NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. March 9, 2021 – Chances are slim for Nevada County to advance to the red tier this Tuesday. An average of 11 new, confirmed COVID cases a day keeps the county firmly in the purple tier.

Over the past three weeks, 41.44% of all new cases are residing in the 95945 ZIP code, the Grass Valley area which accounts for only 25.51% of the county population.

Overall, the area registered 1,096 cases since the start of the pandemic, accounting for over a quarter of the county’s 4,060 cases at publication time.

The 95949 ZIP code, which includes Alta Sierra and a large portion of south county is home to 19.99% of the population and accounts for 15.75% of cases in the past three weeks. Truckee’s 96161 ZIP has 18.68% of Nevada County’s population and accounts for 14.38% of new cases. The greater Nevada City ZIP 95959 has 18.06% of the population and 16.78% of new cases.

Why does it matter?

The county will only be able to advance as a whole to a less restrictive tier if the new case load is below 7 new cases/day. Even the new metrics that will raise the red or substantial tier to 10 cases a day is unattainable at this time.

A majority of low-income housing in the western portion of Nevada County is located in the 95945 ZIP. State and federal data indicates low-income communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Essential workers are at greatest risk, but not all essential workers are eligible for immunization at this time due to a lack of vaccine doses.

Only by moving into less restrictive tiers, businesses will be able to open at sustainable capacity.

What are the solutions?

By continuing to wear masks, practice social distancing, hand-washing and adhering to Public Health guidelines the county as a whole will advance towards a full reopening of the economy and, most importantly, to a safe community. Each jurisdiction within Nevada County, meaning Nevada County, Nevada City, Truckee and Grass Valley has to do their part in making Nevada County safe for all and open for business. Educating businesses, providing best practice and safety recommendations, combined with technical assistance to benefit businesses and employees is an integral part of local government’s public health and safety duties.

Sign up for if you are planning on being immunized. Public Health will be releasing appointments regularly at 12pm on Fridays, via MyTurn. These are appointments at the Whispering Pines Grass Valley clinic. Appointments are also available via pharmacies and some medical providers. As of yesterday, 27,650 doses of vaccine (both first and second doses) have been administered in Nevada County. Totals include both first and second doses administered to Nevada County residents by hospitals, clinics, primary care providers, pharmacies, and the Nevada County Public Health Department.