MedicalWe put the call out for your questions related to the coronavirus pandemic, and you’ve had plenty. We've received questions about how many people are currently hospitalized, what moving into Stage Two of reopening means for seniors, going to the dentist, and more. 

Here are a few answers to some of those recent submissions. We answer more each Tuesday night during our virtual coronavirus Town Hall with Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase. If you have a question, please submit it using the form at the right.

How many people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19? — Vicki, Michael and Bob

You can find updated data on COVID-19 hospitalizations by county on this California Department of Public Health dashboard.

The dashboard shows the number of hospitalizations reported each day in connection with the virus. Patients are listed in four categories: hospitalized patients who have tested positive for the virus, hospitalized patients suspected of having the virus due to exhibiting symptoms typically found in COVID-19, patients in intensive care who tested positive for the virus, and patients in intensive care suspected of having the virus.

In Sonoma County as of May 20, it shows four patients in the hospital positive with COVID-19 and 24 patients suspected of having COVID-19. Two positive patients are in the ICU, and two suspected COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.

We are now entering stage 2 but what does this mean for seniors? Are they still to be going out only for essential needs? —Anonymous

People aged 65 and older are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, they are strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. 

In Sonoma County, there is nothing in the health order that prohibits seniors from leaving home to perform allowed activities. But the order says people at high risk “should make a reasonable effort to avoid leaving home by utilizing delivery services, telecommunications, or other means available.”

"I would advise anybody who's at higher risk to still comply and remain at home," Mase said during our Tuesday Town Hall.

When will it be safe to go to the dentist for non-emergency dental work? —Anonymous

Permitted dental care in Sonoma County has recently been expanded to include more non-emergency services, including things like cleanings and other preventative care.

On May 7, the California Department of Public Health sent new guidelines to dental offices as the state moved into Stage 2 of the state's reopening plan, including criteria for dental offices to reopen. These include local infection rates, personal protective equipment requirements, and COVID-19 screenings for patients, according to the California Dental Association.

Some dentists throughout California, therefore, have started reopening for preventative care with extra precautions. 

Keep an eye out at for additional changes to the local health order.

Do you have a coronavirus-related question? Submit it using the form at the right or at We answer questions weekly on our virtual Town Hall each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Pin it

NorCal News

  • Default Image
    April 13, 2021

    Businesses have more options in orange tier

    After spending six months stuck in the state's most restrictive purple tier, Sonoma joined the majority of the Bay Area in the second least restrictive orange tier last week because of low COVID numbers in the county. Being in the orange tier means COVID spread is moderate and businesses can…
  • April 12, 2021

    Windsor mayor under sex-crimes cloud

    Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli is refusing to step down despite sex-crime allegations from half a dozen women, including a fellow city council member. An increasingly isolated Foppoli is rejecting calls to resign from just about every North Bay political leader after accusations emerged late last…
    April 07, 2021

    Sonoma County enters orange tier

    Sonoma County's virtual community COVID-19 briefing.Less than a month after moving out of the state’s most restrictive purple tier, the County made it into the more relaxed orange tier Wednesday. The announcement comes a day after Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state’s aim to fully open up the…
  • IMG 7932 3
    April 06, 2021

    Health Fair vaccinates hundreds of residents

    Art about the COVID-19 vaccine by Santa Rosa art nonprofit Raizes Collective at the Cesar Chavez Health Fair. People waited in line starting at 9 a.m. to get one of the 200 Moderna vaccines given out at last weekend’s Cesar Chavez Health Fair in Santa Rosa’s Martin Luther King Jr, park. The event,…
  • Document
    April 01, 2021

    Santa Rosa hands out weather radios to boost alert system

    A NOAA Weather Radio. (photo courtesy of the City of Santa Rosa's website)Santa Rosa is boosting its ability to notify residents when a fire breaks out through weather radios. The battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio is common in the Midwest for tornado alerts. And it’s activated by the National…
  • Screen Shot 2021 03 31 at 10.19.40 AM
    March 31, 2021

    Sonoma County teens design quarantine mural

    Santa Rosa-based art organization Artstart's Shelter in Place Mural. (photo courtesy of Jennifer Tatum). COVID has affected everyone, old and young. But for teenagers, being stuck at home has been especially challenging and often painful. That's why when COVID hit last March, Jennifer Tatum, the…
  • covid 19 4987797 1280
    Mar 29, 2021

    COVID-19 easing, while vaccine distribution hits bottleneck

    By Marc Albert Improving data suggests vaccines are gaining the upper hand and COVID-19 related restrictions across Sonoma County may be eased as…
  • Screen Shot 2021 03 24 at 5.08.32 PM
    Mar 24, 2021

    New Data Shows an Uptick in Fatal Drug Overdoses

    COVID-19 numbers are on the decline after Sonoma County moved into the state’s red tier a week and a half ago, but communities are facing other types…
  • kelp 966305 640
    Mar 19, 2021

    Abalone season cancelled, at least until 2026

    By Marc Albert With wild abalone populations decimated by a string of environmental setbacks, besides over-fishing. State officials reiterated Friday…
  • grass
    Mar 19, 2021

    Sonoma likely facing challenging drought

    One of the driest winters on record locally, may cause serious water issues this summerBy Marc Albert The rainy season has hardly been generous.…
  • 031721 SC briefing1
    Mar 17, 2021

    Sonoma County schools planning April return to campus

    About 70,000 school students across Sonoma County are heading back to classrooms in April. So far, 47 schools across Sonoma County have the green…
  • covid 19 4960254 640 1
    Mar 12, 2021

    Covid Restrictions to Ease Sunday

    As predicted, declining new COVID-19 infections and other metrics will allow Sonoma County to ease pandemic-related restrictions this weekend. KRCB's…
  • IMG 1289
    Mar 12, 2021

    The Power of Art for Vaccine Outreach

    Advocates, artists, healthcare professionals and residents gathered in Santa Rosa's Roseland Neighborhood on Valentines Day to showcase and pass out…
  • coronavirus 4957673 1280
    Mar 10, 2021

    Some COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted as soon as Sunday

    By Marc Albert Sonoma County is on the brink of being able to lift some pandemic-related restrictions….as soon as this weekend. That could mean…
  • 1176395 525823344149750 1670783702 n.png 632307 pixels
    Mar 10, 2021

    Sonoma schools readying classrooms for resumption of classes

    Sonoma County schools are preparing for students’ return to campuses. Credit: “Courtesy of SCOE With vaccines more available, cases waning and the…
  • classroom 2093743 640
    Mar 05, 2021

    Santa Rosa Public Schools Plan Return To Classrooms April 1

    Santa Rosa’s public school district and its teacher's union have agreed on a plan for getting kids back into classrooms on April 1. The tentative…

NorCal News Radio

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.