Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said the daily count of positive COVID-19 tests within the Yuba-Sutter region remains very high and the impacts of exposure during the holiday season is not yet fully known. 

“Testing remains a very important component to understanding how the virus is progressing in our community so that we can do everything possible to reduce the spread,” said Luu. 

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 120 on Monday, bringing the area’s total to 11,842 cases.

Seventy-one residents were hospitalized as of Monday evening, while 271 people recovered from the virus. 

Two local deaths were reported on Monday – a total of 99 local residents have died due to COVID-19, 73 in Sutter County and 26 in Yuba County.

While numbers remain high in the region, Luu said vaccination efforts are currently underway for healthcare workers listed in both Tier 2 and Tier 3 of Phase 1a.

“Vaccinations are particularly vital for our frontline health workers, because, up to this point, staffing at our hospital and clinics has been hampered at some level by COVID-19 infections within those ranks,” said Luu. “A healthier medical community is vital in the months before widespread availability of the vaccines.”

After Tier 3 is completed, the county will move into Tier 1 of Phase 1b. Within that tier, persons over the age of 75, food and agriculture workers, education and childcare providers and emergency medical service personnel including police officers, firefighters and correctional officers will be eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Next – within Tier 2 of Phase 1b – persons ages 65-74 years of age, transportation and logistics staff, critical manufacturing, industrial, commercial, residential and sheltering facilities and congregate settings with outbreak risk, including jails and homeless facilities, will be next in line within the vaccination schedule. 

In the next phase of the vaccination schedule – Phase 1c – outlined by bi-county health officials thus far, persons over 50-64 years of age, persons 16-64 with medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19,  as well as personnel from the following sectors will be eligible for vaccination: water and waste, communications and IT, chemical and hazardous materials, government operations, community-based essential functions, defense, energy and financial services.

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