NEVADA CITY, Calif. May 9, 2020 – The state’s plan to gradually re-open certain businesses in Stage 2 began yesterday across California. Non-essential retail can provide curbside service; manufacturer and logistics are all able to operate starting yesterday with COVID-19 Prevention Plans in place. While many counties and other parts of the nation continue to experience significant COVID-19 outbreaks, Nevada County has seen a decrease in new cases, and has built the capacity to contain new outbreaks. Because of the amazing work of the community and our local containment efforts, Nevada County has the option to demonstrate our ability to protect the public and accelerate the reopening of businesses in Stage 2.

“This is a global emergency that requires a local response,” said Board Chair Heidi Hall. “Nevada County has successfully sheltered in place and kept our infection rate low. We are poised to be one of the first counties to move through phase 2.  Let’s not lose our place in line.”

“We want to be back in business sooner than expected with a sustainable plan,” added Vice-Chair Dan Miller. “Because of the work we have done, we are in the final stretch. Let’s not lose the good work.”

“We are looking forward to working with our local businesses and employers to move safely with the state into Stage 2, but this is not a return to normal yet,” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Public Health Officer.

Nevada County Readiness Criteria

Required Step Steps to Reopen Stage 2 BusinessesEstimated Date of Completion
Step 1: Readiness plan according to the State’s eight criteria as released on 5/7 has been completed and is being reviewed by Public Health OfficialsSunday, May 10, 2020
Step 2: Nevada County Public Health Director and Health Officer have required phone meeting with California Department of Public HealthMonday, May 11, 2020
Step 3: Incorporate State’s feedback into final planMonday, May 11, 2020
Step 4: Obtain letters of support from the hospitalsMonday, May 11, 2020
Step 5: Emergency meeting of Board of Supervisors to approve letter of support from the Board  Monday, May 11, 2020
Step 6: Submit final Plan and letters of support to the StateMonday, May 11, 2020
Step 7: Re-opening of all Stage 2 businesses in Nevada CountyTuesday, May 12, 2020(Pending state approval)
*One caveat to our readiness, is that one metric any county needs to meet in order to attest to readiness to open Stage 2 businesses is no more than one COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents. Testing for COVID-19 has increased substantially since the new testing clinic opened in Grass Valley on Tuesday, and if there is a dramatic increase in laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19, there is a possibility we will not meet this metric thereby disallowing Nevada County to attest.

Once steps 1-6 are completed, then step 7 will happen, allowing for the re-opening of the following business sectors, with modifications in place:

  • All retail business to on site sales (in store) including swap meets and malls
  • Personal services, limited to: car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities and landscape gardening
  • Office based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)
  • Dine in restaurants (bars and gaming areas, not permitted)
  • Outdoor museums and open gallery spaces
  • Childcare

Next Steps

Nevada County residents have done an exemplary job of slowing the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, practicing social distancing and good hygiene habits. We can collectively continue to mitigate the followings risks as we re-open our economy:

  • COVID-19 cases are still being identified in Nevada County and neighboring counties.
  • Re-opening the County will be a continuous and cautious process.
  • Though not allowed in Stage 2, we anticipate a potential increase of visitors from outside the county; many of whom will come from areas where there is a larger incidence of COVID-19.

It is unknown at this time the duration of Stage 2 and when we will be able to safely re-open Stage 3 businesses. Being able to safely re-open Stage 3 businesses requires community effort. To get there, Nevada County needs to continue practicing social distancing, good hygiene, wearing face coverings in public, minimizing going into public spaces, and educating friends, family and favorite businesses on the current  recommendations. Thank you for your patience as we plan for a safe transition towards opening some lower-risk businesses and onward to a sustainable recovery.

Business Reopening Guidance

In order to reduce the level of risk of spreading COVID-19, each business should implement a COVID-19 Prevention Plan, which will address implementing risk mitigating practices in their business to create safe environments for workers and customers. The state has provided guidance for multiple sectors that can be found at Businesses should review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post a checklist in their workplace to show customers and employees that they’ve reduced the risk of illness and are open for business.

“We know our local businesses are suffering unimaginable losses and seasoned professionals are facing challenges they could have never anticipated. These are our friends, family, and neighbors and we are here to help everyone figure this out regardless of what phase their business is in.” adds Supervisor Hall.

Nevada County’s Recovery Advisory Committee includes representation from cities, business community, faith-based community and schools. Since convening for the first time in late April, the Committee has produced local guidance and business plan checklists that can be found at More local resources will become available as we continue to work through Stage 2 and Stage 3 reopening as a community.