Jessica Cejnar / Tuesday, Sept. 14 @ 5:33 p.m.

Del Norte Public Health Officer Delivers Optimistic Report to Supes, Says COVID Cases Seem to Be 'Leveling Off'

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Noting that COVID-19 cases seem to have leveled off, Del Norte County’s public health officer delivered an optimistic report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Coming off two night shifts at Sutter Coast Hospital’s emergency department, Dr. Aaron Stutz said it was his first shift in two months that the ER wasn’t backed up with COVID patients waiting to be admitted.

While the hospital is still “full of COVID patients,” there aren’t as many as there have been in the past few weeks, Stutz said.

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning there were only three COVID-19 patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“Now we have ICU patients that are not there for reasons of severe COVID,” he said.

On Tuesday, 14 new cases were reported to the Del Norte Public Health Branch making for a total of 192 active cases within the county. There are currently 12 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Public Health.

Thirty-four people in Del Norte County have died from COVID. No new deaths were reported Tuesday.

Del Norte County’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has inched up, according to Stutz. As of this week, he said, between 43 and 44 percent of the county’s population is fully inoculated.

Meanwhile, the state is still offering assistance to Del Norte County to help administer monoclonal antibody therapy, testing, and COVID vaccines, Stutz said.

“We’re essentially the only county in California that’s received this kind of extensive help,” he said. “They had a team ready and we had the need. We were the first to get this response team sent out to this county and I’m thankful it’s extended through the end of the month.”

The state also sent extra nurses and respiratory therapists to Sutter Coast Hospital, Stutz said.

Stutz, along with Del Norte County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Harris and hospital CEO Mitch Hanna in addressing the community on the current COVID surge at 6 p.m. Thursday. To register for the meeting, click here.

To submit questions, email


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