In a “step back,” Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu issued an amended local public health order Friday that will go into effect in both counties on Sunday to align with state mandates related to both counties being added to the state’s watchlist.

What the order means, is that some businesses must shut down and others retreat.

Sutter County was added to the state watchlist late Thursday and Yuba County will be added on Saturday, according to a news release from Yuba County. Even though the two counties will be added to the monitoring list on different days the amended order goes into effect in both counties on Sunday because they are under a single health officer. The state restrictions will happen all at once, Yuba County community relations coordinator Russ Brown said.

On Sunday, bars and brewpubs must close. Restaurants, card rooms, wineries/tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, and museums must close their indoor operations. Outdoor operations at these locations are still allowed.

“This is an unfortunate step back in the progress Yuba-Sutter was making in re-opening the community,” Luu said via the release. “I hope residents will take this time to really practice the safety precautions we all know while at home and when they go out. The only way we can get through this is by working together to stay healthy.”

The state will monitor metrics in the next few days, but local public health officials do not expect that either county will be taken off the list, according to the release. Over the next three weeks, the metrics in Yuba-Sutter will be monitored by the state and if there are improvements the counties will be removed from the list and another phase in of operations can begin.

Metrics include having greater than 100 cases per 100,000 people in a 14-day period and less than 20 percent intensive care unit beds available.

Contact investigators have found that 50 percent of cases are linked to social gatherings, 5 percent from workplace outbreaks, 5 percent from travel, and 40 percent have an unclear origin. The source of a new infection is deemed unclear if contact tracers are unable to get in touch with the infected person, the infected person does not remember where they have been or the infected person withholds information from tracers, according to the release.

As of Friday evening, there were 52 new cases bringing the total to 552. Fifteen people recovered and 23 are currently hospitalized with seven in the intensive care unit. 

For updated COVID-19 information, visit bepreparedyuba.org or bepreparedsutter.org.

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