Local public health officers ask residents to stay home as COVID-19 cases surge

Local News

(KTXL) — The health officer for Yuba and Sutter counties issued a public health advisory Friday as she says they face a “dire” situation due to the pandemic.

Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu pleaded with all Yuba-Sutter residents to limit their activities and stay at home as the area faces a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We have the highest rate of COVID-19 test positivity in the State. The State’s average is 6.4% – Yuba is 16.2% and Sutter is 20.1% – (Sutter being the highest of all 58 counties). This means that for every person who gets tested for COVID-19, nearly one in five tests positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Luu wrote in the advisory.

Luu said the counties’ shared hospital, Adventist Health and Rideout, has no available beds in its intensive care unit and not enough nurses to add more. The hospital has been warning about the surge for several weeks. ICU beds filled up at the hospital last Monday.

Although it is not an order, residents are asked to limit their interactions with those outside their households for three weeks starting Dec. 7.

During that time, Dr. Luu asks residents to leave their homes only to do “vital activities,” like grocery shopping and picking up medications, once a week if possible.

She’s also recommending that all grades revert back to distance learning. Luu says teachers and staff are falling ill, which disrupts learning for students who also have to quarantine if their teacher tests positive for the virus.

“We are noticing discrepancies even within schools, where one class may remain open whereas another class has to close due to a positive case,” Luu wrote.

The health officer also asks residents to stop dining out for the three weeks, including outdoor dining, and says in-person work for governmental functions should be suspended “as determined by the respective governing board.”

“I understand this is a heavy lift but we are asking this for not only our friends and relatives, but our nurses and doctors, and other hospital staff – some of whom are already near their breaking point,” Luu wrote.

Also on Friday, Yolo County’s public health officer said restrictions would be in place for residents starting Sunday at 12:01 a.m. Residents in Yolo County are “strongly encouraged” to stay home and some businesses, such as retail and grocery stores, are being told to further reduce their indoor capacities.

See the Yuba-Sutter advisory in full below.

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