Following the state’s latest tier assignments announced on Tuesday, Sutter County is headed back to the red tier, which will allow additional businesses to open up indoor operations with modifications and will see the county’s largest school district return to in-person instruction next week.

Sutter County was one of 10 counties moved out of the state’s most restrictive tier (purple) on Tuesday – 13 other counties were promoted to less restrictive tiers over the weekend, including Colusa County. Yuba County, however, will remain in the purple tier for the time being.

“There were a few days in late February/early March (the week of metrics calculation) where Yuba County’s case counts exceeded 10,” said Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. “For Yuba County’s population, the rough calculation is that on a daily basis, the case count needs to be less than 8 daily, so that the case count calculation per 100,000 can be less than 10.”

The latest tier metrics have Sutter County averaging 9.1 new cases per 100,000 people daily with a test positivity of 5.1 percent. Yuba County is averaging 12.1 new cases per 100,000 people daily with a test positivity of 5.7 percent.

The move to red means Sutter County restaurants can resume indoor operations with modifications, along with movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers. Sixth through 12th graders enrolled in the Yuba City Unified School District will also be able to return to classrooms for the first time in over a year starting next Tuesday – a combination of in-person and remote learning.

Vaccine eligibility in the area has also expanded to include those 16-64 with serious medical conditions – in addition to residents 65 years and older, health care workers, and frontline workers in childcare and education, food and ag industries, and essential services.

Luu said county vaccine clinics can accommodate those 18 years and older with serious medical conditions because those clinics are mainly using Moderna, which was only approved for adults. A self-attestation form will need to be filled out prior to vaccination and can be found on each county’s vaccine registration page – yuba.org/vaccines or suttercounty.org/vaccine.

This weekend’s county-sponsored first-dose clinic will have 1,400 slots open for registration starting today (Wednesday) at 9 a.m. It’s the area’s largest first dose clinic yet, Luu said.

“We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Each county website also has posted information about the vaccines, for those who want to read more before signing up,” Luu said. “In the meantime, continue practicing those tenets of wearing a mask in public, avoiding large social gatherings, and staying home when sick while we get through vaccine rollout.”

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Yuba-Sutter area increased by 25 on Tuesday. There are currently 150 open cases in the area.

Twenty-three people were hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, while 38 people recovered from the virus. To date, 140 residents have died from COVID-19.

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