Deaths due to COVID-19 have been a much more regular occurrence in the Yuba-Sutter area in recent weeks.

Four people died on Wednesday due to the virus, all of whom were elderly Sutter County residents between 60-90 years old who had underlying medical issues. One death was reported on Thursday.     

“I am very concerned to see the almost-daily reports of deaths from the virus,” said Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. “You need only look at the spike in positive cases back in mid-November to understand why we are seeing a stressed hospital and so many deaths this past week, since death cases lag behind hospitalizations by 2-3 weeks. We have seen this pattern play out a couple of times since the beginning of the year, and it will continue to happen unless we make very deliberate efforts to guard against infection.”

“Residents tend to think an underlying condition must be something so severe and serious – no, that’s not the case,” Luu said. “An underlying risk factor for severe forms of COVID-19 and possibly death is obesity, a condition that a third of Americans have.”

Luu said it’s important to not just focus on the mortality or death rate of the disease, but also on its morbidity.

“Getting COVID-19 can lead to long-lasting symptoms of chronic fatigue, chronic headache, chronic shortness of breath,” she said. “Many who have been infected with COVID-19 have never fully recovered back to their baseline function – the years, decades of quality of life that the disease has robbed them needs to be taken into account.”

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 154 on Thursday, bringing the area’s total to 7,354 cases.

Fifty-seven people were hospitalized as of Thursday evening, while 137 residents recovered from the virus. Forty-one local residents have died due to COVID-19 to date.

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