Recent COVID Wave Breaks Records – Chico Enterprise-Record

The latest wave of COVID cases in December and January in Butte County has broken records and is straining schools in Chico.

According to the Butte County Health Department, as of Friday there were 1,429 confirmed people currently in isolation — nearly ten times more than on Dec. 16, 2021, when 148 people were in isolation.

In the week beginning Jan. 2 and ending Jan. 15, Butte County had 3,766 confirmed cases, more than double the number of cases in any other two-week period since the pandemic began.

The Butte County Health Department denies in its data that the daily case count is significantly affected by data transmission issues and may represent an undercount of cases.

Schools in the Chico Unified School District have had staffing issues due to recent COVID cases with credentialed staff. Deputy Superintendent Jay Marchant provided a four-day overview of staff certified absences at Wednesday’s CUSD school board meeting.

From Jan. 10 to Jan. 13, the school district recorded 50 to 70 credentialed staff absences per day with 4 to 11 vacancies unfilled.

“We didn’t have enough subs, so that meant someone on campus came in with a title to fill those positions,” Merchant said.

Prior to winter break, the school district had approximately 42 absences per day with 0 vacancies from December 13 to December 16.

Merchant said vacancies are filled by prep teachers, school counselors, learning specialists and even administration.

A total of 690 students in the school district were confirmed positive for COVID in the week beginning Jan. 2 and ending Jan. 15. This represents a total of 6% of people in the entire school district.

Marchant said the district is still doing well with most co-curricular and extracurricular activities and doing rapid testing for events, but has had to cancel 22 games/games since the start of the school year.

Data on COVID cases and guidance in Butte County is available at

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