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A snapshot of the pandemic’s scary start out in Sonoma County


The pandemic that began in Wuhan, China in late 2019 to start with hit household for the North Bay in late February of last yr with a passenger exposed to the virus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan and transferred to a Sonoma County medical center from quarantine at Travis Air Power Foundation, in Solano County.

On Feb. 26, federal wellness officers announced that a Solano County woman had analyzed optimistic for the virus in what was considered to be the nation’s initially circumstance of community distribute, indicating the source of her publicity was unknown. She had not been traveling abroad and had not knowingly experienced make contact with with an contaminated individual.

Then two Sonoma County inhabitants returned home unwell soon after having a 10-working day cruise to Mexico aboard the Grand Princess, just one of whose travellers, a Rocklin gentleman, would come to be the initial COVID-similar fatality in California on March 3.

One more passenger, William Tevandale, 77, Healdsburg was the 1st COVID-19 related dying in Sonoma County.

Even though most individuals, including 78 Sonoma County citizens, disembarked in San Francisco right before the ship went onto Hawaii, scores of travellers remained aboard for the next leg of the excursion, allowing coronavirus to circulate among additional than 3,500 guests and crew. Upon their return, they would be held off shore though govt officers determined how to get them back dwelling devoid of exposing however a lot more persons, ensuing in lengthy quarantines at Travis and two other armed service bases out of state.

There was by then a perception that the greater Bay Location, a coastal hub of worldwide small business and tourist journey, was destined for heartache.

Citizens commenced donning masks and singing “Happy Birthday” while they washed raw, crimson palms, and grew leery of approaching strangers amid alarming forecasts of common infection and news of expanding outbreaks abroad.

For Sonoma County Health Services Director Barbie Robinson, there was rigorous arranging and preparation but what she recollects mainly as a prolonged period of time of “it’s coming, it is coming.”

The inflection point arrived March 14, when the county verified its very first scenario of neighborhood unfold, detected just after officials at last acquired necessary testing kits that enabled surveillance screening to get started amid people with the flu-like signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Marin County announced two local community-unfold cases the exact same working day.

What arrived up coming ended up rapid-fireplace pronouncements that every working day activated increased disbelief, as public officials pulled again the reins on day-to-day exercise.

Gov. Gavin Newsom restricted obtain to bars, golf equipment, places to eat and tasting rooms a single day. Bay Spot counties adopted shelter-in-location regimes the subsequent. Sonoma County Health Officer Sundari Mase, 10 times into her new posting, imposed a countywide continue to be-household purchase that took effect March 18, prohibiting all but the most elementary actions.

One particular working day immediately after that, the total condition was place on shutdown, preserve individuals doing the job in precise fields or engaged in actions deemed “essential” — a phrase that would eventually confirm divisive as weeks went on and “non-essential” business enterprise homeowners got still left driving.

“It looks surreal however, a small bit, this past yr, and it’s challenging to think it’s been a calendar year,” Mase explained in a modern interview. “Yet, we have been by way of it, and I see the mild at the conclusion of the tunnel.”

You can get to Team Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or [email protected]

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