SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) – As COVID cases continue to rise, Sonoma County is sending an urgent request to residents to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days.

Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase issued to appeal which includes limiting interactions with people outside of the household.

A health order was also issued to cancel large gatherings of more than 50 people indoors or more than 100 people outdoors.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, the order will go into effect prohibiting these events.

It will remain in effect until Feb. 11.

Large gatherings are public or private events meeting in venues such as:

  • Auditoriums
  • Gymnasium
  • Stadium
  • Arena
  • Large Conference Room
  • Wedding Venue
  • Meeting Hall
  • Any other indoor/outdoor space

Not included are regular school instructional events, workplace settings, courthouse activities, places of worship, cafeterias, any venue open to the public like malls or restaurants.

“Our case rates are at their highest level since the pandemic began and our hospitalizations are climbing at an alarming rate as well,” said Dr. Mase in a recorded message issued today to Sonoma County residents. “We are seeing widespread transmission occurring within unvaccinated groups as well as some transmission among vaccinated individuals.”

Dr. Mase recommends that residents limit their travel to going to work or school and then necessary trips to the store or doctors.

In the past two weeks, Sonoma County’s rate of COVID cases has increased from 24.4 per 100,000 to more than 121 new cases per 100,000.

The positivity rate reached an all-time high of 16.5 % this week, health officials say.

Hospitalizations due to COVID also increased from 28 to 76 between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9.

“We know what we need to do to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” Dr. Mase said in her recorded appeal to the community. “The next 30 days will be key to helping us stop this rapid spread of this highly contagious variant in our community. We need to get vaccinated and boosted, wear high-quality masks, avoid large gatherings and stay home as much as possible.”