July 10, 2020 – Sutter County was placed on the State of California’s County monitoring list late Thursday and Yuba County will follow on Saturday, July 11. Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu Friday issued an amended local Public Health Order to align with these new State mandates.

            Both counties will remain on the monitoring list for three days for the State to see if metrics change in that time. Public Health officials do not expect that either county will be taken off the list during those three days. After the three-day waiting period, on Sunday, July 12, designated businesses will be state-mandated to alter their operations: bars and brewpubs, must close. Restaurants, card rooms, wineries/tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos/museums, and card rooms must close their indoor operations – outdoor operations are still allowed.

The State will look at Yuba-Sutter’s numbers continually during the next three weeks. If it sees improvement to the point that Yuba-Sutter is meeting all the State’s metrics again, the counties will be removed and can phase back in the operations. If Yuba-Sutter continues to exceed the State metrics, the counties will remain on the State monitoring list until improvement.

Metrics to be put onto County monitoring list include having greater than 100 cases per 100,000 people population in a 14-day period and less than 20 percent ICU beds available.

            “This is an unfortunate step back in the progress Yuba-Sutter was making in re-opening the community,” Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said. “I hope residents will take this time to really practice the safety precautions we all know while at home and when they go out. The only way we can get through this is by working together to stay healthy.”

Local contact investigations show that 50 percent of cases are linked to social gatherings, 5 percent of infections originate from workplace outbreaks, and another 5 percent of infections originate from travel. A staggering 40 percent of cases are of unclear origin. This means Public Health officials cannot say whether someone became infected at a business or elsewhere. These cases are unclear because either contact tracers cannot get ahold of the infected person, the infected person does not remember where they have been or the infected person is not forthcoming with contact tracers.

            Adventist Health-Rideout issued a heartfelt letter to the community urging residents to do their part in keeping themselves and others healthy.

            “We can choose to reduce the risk of this illness – which results in hospitalizations, breathing tubes, prolonged recovery, lasting deficits, and deaths of our family members and neighbors,” the open letter reads. “We can accept this as our collective responsibility to each other. By reducing the transmission and the impact of this disease, our community will benefit from an open, thriving economy and continuation of its recovery efforts.”

Leaders of other local healthcare facilities have also lent their voice to support a communitywide effort to change the path Yuba-Sutter is currently on.

            “We need to be careful to not let our guard down in areas such as wearing facial coverings and social distancing in order to keep everyone safe,” Chief Clinical Services Officer of Ampla Health Cindy Snelgrove said. “There is scientific data that reveals these measures truly do help. I do not view these measures are to impose on anyone’s constitutional rights. Instead, as a nurse, I believe this is a public health issue and we need to count on each other to do their part in protecting our public’s health.”

            “We have been collaborating with Dr. Luu since the beginning of the pandemic. I have come to know her as a physician well trained in public health, a leader in the medical community and a person deeply concerned about our community” Peach Tree Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Fury said. “Recently, there has been a sharp increase in the number of covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the bi-county area. To help prevent significant worsening, as has occurred in several communities in California and around the country, I fully support Dr. Luu and her order.”

            The amended Health Order can be found online at www.BePreparedYuba.org or www.BePreparedSutter.org.