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November 10, 2020 – On August 31st, the State introduced a new tiered framework that connects the level of openness of business sectors to COVID-19 conditions on the ground. Nevada County has been in the Orange “Moderate” Tier since September which allowed some businesses to safely increase the capacity in their facilities. This week, for the first time since the State’s tiered framework was first announced, Nevada County COVID-19 data qualifies us for the more restrictive Red “Substantial” Tier with the State’s tier announcement today. If Nevada County’s COVID-19 data meets the more restrictive Red or Purple Tier next week, Nevada County will move into the Red Tier beginning Tuesday, November 17th.

“Our data meeting the statistics of the Red Tier is not a surprise due to the significant uptick in COVID-19 cases and increased community transmission we’ve seen here recently and is not unique to Nevada County. At the rate our local cases are increasing, there is a possibility that Nevada County could trend towards the Purple Tier in future weeks due to the seven-day lag in real-time data with the State’s tier system,” said Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson. “If we do go backwards into the Red Tier next Tuesday, it’ll directly impact our businesses. We continue to urge everyone to stay diligent about refraining from gatherings with friends and family as well as going into the office if you are feeling sick. It’s the best way to keep our community healthy, keep impacts to our local hospital systems low and support our businesses safely through the holidays.”

Nevada County Public Health reminds residents to continue practicing social distancing, masking, hand washing, and minimizing social mixing between households even with outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. Even if you are mildly symptomatic, please stay home and don’t assume it is allergies or a cold. Testing is highly recommended. If you are getting tested due to being symptomatic, a possible exposure to COVID-19 or as a precaution after traveling, please remember to stay home and limit your interactions in public places until you receive your results. Schedule a cost-free COVID-19 test at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or call 1-888-634-1123.

Changes in business modifications as we move into the Red “Substantial” Tier

Nevada County businesses may have to modify their business operations according to the guidance published on the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website beginning Tuesday, November 17th, if Nevada County’s COVID-19 data puts us in the Red Tier next week. Some notable changes while moving from the Orange “Substantial” tier to the Red “Moderate” Tier are:

  • Restaurants: Reduce indoor capacity to 25% capacity or 100 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Red Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Retail: Reduce indoor capacity to 50% with modifications in the Red Tier from no capacity limit with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Movie theaters: Reduce indoor capacity to 25% or 100 people (whichever is fewer) in the Red Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Reduce capacity to 10% indoors with modifications in the Red Tier from 25% capacity indoors with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Family entertainment centers: Open outdoor activities only including kart racing, mini golf and batting cages with modifications in the Red Tier from 25% capacity with modifications  for naturally distanced activities including bowling alleys and climbing walls in the Orange Tier.
  • Places of Worship: Reduce capacity to 25% or 100 people (whichever is fewer) with modifications in the Red Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Bars and Breweries: Closed in the Red Tier from open outdoors only with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Wineries: Reduced to outdoor only with modifications in the Red Tier from 25% capacity indoors or 100 people (whichever is fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Schools: Moving from the Orange Tier to the Red Tier will not result in school closures. Individual school closure is determined by number of COVID019 cases; percentage of students, teachers and staff who are positive; and in consultation with Nevada County Public Health. 

Please reference the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website for complete COVID-19 business safety guidelines and modifications.

To support our business community and lessen business restrictions, we need to be even more diligent about refraining from that activities that are contributing to our recent increase in COVID-19 cases: social gatherings and going into work with COVID-like symptoms. The data can easily move in either direction, and if we want to keep moving forward it is incumbent upon us as a community to embrace safety and continue to reduce spread. All members of the community are encouraged to consider how personal behavior can help keep Nevada County in less restrictive tiers for our business sectors.  Individual action will lead to collective mitigation that will affect the county’s tier status and our collective behavior matters. Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, washing your hands and getting tested can help reduce COVID-19 exposures and get Nevada County back in the Orange “Moderate” Tier, allowing businesses to remain with the increased the capacity in their facilities.

Additional Resources

Find more information about COVID-19 in Nevada County at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. Email questions about the State’s COVID-19 business sector guidance to covid19recovery@co.nevada.ca.us. Small businesses may also access no-cost personal protective equipment (PPE) and Environmental Health permit fee waivers at www.mynevadacounty.com/ppe. To submit a business compliance complaint, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/asknevco or submit via the Ask Nevada County app. Residents can also call 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak with a local call center representative with COVID-19 questions or to connect with resources.