With Yuba County moving into the less restrictive red tier and Sutter County expected to follow next week, Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said following safety measures is even more important, since there will be more people out and about.

As businesses such as gyms, restaurants and places of worship reopen at limited capacity, Luu reminded the community that outdoor settings provide a lower risk for spreading COVID-19.

“However, as long as restaurants are doing their best to keep tables spaced apart and taking other precautions like facial coverings and cleaning protocols, indoor dining with only household members at the same table, can be safe,” Luu said. “... If you must eat with others outside of your household, then you should eat out with the same one or two other households that are part of your social ‘pod’ during this pandemic.”

She said spending extended periods at any indoor setting will always carry some level of risk but that the risk continues to drop as the area sees fewer active cases. When eating, Luu said it is natural to set aside a mask, which makes it more important to be eating with someone in the same household or people from other households that are part of a person’s determined social bubble.

“In recent days, we have seen rural counties like Shasta and Tehama have to move backwards in the tier colors, and now El Dorado County is facing the same dilemma,” Luu said. “How we move through the color tiers later will be determined by how careful we are now.”

Cases increased by nine on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,002. As of late Friday, there were seven people hospitalized and 16 recovered on Friday. There are currently 68 active cases and 22 people have died from the virus in Yuba-Sutter.

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