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Big Birthday Bash Prompts Warning From Yuba-Sutter Health Office

SUTTER COUNTY (CBS13) — A big birthday celebration is coming with a stern warning from the Yuba-Sutter Counties Public Health Department.

Contact tracers discovered a COVID-19 patient who tested positive over the weekend just had a birthday bash with more than 40 family and friends.

"People have to take personal responsibility and stop hosting social gatherings," Yuba Sutter COVID-19 Response spokesperson Rachel Rosenbaum said. "Forty-four children and adults were put at risk for infection."

The warning comes along with data showing half of the new coronavirus cases in these areas are originating from social gatherings. Contact tracers are reporting large social gatherings are common here.

"Common, absolutely," Rosenbaum said. "It's irresponsible for sure."

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Jill Lessard owns Elegante Petals, a Yuba City florist and event planning business. Lessard says business is up 35% since the coronavirus outbreak, and while some large weddings were canceled, she's had other clients hold celebrations of all sizes.

"On private property, I'm seeing as many as 200-250 people at events," Lessard said. "I do feel like people are trying to abide by some of the rules, but then you have other people who are like, 'Hey we're all going to get it...either we need to get it or we need to get through this.'"

Yuba and Sutter counties currently have no specific limits to gatherings. Their public health order only asks for consideration of the number of people who could be exposed to the virus. The state guidelines specifically prohibit social gatherings -- but do not lists specific size limits.

"The virus is here," Rosenbaum said. "It's real. It's hurting people."

A 44-person birthday bash and a positive COVID case, leading to this new alert to beware.

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