Daily COVID-19 case counts have improved slightly from the beginning of December, though they continue to be high, said Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu.

The greatest challenge facing the Yuba-Sutter area heading into the new year is the growing number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to Adventist Health and Rideout, she said, as well as the severe cases that have filled up the hospital’s ICU beds.

“Even with the advent of vaccines, this challenge to our hospital’s capacity will continue for months and can only be alleviated by a community that diligently takes precautions,” Luu said.

There were four deaths over the holiday weekend. Two of the deaths were Sutter County residents – one person was in their mid-50s and came from a skilled nursing facility, while the other was in their mid-80s and died shortly after hospitalization over the weekend. The other two deaths were Yuba County residents, one of whom was in their early-80s and the other in their mid-70s – both previously lived at home and were hospitalized for a couple of weeks.

Three local coronavirus-related deaths were reported on Monday. 

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 52 on Monday, bringing the area’s total to 10,095 cases.

Eighty residents were hospitalized as of Monday evening, while 230 people recovered from the virus. Sixty-seven local residents have died due to COVID-19 to date.

“The next several weeks will be very telling, in terms of how careful our community has been during the holidays,” Luu said. “If there is going to be a spike in cases from extended gatherings at Christmas, we will not get those numbers until after the New Year celebrations.

“We continue to be a community that has not been vaccinated, and we need to act as such. The vaccines administered to a portion of the Adventist-Rideout hospital staff were only the first in a series of two, and broader availability of vaccines is still months away.”

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