The Yuba-Sutter area remained in the state’s second most restrictive tier following Tuesday’s reclassifications.

Bi-County Public Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said she remains concerned by slight increases in case counts recently. 

Any time either county goes over seven new cases a day, it is more at risk of being moved back into the state’s most restrictive tier, which would see businesses have to close indoor operations again, she said.

“This week’s metrics show that the case counts are going in the wrong direction, with Yuba County’s case count at 7.4 new cases/100,000 daily. Fortunately, for small counties with less than 106,000 population, the state considers the total new case count within seven days and if it is less than 49 new cases within that seven days, movement from red back to purple tier does not occur,” Luu said. “Sutter County’s case count also worsened, from 2.7 new cases/100,000 daily last week to 4.6 new cases/100,000 daily this week.”

Luu said contact investigators have noticed lax approaches in certain positive confirmed cases, including individuals going to work while mildly symptomatic, individuals not taking home quarantine seriously when identified as a close contact, and residents proceeding to host large wedding receptions despite the state’s guidance prohibiting them at this time.

“These actions have strong consequences, with the potential to push Yuba and Sutter counties back into the purple tier if we do not redouble our efforts to heed the tenets we all know we should be doing,” she said.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 25 on Tuesday, bringing the area’s total to 3,212 cases.

Eight people were hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, while 12 residents recovered from the virus. Twenty-two local residents have died due to COVID-19 to date.

Luu said it’s not just about practicing the tenets in public, but also at home and in social settings, when people are more likely to be in close physical contact with others for an extended period of time. 

She also encouraged residents to get their flu shot soon to avoid a twin-demic.

“The idea of not celebrating the holidays in our typical fashions is difficult and frustrating. But let’s think about what we want this holiday season to be about. I’d say it’s about caring for our family and friends and not inadvertently infecting them with a dangerous virus that doesn’t yet have a vaccine,” Luu said. “Let’s get creative and start planning now on how we can celebrate differently and safely, while still connecting with those we love.”

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