Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said the Yuba-Sutter area is seeing a glimmer of hope with a slight lowering of COVID-19 test positivity rates and case counts, but said there is still much work to do.

On Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 137, bringing the area’s total to 12,091 cases. Of those, 1,099 are active cases at this time.

Sixty-nine residents were hospitalized as of Wednesday evening, while 105 people recovered from the virus. 

One hundred one Yuba-Sutter residents have died due to the virus to date, 75 in Sutter County and 26 in Yuba County. One death was reported on Wednesday.

Now that the regional stay-at-home order has been lifted for the Greater Sacramento region, Yuba, Sutter and Colusa counties are all in the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s Blueprint of a Better Economy. That means hair and nail salons can reopen, and restaurants can offer outdoor dining in addition to takeout, according to Luu. 

“In order to get to the red tier – which we’ve done before – we need to have between four and seven new cases daily/100,000 and a test positivity rate between 5 and 8 percent,” said Luu. “Currently, Sutter is at 54.2 new cases/100,000 daily and a test positivity of 18.5 percent, and Yuba is at 62.3 new cases/100,000 daily and a test positivity of 17.4 percent.” 

Positive case numbers are continuing to rise in Colusa County as well. As of Wednesday, health officials reported 1,667 positive COVID-19 cases within the county – an increase of 229 new cases since Jan. 6. 

Of the total COVID-19 cases reported within Colusa County, 458 are active cases in isolation – including seven individuals that have been hospitalized at this time. 

To date, 1,200 people have recovered from the virus and nine virus-related deaths have been reported. 

Starting this week, the county will no longer report the number of individuals in quarantine due to changes in case investigation and contact tracing protocols. 

“Given the large volume of cases, although we continue our best efforts at contract tracing, the emphasis is now on individuals who test positive to directly communicate with others they may have exposed regarding the need to quarantine,” said Marcos Kropf, Colusa County Counsel. “They are asked to make those communications because they are in the best position to do so, it speeds up the process of informing those potentially infected, and appears to be generally more effective.” 

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