YUBA CITY (CBS13) — Yuba and Sutter county officials are preemptively instituting their own new coronavirus public health advisory ahead of the seemingly inevitable stay-at-home order outlined by the state this week.
The advisory, which will go into effect on Monday, echoes the state’s regional stay-at-home order in that in-person dining – whether indoor or outdoor – is strongly discouraged.
Further, all grades of students in Yuba and Sutter are encouraged to go back to full distance learning. The Yuba City Unified School District announced all students who were in a hybrid model will go back to distance learning on Monday.
“If they have to condense it down, and get a hold on it, so be it. But schools, I don’t really feel like it’s a big problem,” said Angela Duenez, a parent.
READ MORE: Yuba City Unified Reverts Back To Distance Learning Following County Recommendation
Residents are also being urged to limit their visits to places like grocery stores to once a week.
“As a physician, epidemiologist and your public health officer I am convinced the current health advisory is the right course of action,” said Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu in a statement. “I am keenly aware of the burdens placed on local businesses, individuals and families, and I do not make these decisions lightly.”
County health officials say they are seeing some of the worst test positivity rates in the state – with nearly one in five people testing positive for COVID-19. Hospitalizations due to coronavirus have also tripled in Yuba and Sutter counties over the past few weeks, officials said.
As of Friday, health officials also said there are no ICU beds available at Adventist-Rideout hospital.
Health officials say the burden on hospital staff is too much and they had to do something to get things under control. But it comes at a price for local businesses.
This weekend could be the last call for a table at the restaurants in Yuba and Sutter counties.
“I just wish everyone would have worn their masks so that we could be enjoying dinners every weekend,” said Josie Martinez.
“We’re all in the same boat and we’re all going to do whatever we think is best for us to be able to survive,” said Octavio Perez, who owns Marcello’s in Yuba City.
Restaurants that choose to follow the advisory are back where they started this pandemic. Perez is one of many who just invested thousands in tents and heaters for outdoor dining that he won’t use for weeks.
“It’s hard to keep your staff. You put them on unemployment for a few months and when they call back they’re unavailable,” he said.
County leaders said what they’re asking people to do is crucial to slowing the spread. And they’re depending on restaurants like Marcellos that follow the rules, even though his business is down 50 percent.
“It’s very simple I don’t worry about things that I cannot control,” Perez said.
The stay-at-home order outlined by state leaders earlier this week goes until effect when a specific region has less than 15 percent ICU capacity. Yuba-Sutter belongs to the greater Sacramento Region as part of the order, but the rest of the area has not instituted restrictions yet.
Several Bay Area counties also moved ahead with adopting their own regional stay-at-home order on Friday ahead of any state action.
Yuba-Sutter’s advisory will be in effect through Dec. 28.