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Butte County gets new health officer, sees decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations 

Romania Government Coronavirus Outbreak
George Calin
/
AP
A health official gives a coronavirus test.

Butte County Public Health introduced the county’s new health officer Tuesday.

Dr. David Canton’s contract was approved by the Board of Supervisors last month. He’s scheduled to work on an interim basis for the next six months.

“It’s either a great time to be in public health or a terrible time to be in public health, depending on whether you’re a glass half full or a glass half empty sort of person,” Canton said.

Canton’s contract began at the start of October. His work is focused on COVID-19, he said.

Canton is replacing former Butte County Health Officer Dr. Bob Bernstein, who retired last month.

Public Health Director Danette York said the department will conduct a recruitment for a permanent health officer.

Fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations  

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Butte County has been on the decline.

About two weeks ago 106 people were hospitalized with the virus, Public Health Director Danette York said; that number was down to 66 on Tuesday.

“We sincerely hope that it continues to go that way,” York said. “There is some concern for [the] holiday season coming up and seeing a slight increase as a result of gatherings for that.”

While case numbers and hospitalizations are going down, York added that they’re still high. More than 350 people in Butte County were in their isolation period as of Tuesday.

A graduate of California State University, Chico, Andre Byik is an award-winning journalist who has reported in Northern California since 2012. He joined North State Public Radio in 2020, following roles at the Chico Enterprise-Record and Chico News & Review.