Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said more and more people are wearing facial coverings when out in public places like grocery stores, but there is still work to be done to make sure the community as a whole is in compliance.

She said public health has received questions about the timing of making the wearing of facial coverings an order. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with guidance about wearing facial coverings after research about individuals without symptoms able to be infectious was solidified.

“The unwitting transmission while one is not exhibiting symptoms is now known to be one of the main drivers of continued transmission of the virus,” Luu said via email.

Luu reminded residents that wearing facial coverings does not replace the other tenets of prevention including maintaining six feet of physical distance from others not in your household, frequent hand washing and staying home when sick.

When it comes to social distancing, Luu said the success of preventing a surge in cases depends on how everyone in the community abides by the guidelines.

“We know this virus is highly contagious and even one person not staying home when sick, or not wearing a facial covering and inadvertently exposing someone else when they are not exhibiting any symptoms but already infectious, can set off a localized outbreak,” Luu said.

The opening of the OptumServe test site in Yuba City has led to an expected increase in cases. Luu said most of the new cases came from household contacts of already confirmed cases and were people at a higher risk of exposure. The site has filled a need in the region where testing kits were previously limited.

“We have the ability of testing every symptomatic and vulnerable person in the community,” Luu said.

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