Yuba, Sutter counties set record high in new COVID-19 cases

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MARYSVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Yuba and Sutter counties set a record high for the area with 100 new COVID-19 cases Monday.

Climbing cases have the counties’ shared hospital, Adventist Health and Rideout, sounding the alarm.

“We’re really concerned right now. We see the case positivity in our community going up rapidly. We expect over the holiday to see a significant surge in patients,” Adventist Health and Rideout president Rick Rawson told FOX40.

Rawson said as of last Tuesday morning, the hospital had three COVID-19 patients. One week later, the hospital is caring for 22 COVID-19 patients.

Rawson said he’s worried about capacity even though the hospital does have surge plans in place.

“We could create additional beds. We have ventilators. What we need are staff. If you can’t staff the beds, you can’t provide the care,” Rawson explained.

Because of the increase in cases nationwide, Rawson said it will be difficult to pull nurses and doctors from other locations.

Dr. Homer Rice with Yuba County Public Health told FOX40 that most of the new cases are coming from gatherings.

“One group went bowling, we had a birthday party, we had a wedding,” Rice said.

Rice is urging everyone to follow do their part to stop the spread of the virus.

“Facial coverings really do help. We’ve asked them to not go to crowded locations, don’t participate in events,” Rice advised.

Despite the surge, Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents Yuba City, is encouraging businesses to ignore new COVID-19 restrictions set forth by the governor, forcing some businesses to close or move outside.

 “You just cannot link this to businesses being partially open,” Gallagher said

Gallagher argues that the rules don’t address where the virus is spreading, and that the attention needs to be on places like nursing homes.

“Where we have seen the most devastation, that’s where we should be putting the focus,” Gallagher explained. “Not Linda’s Soda Bar in Yuba City.”

But with the average age of infection being 37 years old in the Yuba region, Rawson and Rice said all ages need to be following the guidelines to keep each other safe and both are calling on their community to slow the spread.

“Wearing a mask is not an act of compliance, it’s an act of compassion. It’s what being in a community is all about,” Rawson said.

Sources told FOX40 that the counties are also dealing with delays in testing results making contact tracing difficult.

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