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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 was initially placed in the Red “Substantial” Tier, but today the State announced that Nevada County has moved into the Orange “Moderate” Tier which allows some businesses to safely increase activities and capacity pursuant to guidance.

“The ability to move to the Orange Tier is due to due to the excellent work of our communicable disease control team and the efforts of the community,” said Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson. “Although this is welcome news, we need to continue to be diligent about the COVID safe practices we’ve all been doing since there will more potential for COVID-19 exposures. It’s particularly important that we to take precautions like staying home if you are showing COVID-like symptoms, especially as some offices may begin opening indoors with modifications.”

Nevada County Public Health reminds residents to continue practicing social distancing, masking, hand washing, and minimizing social mixing between households.

Changes in business modifications as we move into the Orange “Moderate” Tier

Nevada County businesses can start modifying their business operations according to the guidance published on the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website beginning today, September 22nd. Some notable changes while moving from the Red “Substantial” tier to the Orange “Moderate” Tier are:

  • Restaurants: Can open indoors up to 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications.
  • Retail: Can open with modifications. No capacity limits.
  • Movie theaters: Can open indoors up to 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Can open indoors up to 25% capacity with modifications. Indoor pools are included with modifications.
  • Family entertainment centers: Can open indoors up to 25% capacity with modifications for naturally distanced activities including bowling alleys and climbing walls.
  • Places of Worship: Can open indoors up to 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications.
  • Bars and Breweries: Can open outdoors only with modifications and without food.
  • Wineries: Can open indoors up to 25% capacity or 100 people (whichever is fewer) with modifications.

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

As we move to less restrictive tiers, we need to be even more diligent than ever before as we’ll likely have more potential for exposures. The data can easily move in the other 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 the Orange “Moderate” Tier.  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 keep Nevada County in the Orange “Moderate” Tier, allowing businesses to remain with the increased the capacity in their facilities.