Nevada County Pilots MyTurn with Limited Appointments

An extremely limited number of appointments will be available as Nevada County Public Health tests the system before expanding access in the coming days and weeks. These first few appointments are a small pilot of MyTurn in Nevada County. Nevada County residents who have signed up for MyTurn and are currently eligible for vaccination will receive notification that appointments are available. NCPH expects that these appointments will fill up very quickly. 

They are releasing these few appointments to test the system and work out any glitches. They expect to release larger number of appointments next week and we want to ensure that the system runs smoothly.

All Nevada County residents are encouraged to sign up for MyTurn to receive notification of vaccine eligibility and open appointments. Go to myturn.ca.gov or call 1-833-422-4255 to register. Those who are not yet eligible can sign up to be notified when it’s their turn to be vaccinated.  As more vaccine becomes available in Nevada County, the community will begin to see more appointments available on MyTurn.

The Public Health Department is grateful for your patience as they test this new system. 

Please stay informed as this is an evolving situation and continue to be patient as NCPH meets this unprecedented challenge

  • Truckee Residents: Updated COVID-19 and vaccination information: https://www.tfhd.com/covid/covid-19-vaccine
  • Sign up for MyTurn.ca.gov for appointment availability
  • Bookmark our COVID-19 vaccination page and check back regularly
  • Text VACCINEINFO to 898211 to receive text updates from Public Health straight to your smartphone
  • Subscribe for those same alerts via email by filling out this on-line form
  • Call 211 (1-833-DIAL211) with questions about your tier or other general questions about COVID-19
  • YubaNet will be hosting weekly, short webinars every Thursday at noon to provide updates on COVID-19 and vaccine distribution in Nevada County. Register here – only one registration for all webinars is required.

Vaccination is an essential tool for ending this pandemic. Even after you are vaccinated, we must all stay vigilant and continue to wear masks, keep our distance, wash our hands, and avoid gatherings so that we can return to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.

Nevada County and Tahoe Forest Hospital Vaccinate TTUSD Teachers

On Wednesday February 3, 2021, teachers from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District received their first COVID-19 vaccinations, administered by Tahoe Forest Hospital staff and school nurses from Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Nevada County is currently in Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes essential frontline workers. Vaccinating educators helps children remain in or return to the classroom, where critical social interactions and the best learning takes place, while preventing outbreaks in congregate school settings and supporting parents to remain in the workplace.

“I am so thankful for the amazing collaboration between all parties – Nevada County, Tahoe Forest Hospital, Placer County and the school district,” said Kim Szczurek, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board President.  “The work of these entities, both by the elected officials and the Superintendent Chief Learning Officer, County Executive Officer, TFH CEO, and their staffs make me so proud.  We have done this to protect our TTUSD staff with one goal in mind – focusing on the education and social and emotional well-being of our kids.”

The Tahoe Truckee educator clinic is the biggest single-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic hosted in Nevada County so far, with approximately 700 teachers and school support staff vaccinated in one day. Tahoe Forest Hospital took the lead in making this event happen for the Tahoe Truckee community.

“Tahoe Forest Health System is very happy to assist in the vaccination efforts for our educational staff in our region,” said Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “Helping the students, teachers, staff and our schools return to a greater sense of normalcy or health security is very important to us!”

“From a public health perspective, we recognize the value of vaccinating school staff,” said Jill Blake, Nevada County’s Public Health Director.  “National data tells us that families and women in particular have been negatively impacted by schools closing, with many forced to leave the workplace and stay home because there is no school for their children and they cannot afford childcare. These vaccinations help keep teachers safe, children engaged, and parents employed.”

Nevada County has received 10,625 vaccines to-date, which includes first and second doses of the vaccine. Nevada County has partnered with local hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and local healthcare providers to vaccinate our community.

“The complexity associated with vaccination programming and the actual scarcity of the vaccine has put the County in a really tough position,” said District 5 Supervisor Hardy Bullock. “Vaccinating educators and getting our schools back toward a more normal operation is a top priority. It allows our families to return to work, our children to begin learning and connect socially, and get our economy back on track. We want every person to get vaccinated. This group of educators is a catalyst, not only for learning but now our entire economy and social connection. County Public Health staff and all the officials from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Tahoe Forest Hospital, Placer and Nevada County have been working full time on this. I’m so proud of this decision and our teamwork; this is how government serves and leads.”

More Information

While COVID-19 vaccine supply is still limited, California is prioritizing vaccines for specific groups based on exposure risks, health risks, and health equity. My Turn is the State of California’s new tool where you can find out if it’s your turn to get vaccinated and schedule vaccination appointments. If it isn’t your turn yet, you can register to be notified when you become eligible. Although there are currently no appointments available in Nevada County via this system, we expect this to change over the next few weeks. 

Find more information and ways to receive updates on COVID-19 vaccines in Nevada County at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/vaccine. Vaccination is an essential tool for ending this pandemic. Even after you are vaccinated, we must all stay vigilant and continue to wear masks, keep our distance, wash our hands, and avoid gatherings so that we can return to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.

Text PLACERVACCINE to 898211 for Updates from 211

Placer County has partnered with 211 Connecting Point to provide the community text updates when new information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Placer County becomes available. Residents can subscribe to find out updates like when, where and to what populations the COVID-19 has become available to.

Text PLACERVACCINE to 898211

Subscribe to vaccine text updates by texting PlacerVaccine to 898211. Subscribers will receive official, non- emergency information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine(s). All new subscribers must opt-in to the alerts for ongoing updates.

Subscribers will get a confirmation reading: “Thank you for joining Placer 211’s COVID-19 Vaccine text alerts. You will receive information and updates related to COVID-19 vaccines in Placer County. Visit Placer.ca.gov/6996/Vaccine to learn more.”

 Residents can also get the most up-to-date information by visiting the County’s COVID vaccine webpage at Placer.ca.gov/6996/Vaccine or by calling 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local call center agent, 24/7 in English or Spanish.

Text VACCINEINFO to 898211 for Vaccine Updates from Public Health and 211

Nevada County Public Health has partnered with 211 Connecting Point to provide the community text updates when new information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Nevada County becomes available. Residents can subscribe to find out updates like when, where and to what populations the COVID-19 has become available to.

“We are so grateful for the community’s enthusiasm to get the COVID-19 vaccine and excited to be able to work with 211 Connecting Point to let the community know as soon as it becomes available to them,” said Jill Blake, Nevada County Director of Public Health.

Ann Guerra, Executive Director of Connecting Point added that partnering with NCPH “allows us to stay in touch with Nevada County residents and give them the latest, most accurate information as soon as it’s released to the public.”

Text VACCINEINFO to 898211

Subscribe to vaccine text updates by texting VaccineInfo to 898211. Subscribers will receive official, non- emergency information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine(s). All new subscribers must opt-in to the alerts for ongoing updates.

Subscribers will get a confirmation reading: “Thank you for joining 211’s COVID-19 Vaccine News & Information text alerts. You will receive information and updates related to COVID-19 vaccines in Nevada County. Visit www.mynevadacounty.com/Coronavirus/Vaccine to learn more.

 Residents can also get the most up-to-date information by visiting the County’s COVID vaccine webpage www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/vaccine or by calling 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local call center agent, 24/7 in English or Spanish.

For more information, visit Nevada County Public Health’s vaccine information page at www.mynevadacounty.com/Coronavirus/Vaccine. 

Nevada County Exits COVID-19 Stay Home Order into Purple Tier

The State has lifted the Regional Stay Home Order for the Greater Sacramento Region, which includes Nevada County. Due to Nevada County’s current daily average of COVID-19 cases and positivity rate, Nevada County will be exiting the Stay Home Order into the Widespread Purple Tier.  

Although this is welcome news that our ICU capacity is projected to be above 15%, Nevada County remains well into the Widespread Purple Tier with significant business modifications. Nevada County Public Health continues to thank the community for wearing a mask, being mindful of social distancing and refraining from social gatherings. Together, we can stop the surge to save lives and work towards lowering our daily COVID-19 cases and positivity rate which may allow us to move into the less restrictive Red Tier.

Moving into the Widespread Purple Tier

As we move back into the Widespread Purple Tier, some businesses will be able to reopen with modifications. Most notably, these are:

  • Hair Salons/Barbershops/Personal Care: Open with modifications in the Purple Tier
  • Hotels and Lodging: Open with modifications in the Purple Tier
  • Movie Theaters: Outdoor only with modifications in Purple Tier
  • Wineries: Outdoor only with modifications in the Purple Tier
  • Restaurants: Outdoor dining with modifications allowed in Purple Tier

Find a summary of the differences between the State’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” tier system on California Department of Public Health’s website.

COVID Vaccines in Nevada County

Nevada County Public Health is working to vaccinate Nevada County as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. Bookmark www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/vaccine for updates on where we are in our local vaccine rollout. 

More Information

For more information visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.

Nevada County Exits COVID-19 Stay Home Order into Purple Tier

The State has lifted the Regional Stay Home Order for the Greater Sacramento Region, which includes Nevada County. Due to Nevada County’s current daily average of COVID-19 cases and positivity rate, Nevada County will be exiting the Stay Home Order into the Widespread Purple Tier.  

Although this is welcome news that our ICU capacity is projected to be above 15%, Nevada County remains well into the Widespread Purple Tier with significant business modifications. Nevada County Public Health continues to thank the community for wearing a mask, being mindful of social distancing and refraining from social gatherings. Together, we can stop the surge to save lives and work towards lowering our daily COVID-19 cases and positivity rate which may allow us to move into the less restrictive Red Tier.

Moving into the Widespread Purple Tier

As we move back into the Widespread Purple Tier, some businesses will be able to reopen with modifications. Most notably, these are:

  • Hair Salons/Barbershops/Personal Care: Open with modifications in the Purple Tier
  • Hotels and Lodging: Open with modifications in the Purple Tier
  • Movie Theaters: Outdoor only with modifications in Purple Tier
  • Wineries: Outdoor only with modifications in the Purple Tier
  • Restaurants: Outdoor dining with modifications allowed in Purple Tier

Find a summary of the differences between the State’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” tier system on California Department of Public Health’s website.

COVID Vaccines in Nevada County

Nevada County Public Health is working to vaccinate Nevada County as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. Bookmark www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/vaccine for updates on where we are in our local vaccine rollout. 

More Information

For more information visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.

Nevada County Increases COVID-19 Testing at Grass Valley Testing Site

Nevada County’s Grass Valley COVID-19 testing site has increased testing to six days a week to add 165 more tests to its weekly testing capacity, an increase of more that 15% of the testing site’s previous capacity. Placer County’s Truckee COVID-19 testing site also recently increased their daily testing capacity as well.

Testing is available for anyone, whether or not you have insurance. You must pre-register and schedule an appointment at https://www.lhi.care/covidtesting or call 1-888-634-1123. For assistance scheduling a COVID-19 test, contact 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local call specialist.

Appointments are available Monday-Saturday, 7:00am to 7:00pm in Grass Valley and Monday-Friday 7:00am to 7:00pm in Truckee. Return time for results may vary and can be expected within 2-7 days. The Grass Valley testing site is located at 231 Colfax Avenue (formerly Summer Thymes) and the Truckee testing site is located at 10990 Donner Pass Road (across the street from the Tahoe Forest Health System). COVID-19 testing may also be available through your local physician’s office and is becoming more readily available through private companies as well. Visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/testing for more information.

If You’ve Tested Positive for COVID-19                                         

Nevada County currently has widespread transmission of COVID-19 and is under a Stay Home Order due to available ICU capacity in the State’s Greater Sacramento Region. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the Isolation Guidance and share the Quarantine Guidance with your close contacts. 

Rental Assistance Available for Residents Impacted by COVID-19

The TBRA program has now been extended through Sept. 30, 2021. Call 211 today if you are interested in applying.

The Placer County Housing Authority and the Community Development Resource Agency HOME program are offering rental assistance to eligible low-income residents who are facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tenant Based Rental Assistance program offers assistance for up to four months of unpaid back rent and late fees accrued after March 13, 2020 (not to exceed $2,500), and is limited to funds available. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the California Department of Housing and Community Development. 

To be eligible for the program, an individual or family must be renting or leasing a unit within the county (excluding Roseville city limits), among other criteria. See a full list of eligibility criteria here Headline.

Households interested in applying for rental assistance through the program should call 211 Placer, by dialing 211 or 1-833-DIAL211. Operators will screen callers’ eligibility and refer them to the county for the application. 

“We encourage anyone wondering if they might be eligible to go ahead and call 211 Placer,” said Human Services Assistant Director Greg Geisler. “This is a valuable resource for some families struggling to stay afloat.”

Nevada County Remains in Regional COVID-19 Stay Home Order

Nevada County continues to be under the State’s Stay Home Order along with neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region. According to the State’s latest COVID-19 facts, the Greater Sacramento region’s daily current ICU capacity numbers have been relatively consistent at approximately 14%, however early projections over the next four weeks show ICU capacity is likely to drop. Therefore, the order will likely be extended for the Greater Sacramento region. The Greater Sacramento region’s official ICU projections and status under the Stay Home Order will be known and posted tomorrow, January 2nd based on the January 1st projections that will be run today. The ICU capacity projections are based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.

The Stay at Home Order means that gatherings of any size are prohibited. Bars, wineries, personal services and hair salons must close temporarily.  Retail can stay open with a cap of 20% capacity and restaurants must stop all on-site dining and only provide take-out or delivery services. Critical infrastructure and schools are allowed to stay open.  Non-essential travel is not allowed across the state of California and the travel advisory to quarantine after any out of state travel is still in place. Masking and physical distancing are mandatory. In Nevada County, there are many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Local recreation with members of the same household is encouraged. Learn more about the regional Stay at Home Order at COVID19.ca.gov.

To protect our essential and healthcare workers, first responders, vulnerable residents and businesses, please stay home except for essential needs. A few weeks after a holiday, Nevada County typically sees a spike in new COVID-19 cases. Individual action leads to collective mitigation and we thank Nevada County residents who remain diligent about wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and staying home when sick. We can stop the spread together. Thank you for keeping Nevada County Strong.

Upcoming Business Resource Opportunities

Nevada County is hosting a COVID-19 Business Task Force meeting at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, January 6th. Get an update on COVID-19 and learn about federal, state, and local relief funding available to businesses. Hosted by Supervisors Dan Miller and Ed Scofield, with speakers from Nevada County and the Sierra Business Council. Register on Zoom at www.mynevadacounty.com/COVID19BusinessTaskForce..

The Nevada County Relief Fund is currently accepting applications from for-profit small businesses who are complying with public health guidelines to protect their customers and staff through January 6th. For-profit businesses may apply for micro-grants up to $5,000 that may be used for rent relief or other critical business expenses needed to stay open this winter. Apply at www.nevcorelief.org

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant opened December 30th and will close on January 8th at 11:59 p.m. A total of $475 million will be available in two rounds. Round one will distribute $237 million. Find more information at www.careliefgrant.com. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will provide a daily webinar at 11:00 am  through January 4th. Webinar topics will include updates to the program including eligibility requirements, application process, required documents, and who to contact for assistance. Register for an upcoming Small Business Grant Webinar on SBDC’s website at www.sierrasbdc.com/events/state-california-covid-19-small-business-grant-webinar.

More Information

For more information visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus or speak with a local call center representative at 211 Connecting Point by calling  1-833-DIAL211. For more information on local immunization efforts and weekly vaccine updates visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/vaccine

Nevada County Introduces Dr. Scott Kellermann as Public Health Officer

Beginning January 1, 2021, Dr. Scott Kellermann will be joining the County of Nevada as Public Health Officer. While Dr. Kellermann will begin his role as Public Health Officer on the first, his contract will formally come before the Nevada County Board of Supervisors at their January 12th meeting to officially appoint him to the vital public health role.

Dr. Kellermann received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine with a Master’s in Public Health and Master’s in Tropical Medicine. He was an intern at USC/LA County Hospital and a Family Practice resident at UCLA. Currently, Dr. Kellermann is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and an assistant clinical professor at California Northstate University College of Medicine in Elk Grove, California. He is a Senior Consultant for the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID), through the National Institute of Health and UC Davis. CREID research will attempt to identify novel viruses and prevent future pandemics.

“I look forward to engaging in public health in Nevada County, particularly with an immunization campaign to end the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said incoming Public Health Officer Dr. Kellermann. “I look forward to giving back to Nevada County the kindness and generosity that has been shown to me.”

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Richard Johnson who has served with us as our Interim Health Officer since June. His experience as a local Health Officer and his vast experience in emergency preparedness and response served our community very well,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “Dr. Kellermann’s deep community roots and breadth of experience as an MD will also serve us well. We look forward to this next chapter bringing Dr. Kellermann on as our Health Officer alongside Deputy Health Officer Dr. Glennah Trochet as we work to provide a safe and equitable COVID vaccination process to Nevada County residents.”

About Dr. Kellermann

After practicing medicine in Nepal for 2 ½ years, Dr. Kellarmann moved with his family to practice medicine in Nevada County. He thoroughly enjoyed his two decades of Family Medicine on Zion Street in Nevada City. He was Chief-of-Staff at Sierra Nevada Hospital and served two terms on the Sierra Nevada Hospital Board. In 1987, he and Drs. Chargin and Dawkins purchased Miners Hospital on Zion Street converting it into an outpatient facility to medically assist those less fortunate. It has subsequently grown into the Western Sierra Clinic, the largest provider of medical care in Nevada County.

In 2001, he and his wife Carol relocated to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda to work with the Batwa pygmies. Over the next decade, he founded the 175 bed Bwindi Community Hospital, which is ranked one of the finest hospitals in East Africa. He also founded the Uganda Nursing School-Bwindi, with a current enrolment of 400 nursing students, recognized as one of the leading nursing schools in Uganda. He founded the Batwa Development Program, with a focus on educating Batwa children. The Batwa Development Program is overseen by the Batwa and is helping extricate them from their cycle of poverty. The Kellermann Foundation was initiated by Nevada County residents to support the work at the Bwindi. These projects would not have been possible without the assistance of the citizens of Nevada County.

Dr. Kellermann has written chapters for medical textbooks and has published multiple articles in medical journals regarding diseases of the tropics. He has been honored with: Rotary’s Service above Self Award, New York University’s – Excellence in Public Health Award, American Medical Association’s – Excellence in Medicine, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine- Outstanding Alumni and the Wisdom in Action’s Unsung Hero of Compassion Award presented by the Dali Lama. In 2017-2018 he was a Fulbright Scholar teaching tropical medicine in Africa.

As COVID-19 Vaccines Distributed, Official Information Sources Available

As Nevada County front-line healthcare workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the timeline and priority levels for vaccine distribution has been on the mind of the community. People have questions about the new vaccine, its safety, and its effectiveness.

211 is preferred community connection point for information and resources about COVID-19 in Nevada and Placer Counties and the Tahoe Truckee region. We work closely with Public Health to be able to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information, and will continue to do so for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Following are official sources for COVID-19 vaccine information that you may find helpful.  

In addition, we have recently optimized COVID-19 resource listings on our websites, making them more accessible and searchable by region. By integrating the listings into our back-end resource engine, we have created a more consistent user experience. The public can easily access information about COVID-19 guidance, financial assistance, distance learning, as well as official vaccine information sources. We hope this single reference point will benefit county residents, especially those who live and work across county borders.

You can always call 211 to speak to one of our call agents about your specific questions and needs or visit the 211 website.

Nevada County Hospitals Receive First Shipment of COVID Vaccine

On Thursday morning Nevada County received the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine which included 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. These first doses are being distributed to our two hospitals, Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley and will be used to begin vaccinating our front-line health care workers. This first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine represents a significant milestone, and congratulations are warranted to the community, our healthcare providers and Public Health for getting us this far.

“Although our initial allocations will be small, we expect that soon we will begin to receive vaccine allocations each week,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “This is very welcome news, as the arrival of the vaccine indicates the beginning of a pharmaceutical intervention that will eventually end this pandemic and allow us to return to normalcy.”

COVID Vaccines Arriving at Tahoe Forest Hospital & Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

“This week is a huge, positive week for our region considering the past nine months in that this is the first step of Part B of our strategy which is to receive and begin administering vaccines following state and county guidelines.  We’ve all waited impatiently for this week,” said Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “It’s a small start so please stay tuned for advice as to when vaccines will be available for the general public”.

At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) preparation included acquiring necessary equipment to store and administer the vaccine, the training of staff, and developing relevant processes and procedures. 

“At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, safety is our priority, and we only administer vaccines that are proven safe and effective. While there are always unknowns when a new vaccine is developed, data from the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials looks extremely promising, and the vaccines they are creating appear to be very effective,” said Dr. Brian Evans, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital President. “As we reach this historic moment in time, I do want to take pause to recognize our healthcare workers that have and will continue to do their part to keep our communities healthy and well – it is truly heroic work and we can’t thank you enough.”  

As with all COVID-19 communications throughout this pandemic, Dr. Evans stressed, “Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has been very transparent and attempts to always communicate vital information to community members in the timeliest manner.” He explained they will be taking this same approach with the vaccine distributions. 

Next Steps

Nevada County is following the  vaccine allocation guidelines developed by the California Department of Public Health. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has developed phases and tiers within those phases. CDPH continues to define/clarify who is included in which tiers. Nevada County’s first doses are going to front-line health care workers at our two hospitals. Congregate care settings such as Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities are also prioritized in Tier 1 of Phase 1A. As availability increases, vaccine will eventually be available via local health care providers and Nevada County Public Health.

While this is a tremendous milestone in the fight against this pandemic, it will be some time until the vaccine is widely available. Until our community is widely vaccinated, stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when out of the house, and maintain social distance from non-household members. If you are a healthcare worker with an active license and would like to volunteer as a disaster healthcare worker, you can sign up with California’s Disaster Healthcare Volunteer database. If you are a healthcare provider with a current practice, Nevada County Public Health is planning to hold meetings with providers to consult about the best way to ensure that everyone who qualifies for these initial doses has access to them.

If you have more questions about vaccine safety, efficacy, distribution, approval or other related questions, visit the State of California’s Vaccine page for up-to-date information. For more information on Coronavirus in Nevada County, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus or speak with a local call center representative at 211 Connecting Point by calling 1-833-DIAL211.

Nevada County Hospitals Receive First Shipment of COVID Vaccine

On Thursday morning Nevada County received the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine which included 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. These first doses are being distributed to our two hospitals, Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley and will be used to begin vaccinating our front-line health care workers. This first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine represents a significant milestone, and congratulations are warranted to the community, our healthcare providers and Public Health for getting us this far.

“Although our initial allocations will be small, we expect that soon we will begin to receive vaccine allocations each week,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “This is very welcome news, as the arrival of the vaccine indicates the beginning of a pharmaceutical intervention that will eventually end this pandemic and allow us to return to normalcy.”

COVID Vaccines Arriving at Tahoe Forest Hospital & Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

“This week is a huge, positive week for our region considering the past nine months in that this is the first step of Part B of our strategy which is to receive and begin administering vaccines following state and county guidelines.  We’ve all waited impatiently for this week,” said Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “It’s a small start so please stay tuned for advice as to when vaccines will be available for the general public”.

At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) preparation included acquiring necessary equipment to store and administer the vaccine, the training of staff, and developing relevant processes and procedures. 

“At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, safety is our priority, and we only administer vaccines that are proven safe and effective. While there are always unknowns when a new vaccine is developed, data from the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials looks extremely promising, and the vaccines they are creating appear to be very effective,” said Dr. Brian Evans, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital President. “As we reach this historic moment in time, I do want to take pause to recognize our healthcare workers that have and will continue to do their part to keep our communities healthy and well – it is truly heroic work and we can’t thank you enough.”  

As with all COVID-19 communications throughout this pandemic, Dr. Evans stressed, “Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has been very transparent and attempts to always communicate vital information to community members in the timeliest manner.” He explained they will be taking this same approach with the vaccine distributions. 

Next Steps

Nevada County is following the  vaccine allocation guidelines developed by the California Department of Public Health. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has developed phases and tiers within those phases. CDPH continues to define/clarify who is included in which tiers. Nevada County’s first doses are going to front-line health care workers at our two hospitals. Congregate care settings such as Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities are also prioritized in Tier 1 of Phase 1A. As availability increases, vaccine will eventually be available via local health care providers and Nevada County Public Health.

While this is a tremendous milestone in the fight against this pandemic, it will be some time until the vaccine is widely available. Until our community is widely vaccinated, stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when out of the house, and maintain social distance from non-household members. If you are a healthcare worker with an active license and would like to volunteer as a disaster healthcare worker, you can sign up with California’s Disaster Healthcare Volunteer database. If you are a healthcare provider with a current practice, Nevada County Public Health is planning to hold meetings with providers to consult about the best way to ensure that everyone who qualifies for these initial doses has access to them.

If you have more questions about vaccine safety, efficacy, distribution, approval or other related questions, visit the State of California’s Vaccine page for up-to-date information. For more information on Coronavirus in Nevada County, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus or speak with a local call center representative at 211 Connecting Point by calling 1-833-DIAL211.

Nevada County moves into regional Stay-at-Home Order beginning Dec 11th

Today, the State announced that Nevada County, along with neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region, will be moving into the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order beginning Friday, December 11th. The order will remain in effect for a minimum of three weeks. The State’s Regional Stay at Home Order is triggered when a region’s ICU capacity drops below 15%. Today, the Greater Sacramento region’s ICU capacity has dropped to 14.3%.

The Stay at Home Order means that gatherings of any size are prohibited. Bars, wineries, personal services and hair salons must close temporarily.  Retail can stay open with a cap of 20% capacity and restaurants must stop all on-site dining and only provide take-out or delivery services. Critical infrastructure and schools are allowed to stay open.  Non-essential travel is not allowed across the state of California and the travel advisory to quarantine after any out of state travel is still in place. Masking and physical distancing are mandatory. In Nevada County, we have many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Local recreation with members of the same household is encouraged. Learn more about the regional Stay at Home Order at COVID19.ca.gov.

Nevada County is hosting a COVID-19 Business Task Force meeting from 3-4pm today, Wednesday, December 9th to discuss the most recent business resources. Register on Zoom at www.mynevadacounty.com/COVID19BusinessTaskForce.

The State is planning to send out a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), similar to our CodeRED Emergency Alerts, to residents of Nevada County and neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region who will be under the regional Stay at Home Order. Any messages are informational only, and individuals who receive wireless alerts should not contact law enforcement or call 9-1-1. If you have questions, please call 211 Connecting Point by calling 1-833-DIAL211 rather than 911 dispatch.

To protect our essential and healthcare workers, first responders, vulnerable residents and businesses, please stay home except for essential needs. Eight more Nevada County residents have died of COVID-19 in the last week. 

We can stop the spread together. Thank you for keeping Nevada County Strong. 

For more information visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus or speak with a local call center representative at 211 Connecting Point by calling  1-833-DIAL211.

Nevada County moves into regional Stay-at-Home Order beginning Dec 11th

Today, the State announced that Nevada County, along with neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region, will be moving into the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order beginning Friday, December 11th. The order will remain in effect for a minimum of three weeks. The State’s Regional Stay at Home Order is triggered when a region’s ICU capacity drops below 15%. Today, the Greater Sacramento region’s ICU capacity has dropped to 14.3%.

The Stay at Home Order means that gatherings of any size are prohibited. Bars, wineries, personal services and hair salons must close temporarily.  Retail can stay open with a cap of 20% capacity and restaurants must stop all on-site dining and only provide take-out or delivery services. Critical infrastructure and schools are allowed to stay open.  Non-essential travel is not allowed across the state of California and the travel advisory to quarantine after any out of state travel is still in place. Masking and physical distancing are mandatory. In Nevada County, we have many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Local recreation with members of the same household is encouraged. Learn more about the regional Stay at Home Order at COVID19.ca.gov.

Nevada County is hosting a COVID-19 Business Task Force meeting from 3-4pm today, Wednesday, December 9th to discuss the most recent business resources. Register on Zoom at www.mynevadacounty.com/COVID19BusinessTaskForce.

The State is planning to send out a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), similar to our CodeRED Emergency Alerts, to residents of Nevada County and neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region who will be under the regional Stay at Home Order. Any messages are informational only, and individuals who receive wireless alerts should not contact law enforcement or call 9-1-1. If you have questions, please call 211 Connecting Point by calling 1-833-DIAL211 rather than 911 dispatch.

To protect our essential and healthcare workers, first responders, vulnerable residents and businesses, please stay home except for essential needs. Eight more Nevada County residents have died of COVID-19 in the last week. 

We can stop the spread together. Thank you for keeping Nevada County Strong. 

For more information visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus or speak with a local call center representative at 211 Connecting Point by calling  1-833-DIAL211.

Placer County Public Health Shares COVID-19 Safety Tips For the Holidays

As we get further into the holiday season, many are wondering how to safely celebrate in the time of COVID-19. Pending forthcoming additional state guidance, Placer County Public Health is sharing some tips to help community members start thinking about ways to connect during this meaningful time of year while giving the gift of health to our loved ones.

Consider safer alternatives

The safest gathering is a virtual gathering. Here are some other ideas to spark your imagination ahead of the holiday season:

  • Host a feast with just the people living in your household. Check in with other loved ones virtually and swap recipes.
  • Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
  • Watch holiday movies with members of your household.
  • Participate in drive-through activities, such as driving by neighborhood holiday lights.
  • Try to avoid crowded shopping environments by ordering items from businesses ahead of time for curbside pickup – and don’t wait until the last minute.

Safer holiday gatherings

Gathering with people outside your household increases risk of coronavirus transmission. If you choose to gather for the holidays, here are steps you can take to lower you and your family’s risk:

  • Limit holiday travel. If you do travel:
    • Get tested before traveling and quarantine while awaiting results.
    • Consider the level of transmission where you are traveling as well as your own and your fellow travelers’ risk of developing serious illness due to age or underlying conditions.
    • Safest travel would be by car.
    • If you fly, wear a mask and keep your distance at the airport and on the plane. Bring wipes and sanitize your seating area.
  • Keep gatherings small and short, with a limited number of households participating. (See state gathering guidance.)
  • Keep gatherings stable; that is, do not participate in multiple gatherings with many different households.
  • Stay outside – with outdoor heaters or firepits as needed – or in well-ventilated areas. If you must gather indoors, consider opening windows despite the added heating costs.
  • Wear masks and keep physically distant (at least 6 feet apart) from others not in your household.
  • Consider self-quarantine and testing prior to and following gatherings (remember, if you know you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you still need to quarantine for a full 14 days even with a negative test).
  • Stay flexible. Have a Plan B in case someone develops symptoms or becomes a case or contact. Be ready to include loved ones virtually and keep everyone safe and sound.
  • Avoid parades, festivals, large gatherings and any crowded indoor environment.

“Remember, when we wear a mask or forgo a higher risk activity, we aren’t just protecting ourselves, we’re giving a gift to all of those people around us who might suffer more if they are infected with the virus,” said Health and Human Services Director and Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham.

Some loved ones may be uncomfortable celebrating the holidays in any way this year, and we ask that you respect their wishes and concerns. Everyone is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic to the best of their abilities and has different comfort levels about what is safe to do.

In addition, the holidays can be a time of added stress for some. If you or someone you know are experiencing mental health struggles, here are some resources in addition to services that your health care provider may offer:

  • For mental health emergencies/treatment call: 1-888-886-5401
  • For Family and Children’s Services call: 1-866-293-1940
  • Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • COVID-19 Peer-Run Warm Line: 1-855-845-7415

Community Update on COVID-19 and Regional Stay-at-Home Order

To blunt the curve and save lives, California has introduced a Regional Stay-at-Home Order today for counties whose regional hospital systems fall under 15% ICU capacity. Although Nevada County is not immediately placed into a Stay-at-Home Order due to regional hospital capacity, the “Greater Sacramento” health system is projected to fall below 15% ICU capacity in early December and would move Nevada County into a Stay-at-Home Order for a minimum of 3 weeks with neighboring counties in the “Greater Sacramento” health system. Find more information about the possible Stay-at-Home Order at COVID19.ca.gov.

“We’re seeing a concerning increase in hospitalizations across the state, the region, and locally,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “As a county with two small hospitals that regularly rely on the ability to transfer patients to hospitals outside our jurisdiction, it’s important to remember that there is a regionality to our healthcare system and that what happens in neighboring counties impacts us as well.” 

In Nevada County, we’re experiencing an unprecedented escalation in new COVID-19 cases. From March through October, Nevada County had a total of 642 cases; in November, we had 706 new cases. At the end of October, we had 51 active cases and 2 hospitalizations, and as of today, we have 371 active cases and 17 hospitalizations. We anticipate another large increase in cases within the next 1-2 weeks from Thanksgiving activities and gatherings. Since mid-November there has been an 89% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across California. Current projections show hospitalizations could increase 2-3 times the current amount in one month alone. 

Join us Friday afternoon from 2pm-3pm on Zoom to learn about the individual actions required to protect our community and our essential workers. This is an urgent update that will feature reliable, expert information from those working on our local COVID-19 response including our two local hospitals, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Tahoe Forest Hospital, and our Public Health Department. What we all do these next couple weeks will be critical for our community’s health and economic well-being. Register at www.mynevadacounty.com/COVID19communityupdate.

To help keep the community informed, protect our essential workers, and to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, Nevada County plans to send out a CodeRED Emergency Alert to residents and visitors if Nevada County does move into a Stay-at-Home Order due to regional hospital capacity. Learn more and subscribe to CodeRED Emergency Alerts at www.readynevadacounty.org/codered

For more information visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus, and to speak with a local call center representative, please call 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211.

Recent Deaths Largely Due to Outbreaks in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Nevada County reported five additional deaths from COVID-19 on December 3rd. Four of these deaths are related to COVID-19 outbreaks in local skilled nursing facilities and elderly residents who lived there, and the other was an older adult not affiliated with a skilled nursing facility. Another death was reported earlier this week, bringing our County’s total deaths due to COVID-19 to fifteen.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased, as well as the healthcare staff who cared for them,” said Jill Blake, Nevada County Public Health Director. “This is a sober reminder of the threat of COVID-19. We encourage everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and those around them. To slow the spread of this virus, we all need to maintain a minimum of 6 feet from one another, wear a mask or face covering, and limit our person to person interactions.”

With widespread community transmission in Nevada County, outbreaks of COVID-19 in our skilled nursing facilities and other vulnerable populations become more and more likely, and more difficult to contain. These tragic deaths illustrate the importance of our individual actions as members of our community. We know what it takes to protect our community and our most vulnerable family members and neighbors. We are in a challenging phase of this pandemic, but how dark it gets depends on our individual actions, and it is incumbent upon all of us to refrain from gathering, maintain social distancing, wear face coverings, and practice proper handwashing and sanitation.

Limiting the Spread

If you’ve tested positive or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, there are important steps you can take to help limit the spread further into our community. Because of the large number of positive COVID-19 cases in our community currently, those with a positive COVID test may not hear from the Public Health department. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the Isolation Guidance and share the Quarantine Guidance with your close contacts.

Find more detailed information about what to do if you’ve tested positive or are a close contact to someone with COVID-19 at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/exposures. 211 Connecting Point is available to help answer questions and talk through the Isolation or Quarantine Guidance with Nevada County residents. Connect with a local call center agent at 1-833-DIAL211. 

State Issues Limited Stay at Home Order to Slow Spread of COVID-19

In light of an unprecedented, rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a limited Stay at Home Order requiring generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier. The order will take effect at 10 PM Saturday, November 21 and remain in effect until 5 AM December 21. This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applied only between 10 PM and 5 AM and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

This limited Stay at Home Order is designed to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. Activities conducted during 10 PM to 5 AM are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance.

“We know from our stay at home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.”

“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting Public Health Officer. “It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers who are continuing their critical work amidst this next wave of widespread community transmission across the state. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”

COVID-19 case rates increased by approximately 50 percent in California during the first week of November. As a result, Governor Newsom and California’s public health officials have announced a list of measures to protect Californians and the state’s health care system, which could experience an unprecedented surge if cases continue their steep climb.

On Monday, the state pulled an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy putting more than 94 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier. The state will reassess data continuously and move more counties back into a more restrictive tier, if necessary. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.

Late last week, the state issued a travel advisory, along with Oregon and Washington, urging people entering the state or returning home from travel outside the state to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The travel advisory urges against non-essential out-of-state travel, asks people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country, and encourages residents to stay local.

Governor Announces Actions to Curb COVID-19 Transmission

As COVID-19 cases sharply increase across the country and California, Governor Gavin Newsom and state public health officials announced immediate actions today to slow the spread of the virus. The state is pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy resulting in 94.1 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier. This change is effective tomorrow. The state will reassess data continuously and move more counties back if necessary. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.

“We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet –faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Now is the time to do all we can – government at all levels and Californians across the state – to flatten the curve again as we have done before.”

The rate of growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases is faster than it was in July, which led to a significant peak in cases. This requires a swift public health response and action from all Californians to slow the spread of the virus. Immediate action will help protect individuals at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 and will help keep the state’s health care delivery system from becoming overwhelmed.

“The data we are seeing is very concerning. We are in the midst of a surge, and time is of the essence. Every day matters and every decision matters,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Personal decisions are critical, and I am I imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing and wash their hands.”

The 28 counties moving back into Tier 1(Purple/Widespread) include:

AlamedaNapaSanta Cruz
ButteNevadaSiskiyou
Contra CostaOrangeSolano
El DoradoPlacerSutter
FresnoSan BenitoTrinity
GlennSan JoaquinTuolumne
KernSan Luis ObispoVentura
KingsMendocinoMercedSanta BarbaraSanta ClaraYoloYuba
   

The nine counties moving back into Tier 2 (Red/Substantial) include:

ColusaMarinPlumas
Del NorteModocSan Francisco
HumboldtMonoSan Mateo

The two counties moving back into Tier 3 (Orange/Moderate) include:

CalaverasSierra

Today’s action will remain in effect until the State Public Health Officer determines it is appropriate to make modifications based on public health conditions and data.

California has taken steps to prepare the state for an increase in COVID-19 cases. The state has developed additional testing capacity to allow cases to be quickly identified, recently opening a new laboratory in Valencia that is already processing thousands of tests a day. The state is averaging 164,345 tests over the last seven days.

The state has been working in partnership with hospitals, clinics and physicians on the COVID-19 response. To support California’s health care delivery system, the state has an additional 1,872 beds available at alternate care sites outside of the system that can be made available quickly if needed to respond to a surge in cases.

California will continue to update the Blueprint for a Safer Economy based on the best available public health data and science. For more information about the Blueprint and what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit covid19.ca.gov.