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 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. 

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 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.

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.

Nevada County Moves to Purple Tier with Rise in Local COVID-19 Cases

Nevada County has seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, with over six times as many new cases in the second week of November compared to the second week of October. Today, the State announced that Nevada County’s COVID-19 data meets the most restrictive Purple “Widespread” Tier that will reduce the capacity and increase restrictions for local businesses. The State’s tiered framework connects the level of openness of business sectors to COVID-19 conditions on the ground.

Nevada County Public Health reminds residents to continue practicing social distancing, masking, hand washing, and minimizing social mixing between households. Even if you are mildly symptomatic, please stay home and don’t assume it is allergies or a cold. California has also issued a travel advisory alongside Oregon and Washington to discourage non-essential travel over the holidays, encourage staying local and ask that those that choose to travel self-quarantine for 14-days after returning.

“We saw around 30 cases per day over the weekend, and both our case count and our positivity rates have risen significantly. We are growing increasingly concerned about overwhelming our local healthcare system and hospitals,” said Nevada County’s Director of Public Health Jill Blake. “As we see cases surge locally and regionally, we encourage everyone to get back to the basics that we know help curb the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands, wear a mask, distance yourself, and don’t take unnecessary risks like social gatherings. These are simple actions we can take to keep ourselves and others safe and get back to less restrictive tiers.”

Nevada County COVID-19 Community Webinar

We know you have questions. Join us Tuesday evening from 4pm-5pm on Zoom to learn how to protect and help our local businesses, get updates from Public Health and the local schools. This is a collaborative, all hands on deck, learning session for everyone who wants to be part of the solution and help get us headed in the right direction.

Register at www.mynevadacounty.com/COVID19communityupdate

Get Tested for COVID-19

Testing is highly recommended for those who are symptomatic. While we are experiencing this surge in new COVID-19 cases and working on increasing our testing capacity, Nevada County Public Health would like to encourage those who are not symptomatic and have not knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 to consider temporarily delaying getting tested to allow for testing of those who are symptomatic or have a known exposure to another diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you are getting tested due to being symptomatic, a possible exposure to COVID-19 or as a precaution after traveling, please remember to stay home and limit your interactions in public places until you receive your results. Schedule a cost-free COVID-19 test at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or call 1-888-634-1123.

Changes in business modifications as we move into the Purple “Widespread” Tier

Purple Tier modifications for Nevada County businesses begin Tuesday, November 17th. Nevada County businesses should modify their business operations according to the guidance published on the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website. Some notable changes while moving from the Orange “Substantial” tier to the most restrictive Purple “Widespread” Tier are:

  • Restaurants: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Retail: Reduce indoor capacity to 25% with modifications in the Purple Tier from no capacity limit with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Movie theaters: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 25% capacity indoors with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Family entertainment centers: Open outdoor activities only including kart racing, mini golf and batting cages with modifications in the Purple Tier from 25% capacity with modifications for naturally distanced activities including bowling alleys and climbing walls in the Orange Tier.
  • Places of Worship: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Bars and Breweries: Closed (if no meals provided) in the Purple Tier from open outdoors only with modifications in the Orange Tier . 
  • Wineries: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 25% capacity indoors or 100 people (whichever is fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Outdoor live performances (including live music): Not allowed in the Purple Tier from allowed with substantial modifications in the Orange Tier. Indoor music performances and other indoor live performances are not allowed in any tier. 
  • Hair Salons, barbershops and personal care services (skin care, nail services, body art and tattoo, massage): Moving from the Orange Tier to the Purple Tier will not result in closure of hair salons, barbershops and personal care services. These can be open indoors with modifications.
  • Schools: Moving from the Orange Tier to the Purple Tier does not mandate school closures. 

Please reference the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website for complete COVID-19 business safety guidelines and modifications.

To support our business community and lessen business restrictions, we need to be even more diligent about limiting the behaviors that we know contribute to COVID-19’s spread. All members of the community are encouraged to consider how personal behavior can help move Nevada County back towards less restrictive tiers for our business sectors.  Individual action will lead to collective mitigation that will affect the county’s tier status and our collective behavior matters. Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance and washing your hands can help reduce COVID-19 exposures.

Business Resources

Find more information about COVID-19 in Nevada County at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. Email questions about the State’s COVID-19 business sector guidance to covid19recovery@co.nevada.ca.us. Small businesses may also access no-cost personal protective equipment (PPE) and Environmental Health permit fee waivers at www.mynevadacounty.com/ppe

To submit a business compliance complaint, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/asknevco or submit via the Ask Nevada County app. Residents can also call 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak with a local call center representative with COVID-19 questions or to connect with resources.

NCPH: Nevada County Trending Towards Red “Substantial” Tier

On August 31st, the State introduced a new tiered framework that connects the level of openness of business sectors to COVID-19 conditions on the ground. Nevada County has been in the Orange “Moderate” Tier since September which allowed some businesses to safely increase the capacity in their facilities. Although Nevada County remains in the Orange “Moderate” Tier with the State’s tier announcement today, a recent increase in COVID-19 cases may move Nevada County into the Red “Substantial” Tier in future weeks.

“Although we remain in the Orange Tier this week, we are seeing many of our neighboring counties go backwards in the tier system and are seeing the case rates in Nevada County trend in the same direction. The State’s tier data represents a seven-day lag; however, we saw a dramatic increase of twenty-three new cases this Monday,” said Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson. “We continue to urge everyone to stay diligent about refraining from gatherings with friends and family as well as going into the office if you are feeling sick. Most of our recent COVID-19 cases are from people letting their guard down; participating in social gatherings without masking or distancing, traveling out of the area where transmission rates are higher, and going into work while carrying COVID-19 and transmitting it throughout the workplace.”

If Nevada County’s COVID-19 data meets the Red “Substantial” Tier next week and the following week, Nevada County will move backwards into the Red Tier requiring business sectors to lessen their capacity and modify their operations for more restrictive Red Tier. Please reference the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website for complete COVID-19 business safety guidelines and modifications.

To support our business community and lessen business restrictions, we need to be even more diligent about refraining from that activities that are contributing to our recent increase in COVID-19 cases: social gatherings and going into work with COVID-like symptoms. The data can easily move in either direction, and if we want to keep moving forward it is incumbent upon us as a community to embrace safety and continue to reduce spread. All members of the community are encouraged to consider how personal behavior can help keep Nevada County in the Orange “Moderate” Tier.  Individual action will lead to collective mitigation that will affect the county’s tier status and our collective behavior matters. Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, washing your hands and getting tested can keep Nevada County in the Orange “Moderate” Tier, allowing businesses to remain with the increased the capacity in their facilities.

No Cost PPE, Permit Fee Waivers Support Local Business Community

The County of Nevada Office of Emergency Services (OES) is offering local small business owners, with 25 employeesor less, masks and hand sanitizer at no cost.  This personal protective equipment (PPE) has been made available to California small businesses through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) in collaboration with the Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). 

“We know folks are busy, which is why we aim to make PPE pick up easy and convenient. Small businesses may request PPE online, then stop by anytime during business hours to pick up their hand sanitizer and masks. We will continue providing PPE as long as supplies last,” says Robin Davies, Chief Executive Officer of the Grass Valley Chambers. 

PPE will be available for pick up in Western Nevada County at three locations: the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada County Contractors’ Association, and ZAP Manufacturing. In Truckee, small businesses may pick up PPE from the Truckee Chamber of Commerce.

 “We continue to see new COVID cases around the country and winter is just around the corner. With the cooler weather, we will need to be even more diligent to keep our community safe. It is important that employees have the equipment they need to protect themselves and others, which is why we are glad to be partnering with several generous organizations to help get PPE into the hands of those interfacing with the public daily,” says Paul Cummings, Nevada County OES Program Manager. 

Ruth Geresy, the Truckee Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Operations and Membership Services Manager states, “Providing PPE to small businesses at no-cost provides a much-needed relief for many businesses that have had to shoulder extra expenses during financially challenging times.” 

“Many of our members took advantage of the first round of PPE distributed last July, and we are looking forward to supporting the business community again this fall,” says Bre Deschaine, Manager with the Nevada County Contractors’ Association.

To request PPE, business owners are asked to complete one application online per company in advance of picking up PPE. Businesses may request PPE online at: www.MyNevadaCounty.com/PPE.

 After completing the online request form, small businesses may print their confirmation email, or display their confirmation email when picking up their PPE. Small businesses may send a family member, volunteer, or employee as a proxy to pick up the protective equipment. Hand sanitizer and surgical masks will be available while supplies last. 

 In addition to providing no-cost PPE, the County of Nevada in coordination with the Environmental Health Department recognized the severe impact that has befallen local restaurants, bars and breweries, body art & tattoo, swimming pool and spa, and organized campground facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The inability to operate and remaining in compliance with the State of California Public Health Orders for public health and safety during COVID-19 which continue today, prompted the Environmental Health Department to work with the County Executive Office to create a one-time permit fee waiver.  The request was approved by the County Board of Supervisors on October 13, 2020. 

Through an application process, owners and operators of Nevada County restaurants, bars and breweries, body art and tattoo facilities, swimming pools and spas, as well as organized campground facilities may apply for a waiver of permit fees for the upcoming Fiscal Year, November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2021.   The waiver application process opened October 23, 2020 and will close on November 30, 2020.  Businesses are encouraged to apply early and complete all areas on the waiver application form.  For questions, please call 5300-265-1222 x 3,  or visit www.mynevadacounty.com/EHPermitWaiver

NCPSPS 2020

Information Sources | Weather Advisory | Community Resource Centers

Latest News

10/27 4:45pm: PG&E is planning to transition the power for the GV & NC customers that had their power augmented by local generation at PG&E substations. As they transition, these customers may experience a gap in power service.

10/27 10:45am: PG&E has extended the “all-clear” to areas of Grass Valley & Nevada City for the current PSPS event. PG&E has begun inspecting the lines in these areas, but power may not be restored until tonight, exact time TBA.

10/26 4:40pm: PG&E has given the areas of Lake of the Pines, Penn Valley & Lake Wildwood the weather “all-clear” for the current PSPS event. PG&E has begun inspecting the lines in these areas, but power may not be restored until tomorrow. Other impacted PSPS areas such as Grass Valley and Nevada City have not received the weather “all-clear” at this time. Continue to check PG&E updates website for the most accurate information. CRCs will remain open until Nevada County is near 100% restoration.

10/25 4:00pm: As PG&E begins turning off power, some GV & NC customers will have their power augmented by local generation at PG&E substations.  As power transitions from commercial to generator there may be a 1-4 hr gap in service.  Please be patient & check for http://PGE.com/PSPSupdates.

10/25 11:28am, from PG&E: To protect public safety, PG&E has upgraded the PSPS WATCH to a WARNING. Weather forecasts including high winds and dry conditions, will require PG&E to turn off power in some parts of our service area.

10/25 9:00am: There will be 4 PG&E Community Resource Centers (CRCs) open today in Nevada County for customers affected by PSPS event. For hours, locations, and details, please visit: https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/updates/psps-events/

10/24 2:30pm: PG&E has announced a possible PSPS event for Nevada County. Power shutoffs estimated to occur Sunday, October 25, between 2:00-6:00pm. As of now, restoration time is estimated to be on Tuesday, October 27, exact time TBA. Read more from the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and for more information visit PG&E‘s PSPS updates page.

Information Sources

Ready Nevada County Dashboard

An up-to-date, searchable map with current PSPS zones is available:

Preparedness Resources

Stay prepared during a Red Flag Warning.

Status Updates

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Status Language and Definitions:

  • PSPS Warning: A PSPS Watch will be upgraded to a Warning when forecasted conditions show that a safety shutoff will be needed, and that it is going to happen soon. Whenever possible, Warning notifications will be sent approximately four to 12 hours in advance of the power being shutoff.
  • PSPS Watch:  Whenever possible, an initial Watch notification will be sent two days in advance of a potential PSPS event, followed by an additional Watch notification one day before the potential PSPS event, notifying customers of the possibility of a PSPS event in their area based on forecasted conditions.

Weather Advisory/Air Quality

Update 10/24 2:40pm: There will be 4 @PGE4Me Community Resource Centers (CRCs) open tomorrow in Nevada County (https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/updates/psps-events/…):
– Foothills Event Center, GV
– Madelyn Helling Library, NC
– NSJ Community Center, NSJ
– Penn Valley Community Church, PV

More #PSPS tips at http://ReadyNevadaCounty.org.

Weather Advisory Language and Definitions:

  • Red Flag Warning: Take Action. Be extremely careful with open flames. National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning when fire conditions are ongoing or expected to occur shortly.
  • Fire Weather Watch: Be Prepared. A watch means critical fire weather conditions are possible but not imminent or occurring.

Community Resource Centers

2020 Census Self-Response Period Set to End on October 15th

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October.

President Donald Trump’s administration had asked the nation’s high court to suspend a district court’s order permitting the 2020 census to continue through the end of the month. The Trump administration argued that the head count needed to end immediately so the U.S. Census Bureau had enough time to crunch the numbers before a congressionally mandated year-end deadline for turning in figures used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets.

The census determines how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets and how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed each year.

As of Tuesday, 99.7% of households nationwide had been counted, a figure that surpassed the completion rate in 2010, according to the Census Bureau.

For more information, visit the US Census Bureau’s website.

To complete the Census now, visit my2020census.gov.

CARES Act Deadline Approaching for Economic Impact Payments

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under 17 years old.  Most people received their EIP automatically but for those individuals who are not beneficiaries of certain public benefits and/or who do not typically file federal income taxes, additional action is needed.

The EIP Information and Resources Hub will take you to a landing page where you may access resources and instructions for members of the public, or instructional materials for county and community partners, along with a useful information guide about EIP and where to direct clients who still haven’t received their EIP.

We hope that you will find this resource and information hub a valuable tool in getting information out and supporting the drive to get as many eligible Californian’s their EIPs.  The upcoming deadlines are as follows for obtaining the EIP:

October 15th, for those individuals filing their 2019 federal income tax returns, who did file for an extension.

October 15th, for those individuals not required to file 2019 income taxes, and will therefore use the IRS Non-filer tool.

NOTE: for all individuals who have not submitted the requisite documentation by October 15, 2020 to request their EIP, they may still receive their EIP by filing their 2021 federal income tax returns, due April 15, 2021.

If you have questions or need additional guidance regarding the information in this email, contact the CDSS CalWORKs Engagement Bureau at (916) 654-2137.

NCPSPS 2020

Information Sources | Weather Advisory | Community Resource Centers

Latest News

9/28 12:50pm: PG&E has given the weather “all clear” for the current PSPS event in Nevada County! PG&E helicopters are flying out of our Nevada County Airport to begin inspecting lines and expects most power to be restored by late tonight. PG&E Community Resource Centers will remain open until we have 100% restoration in our area. More here.

9/27 12:30pm: Due to favorable forecasted weather conditions, expected #PSPS outages for Nevada County have reduced to 2,887 customers beginning de-energization later this afternoon. More information from PG&E here: bit.ly/347I39K

9/27 8:30am: PG&E is reporting that Customer Resource Centers are available. In Nevada County, CRCs are located at Elks Lodge in Nevada City and Foothill Event Center in Grass Valley. Find more info at http://PGE.com/PSPSUpdates

9/25 5:30pm: PG&E is reporting that approximately 7,345 customers in Nevada County may be impacted by a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff starting early Sunday morning. Read more from the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and for more information visit PG&E‘s PSPS updates page.

Information Sources

Ready Nevada County Dashboard

An up-to-date, searchable map with current PSPS zones is available:

Preparedness Resources

Stay prepared during a Red Flag Warning.

Status Updates

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Status Language and Definitions:

  • PSPS Warning: A PSPS Watch will be upgraded to a Warning when forecasted conditions show that a safety shutoff will be needed, and that it is going to happen soon. Whenever possible, Warning notifications will be sent approximately four to 12 hours in advance of the power being shutoff.
  • PSPS Watch:  Whenever possible, an initial Watch notification will be sent two days in advance of a potential PSPS event, followed by an additional Watch notification one day before the potential PSPS event, notifying customers of the possibility of a PSPS event in their area based on forecasted conditions.

Weather Advisory/Air Quality

Update 9/24 @ noon: A Fire Weather Watch is in place over the weekend in Nevada County from Saturday, September 26 – Monday, September 28.

Weather Advisory Language and Definitions:

  • Red Flag Warning: Take Action. Be extremely careful with open flames. National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning when fire conditions are ongoing or expected to occur shortly.
  • Fire Weather Watch: Be Prepared. A watch means critical fire weather conditions are possible but not imminent or occurring.

Community Resource Centers

Nevada County Moves into Orange “Moderate” Tier

On August 31st, the State introduced a new tiered framework that connects the level of openness of business sectors to COVID-19 conditions on the ground. Nevada County was initially placed in the Red “Substantial” Tier, but today the State announced that Nevada County has moved into the Orange “Moderate” Tier which allows some businesses to safely increase activities and capacity pursuant to guidance.

“The ability to move to the Orange Tier is due to due to the excellent work of our communicable disease control team and the efforts of the community,” said Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson. “Although this is welcome news, we need to continue to be diligent about the COVID safe practices we’ve all been doing since there will more potential for COVID-19 exposures. It’s particularly important that we to take precautions like staying home if you are showing COVID-like symptoms, especially as some offices may begin opening indoors with modifications.”

Nevada County Public Health reminds residents to continue practicing social distancing, masking, hand washing, and minimizing social mixing between households.

Changes in business modifications as we move into the Orange “Moderate” Tier

Nevada County businesses can start modifying their business operations according to the guidance published on the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website beginning today, September 22nd. Some notable changes while moving from the Red “Substantial” tier to the Orange “Moderate” Tier are:

  • Restaurants: Can open indoors up to 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications.
  • Retail: Can open with modifications. No capacity limits.
  • Movie theaters: Can open indoors up to 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Can open indoors up to 25% capacity with modifications. Indoor pools are included with modifications.
  • Family entertainment centers: Can open indoors up to 25% capacity with modifications for naturally distanced activities including bowling alleys and climbing walls.
  • Places of Worship: Can open indoors up to 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications.
  • Bars and Breweries: Can open outdoors only with modifications and without food.
  • Wineries: Can open indoors up to 25% capacity or 100 people (whichever is fewer) with modifications.

Please reference the State’s COVID19.ca.gov website for complete COVID-19 business safety guidelines and modifications.

As we move to less restrictive tiers, we need to be even more diligent than ever before as we’ll likely have more potential for exposures. The data can easily move in the other direction, and if we want to keep moving forward it is incumbent upon us as a community to embrace safety and continue to reduce spread. All members of the community are encouraged to consider how personal behavior can help keep Nevada County in the Orange “Moderate” Tier.  Individual action will lead to collective mitigation that will affect the county’s tier status and our collective behavior matters. Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, washing your hands and getting tested can keep Nevada County in the Orange “Moderate” Tier, allowing businesses to remain with the increased the capacity in their facilities.

Additional Resources

Find more information about COVID-19 in Nevada County at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. Email questions about the State’s COVID-19 business sector guidance to covid19recovery@co.nevada.ca.us. To submit a business compliance complaint, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/asknevco or submit via the Ask Nevada County app.

Help Nevada County Move Into the Orange Tier

On August 31st, the State introduced a new tiered framework that connects the level of openness of business sectors to COVID-19 conditions on the ground. Nevada County was initially placed in the red “Substantial” tier, but Nevada County remains on the cusp of the orange “Moderate” tier which would allow some businesses to safely increase the capacity in facilities. The soonest Nevada County could advance to the orange “Moderate” tier is September 22nd, but only if we meet the necessary criteria for two consecutive weeks.

“The ability to move forward depends on all of us staying the course – social distancing, masking, hand washing, and minimizing social mixing between households,” said Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson. “If we demonstrate less illness in our community in the days to come, we will be able to loosen restrictions on businesses. Let’s keep doing the right thing together!”

Nevada County on-track to move into the orange tier, pending community’s actions

The first significant benchmark in moving into the orange tier was the State’s data release at noon on Tuesday, September 15th. As of that release, Nevada County meets criteria for the orange “Moderate” tier.

“Nevada County Public Health wants to thank the community for their partnership in making modifications in our everyday lives to lessen both the health and business impacts of COVID-19,” said Public Health Director Jill Blake. “We understand how difficult it can be to change our daily habits and it’s because of these efforts that we may be able to move safely forward towards increasing capacity in some businesses sectors next week. We encourage everyone to stay diligent about wearing your mask, keeping your distance and refraining from gatherings.”

If Nevada County continues to meet the State’s benchmark for the orange “Moderate” tier for next week’s update, we will safely advance to the increased business activity that is allowed in the orange “Moderate” tier on September 22nd.  

The data can easily move in the other direction, and if we want to keep moving forward it is incumbent upon us as a community to embrace safety and continue to reduce spread. All members of the community are encouraged to consider how personal behavior can help move Nevada County to the next tier ranking, especially over the upcoming week.  Individual action will lead to collective mitigation that will shift the county’s tier status and our collective behavior matters. Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, washing your hands and getting tested can help move Nevada County from the red “Substantial” tier to the orange “Moderate” tier, allowing businesses to safely increase the capacity in facilities.

Additional Resources

Find more information about COVID-19 in Nevada County at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. Email questions about the State’s COVID-19 business sector guidance to covid19recovery@co.nevada.ca.us. To submit a business compliance complaint, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/asknevco or submit via the Ask Nevada County app.

NCPSPS 2020

Information Sources | Weather Advisory | Community Resource Centers

Information Sources

Ready Nevada County Dashboard

An up-to-date, searchable map with current PSPS zones is available:

Preparedness Resources

Stay prepared during a Red Flag Warning.

Status Updates

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Status Language and Definitions:

  • PSPS Warning: A PSPS Watch will be upgraded to a Warning when forecasted conditions show that a safety shutoff will be needed, and that it is going to happen soon. Whenever possible, Warning notifications will be sent approximately four to 12 hours in advance of the power being shutoff.
  • PSPS Watch:  Whenever possible, an initial Watch notification will be sent two days in advance of a potential PSPS event, followed by an additional Watch notification one day before the potential PSPS event, notifying customers of the possibility of a PSPS event in their area based on forecasted conditions.

Weather Advisory/Air Quality

Update 9/24 @ noon: A Fire Weather Watch is in place over the weekend in Nevada County from Saturday, September 26 – Monday, September 28.

Weather Advisory Language and Definitions:

  • Red Flag Warning: Take Action. Be extremely careful with open flames. National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning when fire conditions are ongoing or expected to occur shortly.
  • Fire Weather Watch: Be Prepared. A watch means critical fire weather conditions are possible but not imminent or occurring.

Community Resource Centers

Jones Fire Recovery and Wildfire Preparedness

As of the publication of this news item, the Jones Fire is at 705 acres and 85% contained. All evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted, and Nevada County is moving into the recovery phase of this disaster.

As a partner to Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, 211 Connecting Point keeps concerned residents and their families up-to-date.

211 call center staff fielded 1,820 calls last week, helping people connect with information and resources pertaining to the Jones Fire. We sent out 45 updates to over 10,800 people at peek subscribership to our 797979 JONES text code. Our Jones Fire web page was viewed over 25,000 times. Even as some of our staff were impacted by evacuation or temporary power outages, as members of this community, we are proud to serve our friends and neighbors.

Here are some important resources if you were directly impacted by the Jones Fire or evacuations:  

The staff at 211 Connecting Point wish all those impacted by the fire and related evacuations swift recovery. We send our deep appreciation to first responders and staff still on the scene at the Jones Fire working on full containment, and those who are working on wildfires across the state of California.

211 Connecting Point encourages all of our Nevada County callers to sign up for CodeRED. This is the official emergency notification system of Nevada County that will directly notify you via call and text message if there is an evacuation order or warning for your address. Wildfire season has only just begun. It is important to  maintain situational awareness and stay prepared.  Be sure to: