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Beds are scarce at local hospitals and ambulance response times are rising as Sonoma County strains under a cresting Omicron tide. Those were among the main takeaways from an online county town hall meeting Tuesday.
  
Gary Green is an infectious disease physician with Sutter in Santa Rosa, who spoke on the tele-conference.  "The vast majority of patients, 99 percent of the patients admitted to our hospital are unvaccinated. It's a dangerous time to not be vaccinated."
 
County Health Officer Sundari Mase says the sharp uptick is having more seek medical care, as infections among hospital staff mean longer waits for care. 

"Our new case rates are reaching levels not experienced in the two years of this pandemic. A month ago we were averaging about 90 new cases a day. Now we are averaging more than 1,250 new cases a day. Our six hospitals in Sonoma County are being stressed due to staffing shortages and bed capacity issues. Many hospital staffers are out because they've tested positive for COVID or because they have to stay home to care for children who have tested positive."

Mase urges the public to follow, as much as possible, the voluntary stay at home recommendation issued earlier this month.
  
She says contact tracing has linked quite a few cases to several large gatherings. 

"We've documented about three dozen cases that have come directly from an enclosed sporting event and we believe the actual number is much higher than that."

Indoor gatherings are currently limited to 50 or fewer people, outdoor events when distancing isn't possible to 100.
 
 
 
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thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

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