Yuba County reported three additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday bringing the Yuba-Sutter region’s death toll related to the virus to 257 since the beginning of the deadly pandemic.

The three deaths reported on Tuesday were all Yuba County residents and all were unvaccinated, according to Rachel Abbott, Yuba County media and community relations specialist. The three individuals included a person in their early 50s, a person in their mid-60s and a person in their late 60s.

There were 27 people hospitalized Tuesday as a result of COVID-19 in the Yuba-Sutter region with 10 in the intensive care unit. To date, 91.5 percent of those hospitalized as a result of COVID were unvaccinated. 

Since January, 90.81 percent of all deaths related to COVID were residents that were either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, according to the Yuba-Sutter COVID-19 Dashboard. As vaccines have become more readily available, Yuba County has continued to lag behind Sutter County in its vaccination rates. 

In Yuba County, only 47.04 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated. In Sutter County, 56.16 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccinations help “protect adults and children ages 5 years and older from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and helps protect those around them.”

To schedule an appointment for a vaccination or booster shot, residents can access https://myturn.ca.gov/.


The omicron variant

As the region and country continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC on Sunday began testing for the omicron variant of the coronavirus at four U.S. airports, including San Francisco International Airport.

“Information about the omicron variant is rapidly evolving,” Dr. Martin Cetron, director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the CDC, said in a statement. “We are actively working to scale up this collaborative post-arrival airport-based surveillance testing program to monitor for this new variant in arriving travelers.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said during a briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force that the omicon variant hasn’t been identified in the U.S. yet, but suggested it is a foregone conclusion that it will eventually reach the country.

While Fauci said most of the identified omicron cases initially involved young people, who are generally less prone to suffer severe illness from COVID-19 variants, it’s still too early to predict exactly what will happen as the variant spreads.

“We believe it is too soon to say what the severity will be,” said Fauci. “They’re hoping it will be less severe across the board. But they don’t know that yet.”

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