collage of patients and nurses at covid vaccination sites

Year Two of the Pandemic:
COVID Still in the Headlines

Despite heroic efforts around the world to squelch COVID-19 in 2021, the virus unleashed a number of variants that continued to vex experts and tax health care systems, including NorthBay Healthcare.

Just weeks after the Pfizer vaccine arrived, NorthBay launched a series of community vaccination clinics starting Jan. 16 at the Green Valley Administration Center, while continuing to vaccinate employees, first responders and partners at Travis Air Force Base. By February, NorthBay had administered more than 10,000 vaccines.

NorthBay staff giving thumbs up after getting Covid vaccine

The clinic wrapped up operations at the end of April and vaccination efforts moved to NorthBay locations in Vacaville and Fairfield. NorthBay also joined Solano County Public Health and other area health care organizations to provide mass vaccination clinics at the Solano County Fairgrounds.

In March, the Delta variant dominated cases across the state and at NorthBay, with hospitalization rates increasing through the summer months. Compounding the situation was that 43 percent of eligible Solano County residents were still unvaccinated and the unvaccinated made up some 98 percent of those hospitalized with severe symptoms.

In May, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children ages 12-15 and the fairgrounds mass vaccination clinic celebrated its 100,000th vaccination before ending operations at the end of the month.

In August the state issued a mandate requiring all health care workers – with a few exceptions – to be fully vaccinated. August also brought news of coming federal approval for booster shots and by the end of September both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had approved the Pfizer vaccine boosters.

In November, vaccines for children age 5-11 were approved and NorthBay began signups for parents wanting to get their children vaccinated, about a month before the Omicron variant took hold in California.

As hectic as it was for those focused on giving vaccines, 2021 was equally hectic for those offering COVID tests.

At NorthBay, the burden for community testing fell on NorthBay Urgent Care, with two facilities, one in Vacaville, and one that opened in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit full stride. By year’s end, NorthBay Urgent Care facilities performed 22,439 COVID tests, finding 2,516 positive and 19,923 negative cases. Testing at NorthBay Medical Center and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital reached nearly 47,000, with 3,110 positive and 43,860 negative.

In addition to COVID testing, Urgent Care teams continued to see a steady flow of patients for non-emergent conditions, using both in-person, virtual and instant visit technology to diagnose and treat everything from rashes and Urinary Tract Infections to pink eye and abrasions.

With such a positive response for its services from the community, in June NorthBay announced plans to open yet another Urgent Care facility, this time in American Canyon.

The facility, the third for NorthBay, will occupy 4,500 square feet, have 10 exam rooms, X-ray equipment and a laboratory. The building, at 6,600 square feet, will have the capacity to add primary and specialty care services in the future.

Vaccine safety videos featuring Dr. Warner and Dr. Kaufman:

What are the expected side effects?

Concerns about vaccine reactions

Allergic reactions