Bi-County Public Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said contact tracing has indicated that about half of local cases originated from social gatherings, while up to 30 percent come from unknown origin due to the inability of tracers to make contact with the cases or get forthcoming answers.
The rest (20 percent) have come from travel or workplace-related transmissions.
“There seems to be hard pushback against science,” Luu said. “This virus is new (that’s what the ‘novel’ in novel coronavirus means), and has only been infecting humans for 7-8 months. It is unpredictable and scientists and doctors are learning more about how it affects the body.”
She said the science of viral infections shows that the best way to lower the risk of transmission is by social distancing of six feet or more, wearing facial coverings when that is not possible, practicing good hand hygiene, staying home when sick, and limiting the number of households a person interacts with.
“Viral infections are contagious but as we’ve learned, coronavirus is much more so,” Luu said. “These tenets are to lower your chances of transmitting the virus to someone else. It has become a highly contentious issue but at the end of the day, what truly matters is the science that tells us how to protect the lives in our community.”
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Yuba-Sutter area increased by 47 on Thursday, bringing the total to 1,220 cases.
Sixteen people recovered from the virus and 17 residents were hospitalized as of Thursday evening.
Ten local residents have died due to the virus to date, with the latest being on Wednesday. Luu said the most recent patient to die from the virus was in their mid-40s and had multiple underlying medical conditions.