The Yuba-Sutter area’s confirmed COVID-19 case count increased by 18 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 265.

Five local residents are currently hospitalized from the virus, and four people have died to date. Three additional people recovered on Tuesday.

This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered bars to close in seven California counties due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in some parts of the state. There are currently 19 counties – representing 72 percent of the state’s population, according to CalMatters – that have been identified and placed on a state watch list due to concerns over the increasing confirmed cases and uptick in hospitalizations.

Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said Sutter County is nearing the metrics to be included as confirmed cases begin to climb.

“Despite the significant rise in cases stemming from Sutter County, it’s important to note that the proximity of our communities causes concern for both (us) and other contiguous counties,” Luu said. “We all must do our part to keep ourselves and others from becoming infected.”

Counties that are placed and remain on the watch list for 14 days or more will be required to close their bars. Luu said while the Yuba-Sutter area isn’t in that situation yet, it could be in the next few weeks if community members don’t heed the cry to avoid social gatherings. She said relaxed attitudes when it comes to gatherings have led to infectious individuals bringing the infection to the workplace, which then results in infected co-workers going home and exposing other household members to the virus.

The highest numbers of infected individuals in the area are between the ages of 25 to 44. Nearly 20 percent of confirmed cases don’t develop symptoms, she said.

“At this point, with every activity we chose to partake in, we must assume we are already infected, and change our behaviors to keep from passing it to others,” Luu said. “With the Fourth of July holiday this weekend, please reconsider any social gatherings you may have.”

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