’s control.

The ACTTC has a long history of working with property taxpayers on everything from catastrophic wildfires to floods to individual hardships. This situation is no different and we expect to do everything we can to assist taxpayers in this case.

If you have the means and ability to pay by April 10 please do so. This revenue helps keep government agencies running and providing vital public services, especially in times like these.

If you cannot pay on time, please be on the lookout for further instructions on our website regarding how to apply for penalty waiver.

The County is working closely with local homeless shelters to determine their capacity and how many people are anticipated to need placement in alternative locations. Priority for placement in alternative locations, such as motels/hotels, will be given to people who are 65 years or older, medically compromised, pregnant, and who are ill and being tested for COVID-19.

Both the Cities and the County are working to secure alternative sites for overflow from shelters.

The County has created guidance for shelters on mitigation strategies and a process for screening, and medical assessment and testing.

The County will also work through its street outreach teams to identify vulnerable and symptomatic individuals who are living outside, using a similar process as used in the shelters.

In addition to accomodation in hotels and motels, the County is creating an isolation site for homeless individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals who are placed at this site will be supported by medical staff and there will be resources on site for them such as food, water, and security.

The following are resources for service agencies providing care for people experiencing homelessness:
State of California Guidance for Homeless Providers (3/18/2020)
CDC Resources to support people experiencing homelessness (3/22/2020)

Load More

Shelter in Place – General Information

This Order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 18, 2020 and will continue to in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 7, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer.

This Order, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, requires that most people stay home unless they are engaged in certain “Essential Activities,” which are discussed more below.

For most people, this means that you and the people you live with should remain at home. You are allowed to leave your home for specified reasons to make sure you have the necessities of life (discussed more below) such as getting food and medical supplies. You are also allowed to go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk, and just to get outside, so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people. If you are sick you should self-isolate, including, to the extent you can, from others you live with.

The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the designated exceptions listed in the Order.

In other words, everyone should stay home to slow the spread of the virus. You should limit your movements to essential outings.

Some reasons you would leave your home are to get food, to get a prescription, to see a doctor, to go to work if your work is essential as defined in this Order, to take your child(ren) to and from childcare if that childcare facility is authorized under this Order, and to help people you care for get the things they need to live and be healthy and safe (see more below).

Sheltering in place is a more stringent form of social distancing.

Sheltering in place means: Stay home and only go out for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” or for “essential travel” as those terms are defined in the Order.

Social distancing means: Stay 6 feet or more away from others and do not attend or participate in public or private gatherings.

All first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, and law enforcement are exempt from this Order.

This Order is mandatory. All persons and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order. It is critical for everyone to follow the Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the whole community.

This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor not to follow the Order punishable by fine, imprisonment or both (although the intent is not for anyone to get in trouble). It is critical for everyone to follow the Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the whole community.

 

This Order is in effect in all of Sonoma County. In addition, similar orders are in effect across the Bay Area, including in Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties. Neighboring counties – Lake, Mendocino and Napa – have also issued similar orders.

The Sonoma County local Health Order is consistent with the State’s Order. Our order implements the State order in a way that is tailored to Sonoma County, and will continue to remain in effect. The Governor’s order emphasizes social distancing and sanitation, reminding us that it is important to stay home whenever possible, except for essential activities like groceries.

Currently, Sonoma County residents are under the March 17 Health Order to shelter in place, part of the ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All businesses deemed “nonessential” have been instructed to close. (Read the entire Order, including what consists of an essential business, here.

If you know of a non-essential business that is violating the order, please report it by calling your local law enforcement agency.

This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community. There are cases of community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people.

Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed.  If do not take steps to slow the spread, we may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill.  Our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services.

If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.  The Order also protects everyone’s ability to seek emergency health care when needed.

Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks. Every hour counts. We need and appreciate the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in Sonoma County to act immediately.

If your work is not an essential business you are not allowed to go to work and your employer is not allowed to require you to attend except to sustain Minimum Basic Operations as defined in the order.  You may work from home if your work allows.

If you think your employer is violating your rights as an employee you may contact the Department of Industrial Relations – Labor Commissioner at https://www.dir.ca.gov.

At this time, the April 10 deadline for the second property tax installment has not been changed due to the COVID-19 emergency and the continuing Health Order to shelter in place. The deadline is set in state law and will require state action to change it.

However, the Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collectors Office (ACTTC) has authority to extend the payment deadline in the event of an office closure, and waive penalties and interest under certain circumstances, per two California revenue & tax codes (RTC):

  • Per RTC 2619, if the tax collector is closed on April 10, payments would be considered timely and no penalties would apply if paid by 5 p.m. on the day ACTTC re-opens to the public (or midnight for electronic payments). Currently, the ACTTC is scheduled to re-open to the public on Monday, April 6, but this is subject to change.
  • Per RTC 4985.2, ACTTC can waive penalties and interest if late payment is due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the tax payer’s control.

The ACTTC has a long history of working with property taxpayers on everything from catastrophic wildfires to floods to individual hardships. This situation is no different and we expect to do everything we can to assist taxpayers in this case.

If you have the means and ability to pay by April 10 please do so. This revenue helps keep government agencies running and providing vital public services, especially in times like these.

If you cannot pay on time, please be on the lookout for further instructions on our website regarding how to apply for penalty waiver.

Load More

Quarantine & Isolation

Quarantine is used when someone has been exposed to a communicable disease, but they are still well. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of exposed people during the time when they may become ill. It lasts as long as needed to make sure the person does not have the disease.

People under quarantine for the new coronavirus are given legal and specific instructions to stay home and stay away from others. They are regularly contacted by DHS to make sure they are home and to see if they have gotten sick. If needed, additional legal measures can be taken to ensure they stay home and stay away from others.

Isolation is used to separate people who are sick with a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of disease. People may be isolated at their home, or in a hospital, or in another location, as long as it enables the ill person to be separated from those who are well. The period of isolation lasts until the ill person has recovered and is no longer contagious.​

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. People may feel:

  • Anxiety, worry, or fear related to:
    • ƒYour own health status
    • The health status of others whom you may have exposed to the disease
    • The resentment that your friends and family may feel if they need to go into quarantine as a result of contact with you
    • The experience of monitoring yourself, or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of the disease
    • Time taken off from work and the potential loss of income and job security
    • The challenges of securing things you need, such as groceries and personal care items
  • Concern about being able to effectively care for children or others in your care
  • Uncertainty or frustration about how long you will need to remain in this situation, and uncertainty about the future
  • Loneliness associated with feeling cut off from the world and from loved ones
  • Anger if you think you were exposed to the disease because of others’ negligence
  • Boredom and frustration because you may not be able to work or engage in regular day-to-day activities
  • Uncertainty or ambivalence about the situation
  • A desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope
  • Symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, or sleeping too little or too much
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive distressing memories, flashbacks (reliving the event), nightmares, changes in thoughts and mood, and being easily startled

If you or a loved one experience any of these reactions for 2 to 4 weeks or more, contact your health care provider or one of the resources below.

Hotlines

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline

Toll-Free: 1 (800) 985-5990
SMS: Text TalkWithUs to 66746
TTY: 1-800-846-8517
Website: http://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

Toll-Free: 1-800-662-HELP (24/7/365 Treatment Referral Information Service in English and español)
Website: http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Toll-Free: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)
TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
Website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Treatment Locator

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
Website: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/locator/home

SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center

Toll-Free: (800) 308-3515
Email: DTAC@samhsa.hhs.gov
Website: http://www.samhsa.gov/dtac

 

Load More