The California Department of Public Health notified local health officials Tuesday afternoon that the regional stay-at-home order for the Greater Sacramento Region was being lifted, reverting the Yuba-Sutter area back to the state’s tiered system.
The state’s regional stay-at-home order largely limited Californians’ movement to essential needs and services and was based on a particular region’s ICU bed capacity.
Now returning to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy system, the area remains in the state’s most restrictive tier (purple), which means many non-essential indoor business operations must stay closed. Counties are placed into the purple tier when there are more than 7 new cases per day per 100,000 people and testing positivity is higher than 8 percent.
“Though the regional stay at home order is being lifted, our case counts and test positivity are still very high and we need to redouble our efforts to re-flatten the curve,” said Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu.
Sutter County currently has an average of 54.2 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people and an 18.5 percent positivity rate, while Yuba County has 62.3 new cases per day per 100,000 people and a 17.4 percent positivity rate. In order for either county to move into the next less restrictive tier (red), each would have to get between just 4-7 new cases per day per 100,000 people, and have a test positivity between 5-8 percent.
“We are not seeing the massive spikes in COVID-19 cases like we did back in late November and throughout December, and there is some slight decrease in the test positivity and case counts – still very high overall, but at least heading in the right direction,” Luu said.
The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 112 on Tuesday, bringing the area’s total to 11,954 cases. There are currently 1,068 active cases.
Seventy-one residents were hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, while 82 people recovered from the virus. One hundred local residents have died to date due to COVID-19 after a death was reported on Tuesday.
Health officials are still prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations for direct healthcare workers and residents of congregant healthcare facilities since both groups are at the highest risk for the virus. As those phases near completion, Luu anticipates the area will receive more clarity from the state on how vaccines will roll out to the general public.
“We continue to operate at the mercy of vaccine shipments, which have been somewhat unpredictable. This makes it extremely difficult to identify a particular date when vaccinations for the general public can begin,” Luu said. “…Our community still faces several more months of significant vulnerability to the ravages of this virus, so it is important that all of us continue to take care of ourselves and each other.”