Nearly 80 percent of participants in an informal, online Appeal survey said they are either very concerned or moderately concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic.
But another 15 percent said they were not very concerned and 7 percent said they were not at all concerned about the pandemic.
Russ Brown, Yuba County media and community relations coordinator, said that, through the county’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the virus, they have found that many people base their opinions of the pandemic on several factors unrelated to current virus data.
“We quickly learned that many people in our community want to view COVID-19 through a political lens, even though the work being done to track positive cases and present the numbers through the online dashboard is strictly based on science,” said Brown.
“The people working behind the scenes on behalf of our communities really represent a fair cross-section of the bi-county area, but it’s not uncommon for us to be accused of being persuaded by one end or the other of the political spectrum, depending on what the numbers happen to be on any given day.
“The numbers on the Yuba-Sutter COVID-19 dashboard – particularly the aggregate of the numbers – are solid and tell the story of how the virus is impacting us locally.”
Bi-County Public Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said it is not up to local health officials to decide when the community can safely reopen, so much as it is up to residents.
“It’s up to Yuba-Sutter residents whether they are willing to take this seriously and do what is necessary for the collective whole,” said Luu. “The more people in our community who make the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the faster we will see the positive cases decline, which will eventually allow our economy and schools to open back up.”
Luu said to reopen the Yuba-Sutter community safely, people need to follow basic precautions including staying home when sick, wearing a facial covering, social distancing and washing hands.
“It also means keeping in mind that most new cases are coming from gatherings of extended families and friends,” said Luu. “The same precautions you practice when going out to the grocery store should be practiced when gathering with people who do not live with you under the same roof.”
Elizabeth Kelly, director of Colusa County Health and Human Services, said it is unfortunate that 22 percent of people surveyed don’t believe there is cause for concern.
“This pandemic is affecting everyone, education for our kids, our healthcare systems, and most detrimental, the death of small local businesses,” said Kelly. “This is a serious pandemic and everyone should take it very seriously - wearing face coverings, six feet of social distancing and only go out if you absolutely have to. If we can stay healthy, we can stay open, and create new ways of moving forward that are safe for everyone.”