Woodland nursing home experiences second outbreak, rising case counts threaten to move Yolo County back into Purple Tier

Woodland nursing home experiences second outbreak, rising case counts threaten to move Yolo County back into Purple Tier

Photo Credits: Katherine Hung / Aggie

Yolo County supervisor urges people to comply with health guidelines, prevent winter outbreak

Over the past two weeks, Yolo County has experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases.  Although the county is still in the Red Tier of the state’s reopening plan, the adjusted daily new case rate as of Nov. 5 stands at 7.3 per 100,000 residents, up from 5.4 the week of Oct. 26.

If the daily new case rate reaches 7 per 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks, the county will return to the Purple Tier.  

District 4 Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza explained that the rise in case count is driven by several factors. He referred to the Woodland Alderson Convalescent Hospital, which is now experiencing a second outbreak after mitigating their first outbreak in early July.  

“One of the biggest increases in cases was in a nursing home that had previously had an outbreak,” Provenza said. “I don’t think the nursing home is doing a good enough job of preventing outbreaks, and I think we need to have stricter enforcement with them and any other nursing home that isn’t doing its job.” 

Provenza emphasized the need for the nursing home to use protective equipment and also suggested daily testing.

“There’s really no excuse for a second outbreak in such a short period of time,” Provenza said.  

As of Nov. 4, the total case count at Alderson Convalescent Hospital has risen to 97, with 11 deaths.  

The age demographic of the new cases in Davis spikes at 18-24, suggesting that these new cases could be UC Davis students. Despite this data, Provenza explained that college students are not the primary driver of the rising case count. 

“It doesn’t seem like UC Davis is a particular problem now,” Provenza said. “They’ve taken a lot of steps to regulate behavior and compliance.”  

Provenza added that the impending holiday season poses a larger challenge than the beginning of instruction. 

“If people over the holidays, have indoor gatherings with people who aren’t in their household, and they’re together for extended periods of time, that could definitely result in more cases,” Provenza said. “We need to make sure that the community understands that it needs to continue to comply with the rules about not having large gatherings, wearing face masks and maintaining social distance.”  

Yolo County Public Information Officer Jenny Tan explained via email that Yolo County is at risk of moving back into the purple tier over the holidays if people don’t follow health guidelines. 

“The possibility is very real that Yolo County could move backwards especially in the winter, when people tend to gather and it’s the holidays,” Tan said via email. “We hope to prevent a slide backwards with our gathering guidance and for residents to continue to physical distance, wear a face covering and limit gatherings. Either our efforts will move us forward (to orange) or our lack of efforts will move us backward (to purple).”  

Maya Martinez, a third-year UC Davis student and biological sciences major, described the temptation of attending large gatherings during the holiday season, starting over Halloween weekend.  

Martinez succinctly warned her fellow students to continue following guidelines in order to prevent an outbreak.  

“Stay home and do your school work,” Martinez said. “The third wave is coming, and it’s already here.”  

Written by: Rachel Shey — city@theaggie.org