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NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. April 8, 2020 – As days turn to weeks, we are seeing the best of Nevada County come together to address the impacts of COVID-19. Non-profits, businesses, government staff, schools, volunteers, local media, first responders, medical professionals, seniors to children are all stepping up to help mitigate the negative impacts of a rapidly changing and life-threatening situation. In our role as County Supervisors, we continue to stay informed on the necessary local, state, and federal measures that are required to lower the risk of COVID-19 and are tracking potential outcomes for Nevada County. What is harder to measure as events unfold, is how this will affect the unique character of our beloved home. We are encouraged by what we have witnessed so far and hope ingenuity, collaboration and community spirit holds strong for the challenging days to come.

As new state-wide orders were implemented, private citizens leapt into action to support isolated community members and local businesses by connecting them on open source documents, Facebook pages, and emails to find food and business resources. Non-profit partners quickly put out a call for volunteers and adjusted their fundraising efforts to reflect a strange new normal that canceled all local gatherings. Businesses who might otherwise be competitors are helping each other connect to information and resources at our Facebook page, Collaborative Resources for Nevada County Small Businesses. 211 Operators continue to take calls 24 hours a day to connect everyone to needed services and keeps an updated list of services offered from local businesses and organizations.

Local media is also collaborating to share the most up to date information. We were particularly heartened to see the great community turn out for the Yubanet Townhall hosted by Pascale Fusshoeller and see it shared widely across local print, web and radio. This has now become a weekly update due to the great response to this media collaboration. We are continuing our ongoing strategy to prepare for wildfire as well. Although some services are temporarily impacted, Firesafe Council of Nevada County is working on ways to help ensure Firewise Communities continue collaborating while maintaining safe social distancing. We are continuing to plan for free green waste disposal times in the late Spring. County of Nevada can provide the platforms and programs, but the support and comradery is fueled by you, the people of Nevada County.

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Everything from yoga workouts and mediation videos to curbside puzzle delivery, free story time and tutoring, art lesson and sing alongs sprung from the creative minds of Nevada County via social media to support mind, body, and spirit of all who could access it. We are reminded of both the generosity of our community and limitations for those who cannot access reliable internet service. Even in those instances, we see neighbor helping neighbor via mail, phone and essential errands while continuing to maintain social distancing. We have also noted, holiday lights signaling hope and yard signs thanking all essential workers. We feel and appreciate every citizen that takes part in making these challenging times easier, even if it is the simple commitment to stay at home to ease the strain on our medical system. For those able to offer more, we encourage you to find links to volunteer opportunities on our website mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.

We know you have questions and concerns. County staff is committed to addressing inquiries and offering support during these increasingly challenging times. Many County employees are taking on additional emergency duties while working from home to support essential services. It is critical to the work they are doing that verified information is shared widely. Please take the time to stay informed from trusted news site and official updates. Then go the extra step to share good information widely.

Sharing misinformation during an emergency further complicates the situation making it more dangerous for everyone. We appreciate your engagement and patience as we navigate these events together.

It is our firm belief that our community as a whole and every small act of individual kindness is an essential ingredient that will help ease the burden of the days to come. For that we say thank you to you all.

Board of Supervisors Chair Heidi Hall and Vice-Chair Dan Miller