Yuba-Sutter is leading the state … not in a good way.

Daily positive tests for COVID-19 and reported deaths have been alarmingly high in the Yuba-Sutter area.

Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said local residents must not allow themselves to set aside efforts to guard against infection based on the fact that vaccines are being distributed, as it will still be several more months before vaccines are widely available for the public.

“Approximately one out of every four Sutter County residents is testing positive for COVID-19, and it is about one out of every five residents for Yuba County,” she said.

“Our infection rate is the highest in the state, which means too many are letting down their guards when going out in public or gathering with others. It is going to be particularly crucial during the holidays to take every precaution. Please remember that a gathering does not need to be large – it could be as small as two friends getting together for lunch ... you meeting for coffee with your sister who doesn’t live with you.”

Luu used what has happened at some of the area’s skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities recently as an example of how easily transmission can occur, and how it can sneak into those types of places through a chain of events that begins with people being exposed in the community and not knowing that they are infected before unwittingly bringing the infection into congregant settings.

She said more than 50 percent of new COVID-19 cases are due to asymptomatic transmission. It’s crucial, she said, to lower the rate of transmission in the community to protect the area’s most vulnerable populations.

“This holiday season, let’s commit to protecting these most fragile members of our community by doing our part in staying home when ill, wearing that face mask when out in public, and not gathering with those who do not live in the same household as us,” Luu said.

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 172 on Thursday, bringing the area’s total to 8,581 cases.

Sixty-nine people were hospitalized as of Thursday evening, while 133 residents recovered from the virus. 

Three Yuba-Sutter residents died due to COVID-19 on Thursday – a total of 56 local coronavirus-related deaths have been reported to date.

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