As COVID-19 restrictions loosen in Sutter County and with Yuba County not far behind, superintendents on both sides of the Feather River are preparing to reopen schools for the first time in more than a year.

For Sutter County, the reopening will happen on Tuesday. Yuba County still needs to advance from the purple to the red tier to be allowed to reopen all of its schools.

Yuba County spokesperson Rachel Rosenbaum said school officials have been directed to the State’s “Safe Schools for All’’ plan, which outlines what modifications should be in place to reopen in-person schooling. These include face coverings, pods, and quarantining after close contact exposure.

With this glimpse of normal routines returning, both counties continue to work through Phase 1B of the vaccination schedule.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still several slots available at the county-sponsored vaccination clinic that is scheduled to take place on Saturday.

According to Rosenbaum, this is the largest first-dose clinic sponsored by bi-county officials to date, with 1,400 vaccinations available. Past county-sponsored clinics, which have been held weekly for the past several weeks, have been well attended, said Rosenbaum. 

“While there have been some no-shows or cancellations, overwhelmingly the clinics have been well-attended and those on the waitlist are eager for a chance to get their shot,” said Rosenbaum. 

Those eligible to receive a vaccine can register for Saturday’s clinic by visiting  yuba.org/vaccines or suttercounty.org/vaccine. Those without access to the internet can register for the vaccination clinic by calling 634-7496 (Yuba County) or 822-5985 (Sutter County).

Blue Shield of California is expected to create and manage a statewide administration network to distribute vaccines directly to healthcare providers, a change which Rosenbaum said local officials expect to happen by the end of this month.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Yuba-Sutter area increased by 19 on Wednesday, with 155 cases currently active. 

Twenty-three people were hospitalized as of Wednesday evening, while 13 people recovered from the virus. 

To date, 141 residents have died from COVID-19.

One death was reported on Wednesday.

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