Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for the Yuba-Sutter Area
April 6, 2020
Watch: Health Officer's April 6 Update
Dr. Luu talks about the new order, the reasons for it, and the response we heard from our fishing community.
April 6, 2020
Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Issues Extended "Stay Home" Order
In order to continue flattening the curve and slowing the spread and severity of COVID-19, Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu today issued a more stringent “stay at home” order through May 3, effective tonight at 11:59 p.m.
Dr. Luu initially issued a “stay at home” directive on March 18, one day before California State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell issued a statewide order. Today’s order further restricts outdoor activities that have impeded mass social distancing efforts.
While many Yuba-Sutter residents have taken the directives seriously – halting their day-to-day lives for the greater good of the community’s health – there are also those who continue to put themselves and others at risk. Education has been key in local efforts, but it hasn’t been enough. For this reason, Dr. Luu’s order gives local law enforcement the tools needed to enforce the regulations as they deem necessary.
“Without this tailored set of restrictions that further reduces the number of interactions between people, scientific evidence indicates that the public health crisis in the area will worsen to the point at which it may overtake available healthcare resources,” Dr. Luu said.
This order is in conjunction with other Yuba-Sutter efforts to fight this pandemic: this weekend, staging at two alternate care sites (Yuba City High School and River Valley High School) began in the event of a spike in medical need to support our healthcare system; Public Health officials continue to push for more test kits to ensure broader testing of residents; and both counties are working with area nonprofits to ensure residents in need have access to food and housing.
The local order has several differences from the directive, including the restriction of fishing on boats in groups, automotive sales lots, parks and barbecue areas. For a comprehensive list, see below.
Yuba and Sutter counties understand the disruption and anxiety that comes with these efforts. While there is still much to learn about the novel coronavirus – which has been infecting humans for only four months – Public Health officials feel that the more residents strictly heed these orders, the sooner life can get back to normal.
The bi-county Emergency Operations Center, in coordination with the Department Operations Center, and local healthcare facilities, stand united and dedicated to doing everything possible to protect the Yuba-Sutter community from the most severe consequences, learning lessons from around the country and the world.
For updated information, visit BePreparedYuba.org or BePreparedSutter.org. A bi-county Call Center is also fielding general calls from the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at 749-7700.
Further Restrictions on Activities
The Public Health Officer requested the sheriffs and police chiefs enforce social distancing requirements. “Violation of any provision of this order constitutes an imminent threat to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
The order becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, and will remain in effect, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer, until May 3 at 11:59 p.m.
The order differs from the previous directive in many ways. For instance, the order:
- Now requires employers in essential businesses to maximize the number of people who work from home. Businesses may only assign those employees who cannot perform their job duties from home to work outside the home.
- Clarifies that auto repair and auto supply operations are essential, but auto sales must be limited to online and delivery only.
- Clarifies that landscapers, gardeners, and similar service professionals are essential, but only to the limited extent necessary to maintain the operation of businesses or residences, or the safety of residents, employees, or the public; a sole gardener may provide work on the exterior of a home without any contact with a homeowner.
- Removes fishing as an essential business activity.
- Clarifies that funeral homes and mortuaries are essential businesses.
- Adds clarifications regarding what construction is considered essential.
- Clarifies that businesses that include an essential business component alongside non-essential components must, to the extent feasible, scale down their operations to essential businesses components only.
- Clarifies that mixed retail business may continue to stock and sell non-essential products alongside essential products (i.e., liquor stores that also sell a significant amount of essential products.)
- Clarifies people may use public transit for travel for essential work or activities only.
- Authorizes local governments to limit or block access to recreational access to parks, rivers, lakes and other open spaces to reduce crowding.
- Requires the closing of playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, dog parks, and barbecue areas outside of residences.
- Requires the closing of golf courses, tennis and pickle ball courts, rock parks, climbing wall, pools, spas, gyms, disc golf, and basketball courts.
- Clarifies that any sport or activity that includes the sharing of equipment may only be engaged in by members of the same household or living unit.
- Clarifies that gatherings for a funeral must be limited to no more than 10 individuals.
- Clarifies that moving from one residence to another is essential, but only if it cannot be deferred, or if the move is necessary for purposes of safety, sanitation, or habitability reasons, or to preserve access to shelter.
- Clarifies that services to assist individuals finding employment with essential businesses is are essential services.
- Clarifies that volunteering for “health care” operations is an essential business activity.
- Clarifies that gun stores are essential businesses.
- Clarifies that personal storage (min-storage) facilities are essential businesses.
- Clarifies that moving services that facilitate residential or commercial moves allowed.
- Clarifies that government entities and their contractors must employ all necessary emergency protective measures to prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to the greatest extent feasible.
- Clarifies that travel for the following are also considered essential travel—to manage after-death arrangements and burial; to arrange for shelter or avoid homelessness; to avoid domestic violence or child abuse; for parental custody arrangements; and to temporarily reside in a residence or other facility to avoid potentially exposing others to COVID-19.
- Clarifies that service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is still residing in the residence).
April 4, 2020
Staging of Alternate Care Sites Begins at Two School Gyms
Expanded Capacity Would Address Worst Case Scenarios for COVID-19 Spread
Necessary steps to expand the ability of Yuba-Sutter hospital operations to handle even the most serious scenarios for the local COVID-19 outbreak will be evident today with the arrival of the first round of equipment at two area high schools.
The gymnasiums at Yuba City High School and River Valley High School have been selected as alternate medical sites, and they will soon be staged with beds and medical equipment to handle any surge in the number of patients. This proactive addition of medical space to prepare for the potential increase in severely ill COVID-19 patients is similar to efforts taking place in communities across the country.
"Establishing these two alternate medical care sites is crucial, as we face the possibility of our region being hit with an unprecedented increase in ill coronavirus patients," said Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. "We need to plan for the worst case scenarios, but we hope it will never become necessary to fully use those two buildings."
The opening of additional space to address an anticipated spike in medical need is part of a planning process known as "surge capacity." Yuba-Sutter Emergency Services worked with Yuba City Unified School District officials to secure the two gyms, after evaluating several possible sites throughout the two counties.
“Surge capacity planning is integral to our day-to-day emergency operations in an effort to ensure that our local health system, including our only hospital, can continue to adequately support patients and staff,” Dr. Luu said.
Dr. Luu said efforts to establish and equip the two sites is in addition to surge capacity work already being done in collaboration with the bi-county Emergency Operations Center, Adventist Health and Rideout, Sutter North, Ampla, Peach Tree, and Harmony Health.
The purpose of these alternate sites would be to provide medical care to COVID-19 positive patients who are deemed stable for hospital discharge but still need to be monitored and require some level of assistance with medications management and other activities of daily living. These patients are considered better suited for a facility that has an open layout to allow limited numbers of healthcare personnel to more easily monitor their status.
"We purposefully began this process early-on to allow our planners ample time to coordinate with our medical community and to secure the needed beds and equipment before those resources become even scarcer," said Yuba County Administrator Robert Bendorf. "These are two sites we hope we never have to fully use, but models we are seeing for the potential spread of the coronavirus compel us to do all we can to get ahead of this threat.”
The Yuba-Sutter Emergency Services also secured 500 cots, along with 1,000 blankets and 1,000 pillows for the alternate hospital sites. The two school gyms were ultimately selected based on their size, electrical capacity, locations, and other factors.
“We are very appreciative of the team at Yuba City Unified School District, who have been vital partners in making these sites available and ultimately bolstering the health community’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Sutter County Administrator Steve Smith. “Their cooperation allows us to move quickly and efficiently to establish a strong backup plan, should cases grow beyond the capacity of our single hospital.”
Dr. Luu said the extent to which Yuba-Sutter residents adhere to the state's Stay at Home order and take extraordinary precautions when they run essential errands will ultimately dictate how many eventually become sick with COVID-19. Current models indicate cases could well-exceed the bed space available at Adventist Health and Rideout, making the alternate care sites necessary.
"It would have been irresponsible to take a wait-and-see approach with COVID-19 before starting the process to set up alternative sites," Luu said. "The risk is very real, and we have to act now to ensure medical resources are available, should we see a serious rise in cases."
For the most current information, check BePreparedYuba.org or BePreparedSutter.org. A bi-county Call Center is also fielding general calls from the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at 749-7700.
April 3, 2020
Watch: Health Officer's April 3 Update
Bi-County Health Dr. Phuong Luu reports there are 25 cases in the Yuba-Sutter region as of 5 p.m on April 3, 2020. Today's topic is general facial covering guidance for the public. Follow the stay at home orders and adhere to good hand hygiene.
April 3, 2020
Fabric Face Coverings
The Centers for Disease Control today recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Already, there are a number of people in the community making and wearing face coverings for when they go out in public. Some are making them and donating them to different organizations, including community volunteers and health care workers. (The Yuba-Sutter Health Department is accepting donations of face coverings for health care workers on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. at the Yuba County Government Center, 915 Eighth Street, Marysville).
Here are some important links regarding the face covering guidance, and tutorials on sewing a face covering, or creating a no sew face covering.
California Department of Public Health: Face Coverings Guidance
California Department of Public Health about what face coverings can or can’t accomplish, examples of the types of materials they can be made of, and why social distancing, hand washing, and staying home except for essential functions remains the number one defense against COVID-19.
- Centers for Disease Control recommendation on wearing cloth face coverings in public
- Do It Yourself No Sew Face Covering
- How to sew a reusable face covering
- Kaiser Permanente face covering instructions
April 3, 2020
April 2, 2020
April 2, 2020
Yuba-Sutter Grocery Stores Remain Open to the Public
Due to the high volume of customers, stores have been challenged with restocking shelves quickly and are working diligently to ensure supplies are available to customers. The following stores have made adjustments:
- Winco is allowing customers to enter the store in intervals of 10 people at a time. Store hours are 7:00am-10:00pm. Early hour shopping for seniors (60+), vulnerable populations, & WinCo employees Tuesday, Thursdays 6:00am-7:30am.
- Dollar Generals are only open to the elderly during the first hour of business and is closing one hour earlier.
- Walmart - Yuba City & Linda store hours are 7:00am-8:30pm. Seniors can shop early on Tuesdays from 6:00am-7:00am.
- Sam’s Club - Starting March 26, Sam’s Club began offering early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems. This includes pharmacy and optical centers and will last until further notice. They also offer a concierge “Shop from your Car” service during those same special shopping days and hours. Shoppers can order from their vehicles and items will be brought out to them by a Sam’s Club associate. Regular shopping hours for Mon.-Sat. have shifted to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow for restocking. Sunday hours remain the same as usual, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Save Mart is open for seniors & those with compromised health on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:00am-9:00am.
- New Earth Market is offering dedicated shopping time for vulnerable customers (elderly, pregnant, etc.) 8 am – 9 am Monday through Friday. Regular open hours are 9 am – 7 pm.
- New Delhi Palace is open 10 am -7 pm every day, they have groceries and their restaurant is offering take-out.
- Both Raley’s and Bel Air are offering ‘Senior Essentials Bags’- pre-packed bags at a set discounted price available only to seniors.
- May Elston’s Philippine Grocery Store open regular hours weekdays, every other weekend open Saturday, other weekend Sunday to increase access.
- Tony’s Fruit Stand is open 8 am – 5 pm every day, and is offering mixed boxes of fresh produce that can be ordered online for pick-up.
Grocery Stores open their regular hours:
- Grocery Outlet
- El Toro Loco
- Masala Market
- La Superior Mercado
- Noble Halal Market
- Phooj Ywg Lee’s Market
April 1, 2020
April 1, 2020
- Watch: Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes and Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson on 93Q Radio Discuss the Response to Coronavirus
View News Archive for More
What To Do If You Are Sick
People with mild symptoms, who are not sick enough to be hospitalized, should self-isolate at home. These people should:
- Avoid close contact with others
- Stay home for at least seven days from the start of symptoms, AND
- Stay home at least 72 hours after fever is gone, AND
- Stay home until respiratory symptoms have improved (coughing/sneezing)
People with severe symptoms of respiratory illness should call their healthcare provider immediately. Call ahead so that you can be safely evaluated to prevent exposing others. Your healthcare provider will evaluate you and determine the best course of action for your illness, including whether or not you should be tested.
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