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Calistoga waits out COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, extension likely

Calistoga waits out COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, extension likely


The shelter-at-home order that was issued for Calistoga and the rest of Napa County on Dec. 17 will remain in place at least through Jan. 8.

The city was placed under the state mandate due to the Bay Area Region having ICU capacity of less than 15%. City Manager Mike Kirn explained that under state protocol, the order cannot be lifted within a region until the four-week look-ahead for ICU capacity is greater than 15%.

The Bay Area capacity as of Tuesday was 5.9%, while Napa County hospitals reported 0%.

Dr. Karen Relucio, the county’s public health officer, told Napa County supervisors on Tuesday morning that the region is almost certain to have the stay-at-home order extended further into January.

When the stricter stay-at-home is lifted, counties go back to the state’s four-color tier system based on new case rates and other data. Purple has the most restrictions, moving to red, orange and yellow with the least restrictions.

“We are in deep purple,” Relucio said.

Napa County had about 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in December. That’s four times the July total and double the November total.

There were 350 new COVID cases reported Tuesday, reflecting an accumulation of cases that were not reported by the state over the New Years holiday, said Janet Upton, the county’s public information officer.

Since March, there have been 6,198 locally confirmed cases, including 3,545 in the city of Napa, 967 in American Canyon, 330 in Calistoga, 210 in St. Helena and 85 in Yountville, the county said.

Two Napa County men have died due to COVID complications, the first deaths of 2021, the county also reported Tuesday.

These deaths — one under age 65, one over — are the county’s 30th and 31st deaths since March, following a major rise in fatalities in December when 11 deaths were recorded. One of the latest deaths occurred in the county, the other out of county, Upton said.

The shelter-in-place order tells people to stay home when possible, but it allows for such things as retail stores to remain open at 20% capacity, houses of worship to hold outdoor services and restaurants to have take-out service. Such services as hair salons and winery tasting rooms are closed.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Napa County has about 139,000 residents. Relucio told supervisors the county has received 6,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and administered 3,318 doses.

Vaccinations are administered based on a phased system that comes from the state and federal governments. That first phase underway includes acute health care workers, those in psychiatric hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, paramedics and dialysis staff.

The coming two months could expand the categories to home health care and dental workers, among other things. March could begin vaccinations for people who are 75 years and older and people in the agriculture, education and child care sectors.

People ages 65 to 74 and the incarcerated and homeless could be vaccinated beginning in April. May and beyond could expand this to people 50 and older, people older than 16 with underlying medical conditions or disabilities and such sectors as community service. Further phases await guidance.

There are other categories in each phase that Relucio presented in detail to supervisors. Relucio said that the actual timelines will depend on vaccine supplies.

People will need to continue practicing the three Ws — wear a face covering, wash hands often and watch their distance from other people — until more people are vaccinated and more is known about the vaccination impacts, Relucio said.

COVID-19 testing

Free county-sponsored testing is available at the Napa County Fairgrounds on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The goal is to have 330 Calistogans tested each day, City Manager Kirn said.

Residents who want to be tested for COVID at the free county-sponsored site should go to for more information.

The county recommends testing for people who are symptomatic, frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable populations. Those who are required to by the State’s industry guidance include essential workers.

Go to to see a list of local testing sites ranging from Napa Valley Expo to local health care providers to local pharmacies.

For more information on COVID-19 and actions you can take to #stopthesurge, visit

Kevin Courtney and Barry Eberling contributed to this story.



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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.

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