Nevada City, CA June 19, 2020 – We have seen a significant increase of new cases in the past weeks. Wednesday marked the highest single day increase in cases since the COVID-19 event began, with ten new cases. The new cases occurred in both Western Nevada County and Eastern Nevada County. Many of the new cases are the result of people thinking it is safe to have social gatherings, or relax social distancing precautions. This has resulted in multiple cases in Nevada, Placer, and across state lines. Nevada County Public Health is working through the contact tracing process to identify others who could have been exposed, testing people, and monitoring for new cases.
After an initial uptick in early April, Nevada County was able to flatten the curve due to the diligence of the community. That shared community responsibility remains key, as a resurgence puts our loved ones at risk and impacts business, jobs, and our ability to continue to reopen. Seeing a significant increase in cases as we did this week is alarming and will continue to be monitored, although we are not yet at a place where we would look at additional restrictions.
Importance of Reopening Safely
Reopening businesses does not mean business as usual. It is even more important to stick to safe practices as more businesses open. This means getting back to the basics –wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing. It’s how we protect each other.
Nevada County is here to help guide all businesses through safely reopening. On Tuesday, June 16th, we hosted our second Stage 3 Business Guidance Workshop to walk through the State’s reopening guidance and answer questions for local businesses with a shared goal of reopening safely to protect customers and employees. Resources and breakout room videos on the different Stage 3 industry sectors are available at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/businesses. Local business owners and managers with reopening questions may also email COVID19Recovery@co.nevada.ca.us.
Local hospitals are prepared for an increase in COVID-19 cases, Nevada County Public Health has case investigation and contact tracing process systems in place, and free testing is available to everyone, even those who may be asymptomatic. COVID-19 remains a risk for our community, our large older population, and nursing homes. It is important to note that while we are reopening some local businesses, COVID-19 is still a threat to our community.
Updates to Nevada County’s Reopen Plan
Nevada County Public Health recently updated Nevada County’s Reopen Plan to reflect new changes statewide for mandatory face coverings in public spaces and safely reopening new industry sectors in alignment with State guidance.
- Individuals are to wear a face covering when in public, with only some exceptions. According to the California Department of Public Health, cloth face covering, or masks can help reduce the spread of coronavirus especially when combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Starting June 18th, Californians must wear face coverings in common public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible. Learn more about the State guidance and limited exceptions from CDPH.
- Personal Care Services can reopen June 19, 2020. See State Guidelines posted at the covid19.ca.gov website for requirements and recommended prevention practices prior to modified, limited reopening.
- Schools can reopen July 1, 2020. All schools are to follow the Interim Guidelines for schools and school-based programs, which is posted on the covid19.ca.gov website and the Guidebook for safe reopening developed by the CDE. The health officer will send a letter directly to all local superintendents specifically addressing certain components including the following: screenings, face coverings and distancing.
- As of June 19, 2020, the attendance/capacity restrictions for religious services have not changed in Nevada County. Attendance is limited to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
Free testing is available to everyone, even those who may be asymptomatic. Don’t assume mild symptoms are just allergies- get tested. Two OptumServe testing sites are available in Grass Valley and Truckee. OptumServe sites bill what is covered to your insurance, and the State picks up any costs your insurance isn’t able to cover. The Grass Valley testing site now provides drive-thru testing in addition to walk-up testing to make it safer and more convenient. Register at lhi.care/covidtesting or find more information at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.
If you feel that you have COVID-19 symptoms, report them through the Symptom Tracker Tool. Using this tool will help us understand the spread of COVID-19.