COVID-19 numbers in the Yuba-Sutter area have remained fairly static in recent days, although case counts, hospitalizations, test positivity rates and deaths are still high, according to Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. 

“With the arrival of the vaccine, we finally have a light at the end of the tunnel; but we are not in the clear yet,” said Luu. “Rollout of the vaccine will take time and patience and during this time we still need to practice the tenets we all know to slow the spread.”

According to Luu, Yuba and Sutter counties are now in Tier 2 and 3 of Phase 1A of the vaccination schedule, which covers: staff and residents of intermediate care facilities; home health and in-home support services staff; public health field staff; community health workers; primary care and physician clinics; and urgent care clinics. 

The bi-county area has already completed the first tier of vaccinations, which went to staff and residents of acute care/skilled nursing/assisted living facilities; first responders including paramedics and EMTs; staff of dialysis centers; and psychiatric inpatient staff, said Luu. 

“Vaccine distribution has been coming along,” Luu said, “Albeit a bit slower than expected for a multitude of reasons – lack of consistent vaccine supplies, limited staffing capacity, and limited registered vaccination sites that can attest to the state’s requirement for vaccine storage and handling.”

Approximately 100 first responders in Colusa County received the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday and Marcos Kropf, Colusa County counsel, said vaccine distribution within the county is going well thus far.

“We are moving through the state vaccine allocation guidelines and are currently completing Phase 1A,” said Kropf. 

According to Kropf, the county has received a total of 495 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to date. 

Of the vaccines received, 195 have been the Pfizer vaccine and the other 300 were the Moderna vaccine. 

Kropf said 200 doses have been dispensed to Valley West on Tuesday.

“We have allocated 100 doses to first responders such as fire department staff which are currently being vaccinated and the remainder have gone to Colusa Medical Center and other medical clinics such as Ampla for health worker staff.”

Kropf said the county has not received any indication from the state as to when they will  receive additional vaccine allocations at this time but, per state Phase B1 guidelines, the next people within the county to receive vaccines will be various categories of at-risk persons.

On Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Yuba-Sutter area increased by 136, bringing the area’s total to 11,152 cases.

Eighty-eight residents were hospitalized as of Wednesday evening, while eighty-five people recovered from the virus. Ninety Yuba-Sutter residents have died to date due to the virus. 

Of the five deaths reported on the dashboard Wednesday night, four were from Sutter County and one was from Yuba County.

In Colusa County, health officials reported 1,468 positive COVID-19 cases within the county as of Wednesday – an increase of 136 new cases since Dec. 29. 

“County health officials are concerned about how the recent holidays may affect the positivity rate but at this point the infection rate is so widespread we don’t anticipate a significant spike beyond what we are experiencing now,” said Kropf. 

Of the total COVID-19 cases reported within Colusa County, 373 are active cases in isolation – including 14 individuals that have been hospitalized at this time  – and another 115 individuals are in quarantine due to possible exposure. 

To date, 1,086 people have recovered from the virus and nine virus-related deaths have been reported. 

Kropf said the most recent death, which was reported on Monday, was a 59-year-old female with a number of underlying health conditions.

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