Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Person Washing His Hands


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sonoma County’s mandatory shelter-in-place Order, which started at 12 AM on Wednesday, March 18, has been extended with no end date. Go here for more information.

City of Healdsburg Health Officer: Healdsburg Fire Chief Jason Boaz. Phone (707) 431-3363. Email: jboaz @ ci.healdsburg.ca.us.

Tightened Business Restrictions

As of July, Sonoma County is one of at least 32 counties in California that have had to once again tighten and restrict business activities. 

While the county was allowed to gradually relax business restrictions in June, a recent and worrying increase in positive coronavirus cases throughout California have caused Gov. Gavin Newsom a to dial back business activities for at least several weeks. 

Please go here for the full text of the July 13 order from the State’s Public Health Officer, which provides detailed information on what businesses in California are impacted and what they can do to comply, if allowed.

Sonoma County Schools: Virtual Learning in Fall 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on July 17 that public schools in the 32 counties on the State’s coronavirus watch list – including Sonoma County – must shift to full-time online learning this fall.

Schools may re-open only when COVID-19 cases drop per State health guidelines. That means at least 14 consecutive days of declining COVID-19 cases in addition to following health and safety requirements such as face masks, physical distancing, and coronavirus symptom checks. For more information on this new announcement on school guidance, go to:  https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf 

Alternative Care Site

The County of Sonoma reached an agreement with the Best Western Dry Creek Inn (located on Dry Creek Road near Highway 101) to use up to 60 rooms at the Inn to serve as an ACS for people recovering from COVID-19, those who may have tested positive for COVID (but do not need significant medical care), and those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are awaiting test results. 

Without proper places to quarantine, impacted families and communities see more virus transmission and hospitalizations across the region. Among other things, an ACS allows some community members to safely take family members out of home environments where social distancing is difficult or impossible. This allows families to avoid further infection, protecting them from further harm and slowing the spread of the virus.    

Sonoma County staff has indicated to us that:

• All of the individuals housed at the Dry Creek Inn are referrals from local hospitals or other health care facilities, and

• They have been cleared for isolation at a lower level of care.  

This allows the regional health care system to free up hospital beds and capacity that can be used if the COVID crisis continues to worsen. 

There are only a few persons housed there as we post this in mid-late July 2020. They are housed in a separate building at the Inn, with 24/7 on-site security and an on-site nurse who helps ensure that those staying at the Inn are properly cared for and that they remain inside their rooms through recovery and quarantine. 

๐—”๐˜ ๐—ป๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ป ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด (๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜†๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ), ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ณ. The Inn’s staff do not access the building at all – there is no contact between other Inn guests, Inn staff, and the residents of the ACS building.  Patients are also transported to and from the specific building in an ambulance operated by the County. At the end of their stay and when cleared, patients exit the building and are transported back to their home community or to an appropriate level of care as needed. 

The Dry Creek Inn will continue to serve as an ACS site for an indefinite period as needed. Healdsburg is not alone in hosting part of the COVID care continuum. Other communities in the county are hosting COVID-related uses, such as housing formerly un-housed persons at high risk should they be exposed to the virus.     

Frequently Asked Questions on Alternate Care Site

Q: Who will use the facility?
A: The ACS is a non-traditional medical site for those diagnosed COVID-19 positive, as well as those who have been tested and need a place to isolate as they await their test results. There is no way we (at Sonoma County Department of Health) can anticipate who will be staying at the ACS, it is based on referrals from health care facilities, however it can include the groups referenced above. 

Q: Can folks here have visitors – family or friends?
A: No. 

Q: How are meals delivered?  
A: A contracted food service provider prepares/delivers meals to a receiving area and our medical services contractor delivers the food to patients. 

Q: Are all materials for meal delivery (containers, utensils) disposable?
A: Yes. 

Q: Where does the trash go?
A: The trash from the ACS will be collected by a contracted vendor and any medical waste will be disposed of appropriately by the medical waste services provider. 

Q: There is space outdoors accessible to the ACS residents; what does that mean for social distancing for neighbors?
A: The outdoor space for patients is an enclosed secure space connected to their individual rooms - similar to a balcony or terrace. They are in isolation and in quarantine. Residents staying here at the ACS are from all walks of life including everyday residents such as you and me. The patients here do not need to be feared. 

Q: When patients are referred from a hospital setting, are all of the residents of the ACS Sonoma County residents?
A: In most cases yes, however there may be some rare instances where a County hospital will send someone to isolate that does not reside in our County. 

Q: Would anyone be coming to the ACS from a prison hospital setting, such as San Quentin?
A: No. If they are being referred from a prison hospital, individuals such as these would be symptomatic and referred to hospital settings due to acuity. 

Q: Who is responsible for maintaining that these virus-positive people remain at the ACS and do not come in contact with local residents?
A: They are under the Sonoma County Public Health Officer’s Health Order for isolation/quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis and there is onsite 24-hour security to ensure patients do not leave the premises. 

Q: Are homeless people staying there?
A:  The ACS is intended for any individual in the County who may need to safely isolate if they are COVID-19 positive or quarantine if awaiting test results regardless if they are sheltered or unsheltered. 

Q: Is this strictly an ACS? Not traditional housing or temporary housing?
A: This is not temporary housing. It is strictly for people who have COVID-19 so they can recover or who are awaiting their test results and do not have a place to do this. 

Q: What are the criteria for release back home?
A: To be cleared to leave the Alternate Care Site (at Dry Creek Inn), an individual must complete the 14-day isolation period. There are specific protocols that are different for each person, depending on what environment they will go back to, and what role that they have there.  For example, there are protocols for persons being discharged back to congregate settings; protocols for caregivers such as those who work in skilled nursing facilities, and more. 

Q: What is the age range of those we expect in the facility?  
A: There is no way we can anticipate the age range of individuals staying at the ACS; it is based on referrals from health care facilities.

Resources for You and Your Family

SoCoEmergency.Org 

The main resource on coronavirus here in Sonoma County is www.socoemergency.org. The County of Sonoma regularly updates and maintain this information. Here are some other resources to help you through this difficult time.

You can also call 2-1-1 or text your zip code (95448) to 898-211. This hotline is staffed by operators from Wine Country to the Rescue, who can answer questions about coronavirus.

Electric, Water and Wastewater Services

We realize the coronavirus will deeply impact the economy and people’s livelihoods. Therefore, the City of Healdsburg is suspending water and electric utility service disconnections for non-payment and waiving late fees indefinitely for City utility customers (residential and commercial). Previously, these fee waivers and grace period were to end on May 31. 

We encourage customers to pay what they can and work out repayment plans for past due amounts when County of Sonoma’s Shelter-in-Place Order has ended. To discuss your utility bill, please call the City’s Utility Billing Department at (707) 431-3307 or email utilitybilling@ci.healdsburg.ca.us.

CARE Program

On May 4, the City Council approved expanding the City’s low-income electricity discount program, known as the CARE program, to serve more people.  Previously, a family of four could earn no more than $52,400 per year to qualify for this electric discount. CARE program qualification chart_May 2020

Now, a family of four can earn up to $90,900 per year and still get the discount. The qualifying income levels remain the same for water, wastewater and drainage fees. 

Helping Families Save Money:  From April through June 2020, the City of Healdsburg provided a 100 percent discount on electricity to qualifying low-income City of Healdsburg electric customers. This saved more than $72,000 to more than 500 households in Healdsburg for those three months – roughly $140 per household.  

The City also made it easier to qualify for the low-income discount by raising income-qualification limits. As a result, an additional 100 families were able to save money on their utility bill. Starting July 1, the City began offering its regular electric discount of 25 percent on the monthly bill for qualifying customers, as well as discounts of 15 percent on water and 20 percent on sewer and storm water charges.

If you’ve lost wages, you may be eligible for the City’s utility discount program. Eligibility criteria can be found on the CARE program’s application. For more information, go to: https://www.ci.healdsburg.ca.us/173/Utility-Programs, email UtilityBilling@ci.healdsburg.ca.us or call (707) 431-3307.

Seniors and Older Adults

The City of Healdsburg is here to help our community through the COVID-19 health emergency. One of our focus areas is our senior and older adult community. The City’s Community Services Department has developed four programs to ensure our seniors and older adults are connected and have the essential supplies they need throughout this time. 

In addition, we are working to create opportunities for people to take care of one another. For more information, please visit www.cityofhealdsburg.org/269/Senior-Service, email senior@cityofhealdsburg.org, or call 707-431-3324.  

Also, go to this link for Sonoma County resources for those ages 65 and over and other groups more vulnerable to coronavirus.

Rec @Home: For Kids and Adults

The new Rec@Home website is an online resource of indoor activities for all ages. While nothing compares with getting outside and enjoying nature and our public parks, indoors can be a safe space for learning, fun, and staying active too! These games, challenges and other resources are for everyone.

Need Help? Looking to Help? "Neighbors Network" Might be for You

The City is here to help our community through the COVID-19 health emergency. If you need assistance getting food, essential supplies, or other help, we can work to match you with a volunteer who can assist you. If you are looking to volunteer to help someone in our community, let us know. We are also here to help organizations who are in need of volunteers. For more information and to submit requests for help or to volunteer, please visit  the City’s Volunteer Program.

Practice Good Hygiene

The most effective and pro-active things you can do to protect you and your family are to shelter-in-place, wear a face mask and stay at least six feet away from other people when you have to leave home, and to practice good hygiene:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. That doesn’t just mean before you eat and after a bio break -- it’s also, for example, after you leave the store or another public place. If you don’t have soap and water available, use a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. That includes surfaces you may not normally think of, like your car steering wheel, your purse or wallet, and your credit cards.
  • Do. Not. Touch. Your. Face. This is hard because we all do it subconsciously, but try to remember to use a tissue if you must touch your eyes, face or mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

More Coronavirus Information

Story Map: Sonoma County’s GIS team has created a story map dashboard that gives a daily update of the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Sonoma County as well as in California and nationwide. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - COVID-19
World Health Organization - COVID-19

Video Messages from the Mayor and City Manager