Local deaths related to COVID-19 continue to mount.

There were five additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 from over the weekend and another four on Monday, bringing the Yuba-Sutter’s death toll to 50 people so far.

Over the weekend, one of the deaths was a Yuba County resident; the others were from Sutter County. Three of the individuals were in their early 80s, one in their early 70s, and one in their early 60s. All of them had been hospitalized prior to their deaths – some for several weeks, others for only several days.

On Monday, two of the deaths were Yuba County residents, one in their mid-70s and the other in their late 30s; the others were Sutter County residents – one was a centenarian.

“Yuba-Sutter, along with the Greater Sacramento region, remains under the regional stay-at-home order, as well as our local public health advisory,” said Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. “This means residents should be staying home except for vital functions.”

The initial doses of vaccine are expected to arrive and be distributed beginning this week. Luu said the first Pfizer allotment will include 975 doses, which will be available to direct healthcare workers in the area. Per state and national guidance, all of the doses will be allocated to Adventist Health/Rideout, the area’s only hospital.

“We expect more doses to come on a weekly basis,” Luu said. “For the first couple of months, these doses will go to Phase 1A eligible individuals comprised of direct healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.”

Luu said that while information is continuously evolving, she would expect the general public will have access to the vaccine within the next several months.

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the first vaccines being available in our area this week. While we still have some time to oversee rollout, I hope residents feel hopeful as I do, and continue staying strong until we get to that ‘finish line,’” Luu said. “Especially with Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, as well as the cold weather, we have to fight the urge to gather and celebrate as we normally do.”

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 201 on Monday, bringing the area’s total to 8,041 cases.

Sixty-two people were hospitalized as of Monday evening, while 229 residents recovered from the virus.

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