Yolo sees upward trend in COVID cases, remains in red tier

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Yolo County remained in the red tier with substantial risk of COVID-19 spread on Tuesday.

It’s the county’s fifth week in the red tier, where a number of businesses have been able to resume indoor operations at limited capacity and schools allowed to open for in-person instruction.

However, the county continues to move closer to a return to the most restrictive purple tier — which would require those businesses to close again and prevent additional schools from reopening — rather than toward the less restrictive orange tier.

A key metric for the county, the adjusted daily new case rate, stood at 5.4 per 100,000 residents on Tuesday, up from 5.3 the week before and 4.2 two weeks before that.

The latest numbers are based on the week ending Oct. 17 and cases reported in Yolo County since then show the upward trend has continued over the last 10 days. Between Oct. 18 and 26, the county has averaged more than 17 new cases per day, according to its online COVID-19 dashboard.

The county would return to the purple tier if the daily new case rate hits 7 per 100,000 residents or greater for two consecutive weeks. For Yolo County, 7 cases per 100,000 residents equals about 15 new cases on average per day.

No counties returned to the purple tier during the state’s update on Tuesday; rather, a number of counties progressed into less restrictive tiers, including four Bay Area counties (Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Cruz) that moved to orange. With the exception of Sonoma County, which remains in the purple tier, and Solano County, which is in the red tier, all of the Bay Area has progressed to orange and San Francisco even further to the least restrictive yellow tier.

Like Yolo County, Sacramento County remains in the red tier and its daily new case rate has increased as well.

Speaking Tuesday, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services, said, “we do have a number of counties … who we are concerned about moving back in the future.

We’re working closely with their public health teams and other leaders in their counties to ensure that we are digging into the data, understanding it very well so that we can take the appropriate steps in partnership … to make sure transmission is reduced as far and as much as possible.”

Yolo County’s increased case rate has been linked by county officials to an outbreak at a convalescent hospital in Woodland as well as social gatherings.

As of Tuesday, that outbreak at Alderson Convalescent Hospital involved 51 active cases, including 47 residents and four staff members. One resident has died in the current outbreak, which began in early October and is the second at Alderson since the pandemic began.

As for social gatherings, the county has issued a stricter order than of the state which limited gatherings to no more than three households, outdoors and for no more than two hours. Yolo
County added the additional restriction of no more than 16 participants total, noting at the time that one household could include eight to 10 college students living together, an entire fraternity or sorority house as well as private homes where multiple generations of a family reside.

Still, the county has reported a total of 121 new coronavirus cases in just the last week. The city of Woodland continues to account for a larger share of cases than any other area of the county.

Nine of the 15 new cases reported countywide on Monday were in Woodland. Six of those individuals were under the age of 55 and two ages 0-18.

The city of Davis reported three new cases on Monday, all in individuals under the age of 45, and the city of Winters reported one new case, an individual between the ages of 45 and 54.

As of Monday, 24 county residents were hospitalized with COVID-19.

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