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February 4, 2021 – The first weekly status update webinar took place today and Dr. Scott Kellermann, Ryan Gruver and Jill Blake provided an overview on where Nevada County vaccine availability is and COVID-19 cases stand.

Health & Human Services Director Ryan Gruver reminded viewers that testing is available at the LHI test sites. Pre-registration is required for the free tests at http://www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. “It’s still very important to get tested,” Gruver said.

Public Health Director Jill Blake talked about the vaccine doses received by the Public Health Department as of this week, “10,625 doses have been received and we have an allocation of just over 2,000 more. They will be delivered next week. That includes both first and second doses.” These amounts are complementing vaccine allocations received by the hospital/healthcare systems independently of the county.

Who can get vaccinated right now in Nevada County?

“All healthcare are eligible to be vaccinated, we’re still working to get some folks in,” Gruver stated. This includes healthcare providers and long-term care facilities. If you are a healthcare provider and have not been contacted about vaccine eligibility, please fill out the Phase 1A form

“We’re also firmly moving into phase 1B,” he added.

Current phases and tiers being vaccinated

Phase 1A – Tier One

  • Front-line hospital staff
  • Nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically-vulnerable individuals
  • Long-term care settings
  • Residential mental health and substance use disorder treatment facilities
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis centers

Phase 1A – Tier Two

  • Home health care and in-home supportive services providers
  • Community health workers and public health field staff, including promotoras
  • Primary care clinics, including federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics
  • Non-residential mental health and substance use disorder treatment facilities
  • Adult day/health programs and pediatric day health/respite care staff
  • Respiratory care center staff
  • Ambulatory surgical center staff
  • Midwives
  • Formal and informal caregivers for people with disabilities and for the elderly
  • Physical therapists, occupational therapists

Phase 1A – Tier Three

  • Specialty clinics
  • Laboratory workers
  • Dental and other oral health clinics
  • Pharmacy staff
  • Mortuary, cemetery district, and coroner staff
  • Alternative medical practioners

Phase 1B – Tier One

  • Ages 75+, with limited availability via vaccine partners

Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:

  • Education, K-12 Nevada Co schools
  • Fire fighters
  • Police
  • Corrections

Gruver reiterated there is not enough vaccine available yet to get to the 30,000+ people in the Phase 1B, “we need to temper our expectations a little bit. Rather than taking 500 doses and having people with the fastest internet connection or those who can refresh their browsers the fastest get the doses, we are doing outreach to the providers – they know who the most vulnerable are. We are working through teachers as well. Last week, we did western Nevada County and this week we partnered with Tahoe Forest Hospital to do the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District. We’re also working with providers on emergency services as well.”

The next sector in the Phase 1B Tier 1 is Food and Agriculture, including veterinarians. Counties are awaiting guidance from the state on that rollout.

Super Bowl advice

Dr. Kellermann said while it is normal that everyone focuses on vaccines, because everyone wants to get immunized and achieve herd immunity, we should not forget that Nevada County still has an average of 25 new daily cases. Nevada County is still firmly in the Purple Tier, the most restrictive one of the state’s tier system. “I’d encourage people, we have football coming up on Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, please, please please – we’re in the middle of a surge, very few people in this county have been immunized so far. Practice appropriate restrictions, don’t gather. If you have any meetings at all, make sure you wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. Because, in order to get into the red zone, to use another Super Bowl term, we have to get below 7 out of 100,000 [new cases per day.] We have a ways to go before we can open up this county. The non-pharmaceutical approaches are certainly appropriate.”

Signing up for the waiting list

The state is providing a sign-up system called MyTurn, available now to all Californians.

“Nevada County is really fortunate, we got our name on top of the list,” said Public Health Director Jill Blake. “We’re in the first wave of health departments that are being onboarded in that system. Once that is active and we’re able to populate the system for clinics, that’s where people can hear about them. Also, keep checking our webpage because there will be information updates there too.”

There are some healthcare providers that are vaccinating patients, they are looking at who are their most vulnerable patients. “If you get a call from your physician, by all means return that call,” Blake added.

Sign Up for Vaccine Text Alerts

Text VACCINEINFO to 898211 to receive text messages with updates on vaccine availability in Nevada County. These updates come from Nevada County Public Health, in partnership with 211. These updates will be sent straight to your smartphone.

If you prefer email alerts, submit your email address via this online form to receive the same updates.

Watch the video update below

The next update will be on Thursday, Feb. 11th and be available shortly after 1:00 pm on our YouTube channel and the YubaNet website. If you’d like to register and participate by asking questions of the panelists, you can register here or email your questions to townhall@yubanet.com. The one-time registration will sign you up for all the webinars in the series.