Year-end stats stark

Butte County concludes 2020 with massive surge, logging over 40 percent of annual total in December alone

COVID-19 cases stand at 7,390, according to Butte County Public Health. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Capped by its most virulent month of the pandemic, Butte County wrapped up 2020 with 7,390 total cases of COVID-19 and 96 deaths, according to statistics released by the county’s Public Health Department this afternoon (Dec. 31).

Since Dec. 1, Butte County Public Health (BCPH) has recorded 3,133 new cases among county residents, or 42 percent of the annual total. The county has been in California’s “purple tier,” under the state’s most restrictive measures for prevention, since mid-November and remains under stay-at-home orders for regions in which hospitals’ intensive-care units have dropped below 15 percent capacity.

“We all have been looking forward to closing out 2020, but please remember this New Year’s Eve is very different than those in the past,” Butte County Public Health Director Danette York told the CN&R by email. “We should all celebrate with our household units only, only go out at as necessary and wear face coverings appropriately and maintain social distancing when we do have to go out.”

The 7,390 cases represent 3.5 percent of the county’s population. Currently, BCPH reports 62 county residents with Covid hospitalized today, though local hospitals draw patients from beyond Butte County limits.

Butte County received its first batch of coronavirus vaccine two weeks ago, with front-line health providers prioritized for the first shots.

“With vaccines being distributed, 2021 brings great hope to end this pandemic,” York added, “but we have to continue with the non-pharmaceutical interventions until [the] vaccine is widely available.”

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