Countywide Test of Emergency Alert Systems Scheduled for August 12

On August 12, the County of Nevada Office of Emergency Services and the Town of Truckee are teaming up to issue simultaneous tests of the CodeRED and Nixle Everbridge Emergency Alert Systems. 

All Nevada County residents are advised to prepare by registering for CodeRED Emergency Alerts in one of the following ways:

CodeRED Emergency Alerts will display as originating from 866-419-5000 or 855-969-4636 on caller ID and Residents are encouraged to save these numbers.

The Town of Truckee will conduct a concurrent test of the Nixle Everbridge Emergency Alert System which serves Town of Truckee residents. Truckee residents are encouraged to register for Nixle emergency alerts, in addition to CodeRED, which serves unincorporated Eastern Nevada County, and all Western Nevada County. Truckee Police Department and Truckee Fire Protection District utilize the Nixle Everbridge Emergency Alert System as the primary method of communication during critical incidents. Both residents and visitors are encouraged to subscribe to stay informed in the event of an emergency. 

Residents are encouraged to utilize the user-friendly Nixle Everbridge application on mobile devices. Simply text “APP” to 888-777 to receive a link to download the Everbridge Mobile Application. Complete your registration by downloading, installing and opening the app. Insert 96161 to subscribe to the Truckee Police Department and Truckee Fire Protection District. 

Both CodeRED and Nixle Everbridge are high-speed mass notification systems designed to notify residents in the event of an emergency. Emergency alerts are one of many communication tools utilized by local government in the event of an emergency, and testing these systems is an important part of emergency planning. 

These tools are not a guaranteed source of information, and residents should be prepared and remain situationally aware.

Learn more at ReadyNevadaCounty.org

State Closes Bars, Indoor Operations of Restaurants, Wineries, Theaters

Today, Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced additional statewide closures that impact Nevada County business operations.

What is closing statewide and in Nevada County: Due to the current rates of disease transmission and the increase in hospitalization and ICU utilization, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced a statewide closure of the following operations:

  • Dine-in Restaurants (indoor closed; to-go, delivery, curbside and outdoor seating with distancing allowed.)
  • Wineries and Tasting Rooms (indoor closed; outdoor seating with distancing allowed)
  • Movie Theater (indoor closed)
  • Family Entertainment Centers (indoor closed)
  • Zoos and Museums (indoor closed)
  • Cardrooms (indoor closed)
  • Brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs (indoor and outdoor closed unless an exception below applies):
    • Bars, pubs, brewpubs, and breweries, may operate outdoors if they are offering sit-down, outdoor, dine-in meals. Alcohol can be sold only in the same transaction as a meal. When operating outdoors, they must follow the dine-in restaurant guidance and should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.
    • Bars, pubs, brewpubs, and breweries that do not provide sit-down meals themselves, but can contract with another vendor to do so, can serve dine-in meals when operating outdoors provided both businesses follow the dine-in restaurant guidance and alcohol is sold only in the same transaction as a meal.
    • Venues that are currently authorized to provide off sale beer, wine, and spirits to be consumed off premises and do not offer sit-down, dine-in meals must follow the guidance for retail operations and offer curbside sales only.
    • Concert, performance, or entertainment venues must remain closed until they are allowed to resume modified or full operation through a specific reopening order or guidance. Establishments that serve full meals must discontinue this type of entertainment until these types of activities are allowed to resume modified or full operation.

Under the statewide order, this remains in effect until further notice.

Workshop for recent restaurant, winery and brewery modifications
Nevada County will be hosting a workshop for restaurants, wineries and breweries this Thursday, July 16th, at 3:30pm. Register for the workshop at: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwldu2rqzwpH9JZUHdpOH3Cvy-nDmyDkX9T .

What is closing in counties that are on State’s County Monitoring List?
Nevada County is not currently on the State’s County Monitoring List, though many neighboring counties are, including Placer, Sutter, Yuba, and Sacramento counties. Should Nevada County end up on that list for three consecutive days, additional closures of indoor operations will be mandated. Those indoor operations include the following:

  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
  • Places of Worship
  • Indoor Protests
  • Offices for Non-Critical Infrastructure Sectors as identified at covid19.ca.gov 
  • Personal Care Services (including nail salons, massage parlors, and tattoo parlors)
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Malls

Outdoor operations, however, may be conducted if a business can do so while still taking all infection control measures and while wearing face coverings.

Keep our community safe and businesses open
To-date, Nevada County has had a total of 180 cases with 64 cases that are currently active. To continue to support our local businesses and to protect our community’s vulnerable populations, it is important to continue to follow Public Health recommendations for slowing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Do not gather with others outside your household. Many of the recent COVID-19 cases in Nevada County have been as a result of social gatherings and the mixing of households.
  • Wear a face covering when in public.
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

Keep your physical distancing of 6 feet or more when in public spaces or with people from outside your household.

Countywide Test of Emergency Alert Systems Scheduled for August 12

On August 12, the County of Nevada Office of Emergency Services and the Town of Truckee are teaming up to issue simultaneous tests of the CodeRED and Nixle Everbridge Emergency Alert Systems. 

All Nevada County residents are advised to prepare by registering for CodeRED Emergency Alerts in one of the following ways:

CodeRED Emergency Alerts will display as originating from 866-419-5000 or 855-969-4636 on caller ID and Residents are encouraged to save these numbers.

The Town of Truckee will conduct a concurrent test of the Nixle Everbridge Emergency Alert System which serves Town of Truckee residents. Truckee residents are encouraged to register for Nixle emergency alerts, in addition to CodeRED, which serves unincorporated Eastern Nevada County, and all Western Nevada County. Truckee Police Department and Truckee Fire Protection District utilize the Nixle Everbridge Emergency Alert System as the primary method of communication during critical incidents. Both residents and visitors are encouraged to subscribe to stay informed in the event of an emergency. 

Residents are encouraged to utilize the user-friendly Nixle Everbridge application on mobile devices. Simply text “APP” to 888-777 to receive a link to download the Everbridge Mobile Application. Complete your registration by downloading, installing and opening the app. Insert 96161 to subscribe to the Truckee Police Department and Truckee Fire Protection District. 

Both CodeRED and Nixle Everbridge are high-speed mass notification systems designed to notify residents in the event of an emergency. Emergency alerts are one of many communication tools utilized by local government in the event of an emergency, and testing these systems is an important part of emergency planning. 

These tools are not a guaranteed source of information, and residents should be prepared and remain situationally aware.

Learn more at ReadyNevadaCounty.org

NC Public Health: Help Limit Spread of COVID-19 Over Holiday Weekend

Summer is officially here in Nevada County. As residents prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, Nevada County Public Health reminds residents to follow best practices for reducing the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands regularly, practicing physical distancing of at least six feet, staying home if you’re feeling sick, wearing a face covering (required in public), disinfecting high-touch surfaces and practicing good hygiene.

Gatherings with family and friends have long been a part of traditional Fourth of July celebrations, but this year is different. Gatherings between people from different households are still not allowed under the statewide Stay-at-Home Order.

 “As we see the number of cases go up steadily in our community and statewide, we ask that everyone take these restrictions on gatherings seriously,” said Director of Nevada County Public Health Jill Blake. “Our ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Nevada County relies on everyone doing their part and following current public health guidance.”

Since June 1, the county has seen the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases nearly triple, from 42 at the beginning of the month to 116 on June 30. Both sides of the county have seen significant increases, which mirrors surges in adjacent counties and at the state and national level. 

Most of the new cases in Nevada County come directly from informal gatherings between different households that are still not allowed. The county urges residents to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by not gathering with people outside their household this holiday weekend and following state and local public health guidance.

Masks Make a Difference Fact Sheet in English (Nevada County Public Health): https://www.mynevadacounty.com/DocumentCenter/View/35029/COVID-Face-Coverings-Flyer

Masks Make a Difference Fact Sheet in Spanish (Nevada County Public Health):  https://www.mynevadacounty.com/DocumentCenter/View/35054/COVID-Face-Coverings-Flyer-Espanol

Guidance on Gatherings (Nevada County Public Health): https://www.mynevadacounty.com/DocumentCenter/View/35052/COVID-Gatherings-Flyer

New Public Health Guidance Requires Californians to Wear Face Coverings

The California Department of Public Health today released updated guidance that requires Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. Today’s guidance mandates the use of cloth face coverings by the general public statewide when outside the home, with limited exceptions. 

Californians must wear face coverings when they are in the situations listed below:

  • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
  • Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
  • Interacting in-person with any member of the public; 
  • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time; 
  • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others; 
  • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities; 
  • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:

  • Children aged two and under;
  • Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
  • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines. 
  • Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
  • Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence;
  • Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
  • Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.”

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”

Governor Newsom also addressed why he took this action now. “Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”

More information is available on the CDPH website.

Nevada County COVID-19 Testing Site Updates – Grass Valley and Truckee

The state launched 80 OptumServe testing sites throughout California, collaborating with county leaders to identify appropriate testing sites with a focus on underserved communities. Nevada County was successful in getting two of these free COVID-19 testing sites located within the County, one in Grass Valley and one newly located in Truckee.  

Increased testing is crucial to give us a better understanding of the true prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, and to help us mitigate the spread of the virus especially in asymptomatic individuals who may not know they are sick. Testing is key to our ability to respond quickly and contain new outbreaks. If we do not utilize the testing sites, it is possible that the State will move this important resource to another community, which will not only increase our risk of COVID-19 spread, but will also set back efforts to safely re-open businesses.

An appointment is required in order to be tested, but same day appointments are possible. OptumServe’s simple process asks that you register and select an appointment time, which will generate a patient registration number. Please have this number as well as your ID with you at the time of your appointment.

ANYONE can get tested, regardless of symptoms, profession, or insurance. While your insurance may be billed if you have it, there are no out of pocket costs. Do your part and make your appointment to get tested today at lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123, and help spread the word with your customers, families, and friends.

Grass Valley Testing Site

Drive-through COVID-19 testing is now available for everyone at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building! With our new drive-through capabilities, getting tested is now even safer and more convenient.

If you’re feeling unwell when you arrive to the testing site, you will be asked to stay in your car so staff can come out and take your test from your vehicle. If you’re feeling well but want to get tested anyway, you’ll have the choice to stay in your car to be tested or park and walk-in on the right-side-ramp entrance.

The testing site at the Grass Valley Veteran’s Hall is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 AM to 7 PM. Days of operations are subject to change. Please see the OptumServe site for up to date site hours.

Truckee Testing Site

As of June 8th, the free COVID-19 OptumServe testing site has moved from Kings Beach to Truckee and is now located at 10990 Donner Pass Road.  We are hopeful that this new site location will increase accessibility for more residents in the region and will increase our testing numbers. The Truckee testing site is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM. Days of operations are subject to change. Please see the OptumServe site for up to date site hours.

Remember, for additional coronavirus information or for a link to OptumServe’s testing site, you can visit the County’s coronavirus website at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. You can also watch this video outlining the testing process.

Stage 3 Businesses May Reopen with Modifications on June 12th

Nevada County Public Health has updated Nevada County’s Reopen Plan for the safe reopening of 12 new industry sectors in Nevada County beginning on June 12th, which includes statewide guidance and guidance for variance counties like Nevada County. Updated FAQs are also available on the statewide Stay-at-Home order and reopening Nevada County.

Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Ken Cutler has rescinded the local Short-Term Rental and Lodging order effective tomorrow, June 12th, to align with the State’s recommended guidance for reopening these industries safely. All hotels, lodging and short-term rentals must abide by the State’s guidance for this industry.

New sectors/activities that can open IF they can follow the state guidance:

  • Movie theaters
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Wineries and bars
  • Zoos, museums, galleries, aquariums
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Hotels and short term rentals for tourism and individual travel
  • Card rooms
  • Campgrounds and outdoor recreation
  • Movie, film, tv production
  • Professional sports (w/o live audiences)

What’s still closed statewide:

  • Personal services, like nail salons, massage, body waxing and tattoo parlors
  • Public events and gatherings, like live audience sports and live theater
  • Team sports that involve contact
  • Convention centers
  • Theme parks and festivals
  • Higher education (in person)
  • Indoor playgrounds, like bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag
  • Saunas and steam rooms

Nevada County is hosting a follow-up Stage 3 Business Guidance Workshop on Tuesday, June 16th. Local Businesses May Submit Reopening Questions to COVID19Recovery@co.nevada.ca.us.

Nevada County Moving into Stage 3 Reopening as Soon as June 12th

On Friday, June 5th, the California Department of Public Health released reopening guidance documents for 12 additional Stage 3 business sectors. Under the statewide order and with local Public Health Officer approval, these businesses will be able to reopen with modifications in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as soon as June 12th. Nevada County Public Health immediately began to review the guidance to determine how these requirements fit into our local community. They will continue a careful review to provide science-based recommendations or requirements for both a safe and quick reopening specific to Nevada County.

“It is good news that we will be able to reopen more businesses and move into Stage 3 reopening as early as next Friday,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “We will be reviewing the State guidance this weekend and considering how we can best protect our community by moving safely into Stage 3 reopening.  However, with this good news, we also saw a significant spike in Nevada County cases this week. We need to continue to be diligent with reopening safely, and that will truly require a community-wide effort.”

COVID-19 Cases Increases to 48 – Testing Available to All Residents

Nevada County received notification of six new COVID-19 cases today; five of the residents are closely connected with a common exposure, and the sixth was a person who had no symptoms. All are adults residing in Eastern Nevada County. All have been notified and are isolating. In addition, household contacts are in quarantine. The case investigation was initiated by Nevada County Public Health Department today and remains open.Case investigation and contact tracing are core public health functions used to connect with people who are COVID-19 positive so that we can help them get medical care and figure out who they might have exposed without knowing it, so those individuals can be contacted, too.

“Although our hospitals are prepared for a surge in COVID-19 cases, we have case investigation and contact tracing process systems in place and more testing available, COVID-19 remains a risk to our community,” said Public Health Director Jill Blake. “Those who are more at risk for serious illness due to COVID-19 such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions should continue to stay at home as much as they can as well as limit their exposure to others.”

Testing Available to All Nevada County Residents

Two OptumServe testing sites are available in Grass Valley and Kings Beach. Symptomatic or asymptomatic can be tested. People who get tested at these sites will not be charged for the test; for those with insurance, your insurance will be billed, and for those with no insurance, the State will pay for your test. Increased testing allows for a better understanding of COVID-19 in our community. Even without symptoms, testing of all individuals can help identify those who are asymptomatic and may want to take extra precautions to protect others in the community.

You must pre-register and schedule an appointment at https://www.lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123. Please have your appointment authorization number when you arrive at the testing site. Tests can also still be conducted by doctors’ offices too, but you do not need your physician’s approval to be tested at the OptumServe site.

Nevada County Revises Reopen Plan to Include Salons and Barber Shops

The Nevada County Health Officer has revised the Reopen Plan again based on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May 27th announcement with new information regarding barber shops and salons. By revising this plan and posting it, the Health Officer is authorizing hair salons and barber shops in Nevada County to engage in state approved activities, with modifications, effective immediately.

More information here.

Great Plates Delivered Begins Service in Nevada County

The County of Nevada has launched Great Plates Delivered, a new program to ensure no senior goes hungry in Nevada County during the COVID-19 crisis. Three fresh meals a day will be delivered to those who qualify with the help of three local restaurants, Emily’s Catering, Sergio’s Caffè, and Fudenjüce, fulfilling the 2 purposes of the state-wide plan: help seniors and older adults at high risk from COVID-19 to stay home and stay healthy by delivering three nutritious meals a day; and provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

Qualifying Nevada County residents meeting the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

  • 65 or older, or 60-64 years of age and high-risk (Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 or individuals with certain underlying health conditions that place them at high-risk should they contract the virus)
  • Live alone or with one other Great Plates Delivered Program eligible adult
  • Not be currently receiving assistance from any other state or federal nutrition assistance programs (Meals on Wheels, CalFresh)
  • Earn no more that 600% of the federal poverty limit ($74,940 (single) or $101,460 (2-person)) annually.
  • Affirm an inability to prepare or obtain meals for themselves.

Currently the program is scheduled to run until June 10, however it may be extended by FEMA based on demand.  To be screened and placed on an eligibility list, call 211 Connecting Point by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-833-DIAL211 (1-833-342-5211). Eastern County participants will be referred to Sierra Senior services for enrollment. Those who may not qualify but are in need of food assistance are encouraged to call 211 Connecting Point to get connected to additional resources. 

Nevada County Relief Fund Seeks Grant Applications from Nonprofits

The Nevada County Relief Fund seeks grant applications from “safety-net” ​nonprofits in western Nevada County providing a life-line to our neighbors most in need, ​and small businesses throughout the County hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nonprofit “Safety-net” Grants Range from $5,000 – $20,000

The Relief Fund seeks applications from nonprofits focused on the rapid deployment of services for seniors, people who are homeless, people with disabilities, youth who are at-risk, families or individuals struggling to find access to food, shelter, childcare, and other critical needs. Together with the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, which serves eastern Nevada County, these efforts boost nonprofit capacity and strengthen the “safety-net” for the region’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Not only will the Relief Fund help address many of the basic needs we’re seeing, but it can also mitigate some of the mental-health impacts of COVID-19 including social isolation, increased depression, and possible increases in family violence,” said Nevada County Behavioral Health Director Phebe Bell, who chairs one of the grants making teams. 

Small Business “Micro-Grants” up to $5,000 Per Applicant Available

The Relief Fund will also award micro-grants for small business owners and nonprofits countywide struggling to survive until they can reopen ​or resume normal operation. These grants will ​be managed by the Sierra Business Council, who will also provide awardees with one-on-one business counseling through its Small Business Development Center. 

“From the hundreds of entrepreneurs our Small Business Development Center has talked with, most of them just need some cash to help restock inventory, hire back employees and catch up on bills. We hope this grant can help take a bit of stress and pressure off an owner’s mind so they can focus on getting back to business,” said Kristin York, Vice President of the Sierra Business Council.

The first $200,000 raised will be split approximately 50/50 between the two funds, with half going to “safety-net” nonprofits in western Nevada County, and half going to small businesses countywide. Additional grant cycles will occur every time the Relief Fund raises another $100,000.

About the Nevada County Relief Fund

The Nevada County Relief Fund was created through a partnership between the County of Nevada, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation (SNMH Foundation), Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF), and the Sierra Business Council (SBC) in consultation with the Center for Nonprofit Leadership (CNL) and the Economic Resource Council (ERC). In conjunction with TTCF’s Emergency Response Fund, the purpose of this effort is to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis by directing vital resources to our most vulnerable neighbors, and support our small, rural businesses.

For more information, please visit, www.nevcorelief.org

Nevada County Readiness Plan Approved, Enters Extended Stage 2

Nevada County’s attestation of readiness, or readiness plan, has been approved by the State. Nevada County is still under the statewide Stay-at-Home order, however this means that Nevada County has met the State’s readiness criteria to move further into Stage 2 reopening and reopen more local businesses.

“We are fortunate that we met the criteria to advance through Stage 2 and can now allow for certain businesses to open sooner than they would if they had to move at the pace of the State as a whole, but this should not be viewed as an indication that we are now risk-free,” said Jill Blake, Public Health Director. “In fact, there is a greater responsibility on businesses and customers to work to reduce the risk of disease transmission as we reopen Stage 2 businesses in Nevada County.”

County staff was out in the community today with our Cities, Town and business associations to work with local businesses to prepare to open as quickly as possible and have COVID-19 Prevention Plans in place. Reopening will not look like business as usual pre-COVID pandemic and businesses will need to follow the guidance from the State and County in order to protect their employees and customers. 

As we move forward through Stage 2, Nevada County needs to continue practicing social distancing, good hygiene, wearing face coverings in public, minimizing going into public spaces, and educating friends, family and favorite businesses on the current recommendations.

Reopening Nevada County

With tonight’s approval of Nevada County’s readiness plan from the State, all Stage 2 businesses may reopen with COVID-19 Prevention Plans in place. These include destination retail, office workspaces where teleworking is not possible, outdoor museums and limited personal services such as car washes, dog-grooming and landscaping with protections to limit the spread of COVID-19 as the State continues to modify its Stay at Home order. Statewide guidance for these sectors is available.

The State posted guidance for dine-in restaurants and shopping centers today, as some counties, like Nevada County, have been approved to move further into Stage 2 reopening. More guidance and checklists for local businesses are available at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/businesses.

Stage 2 Business Reopening Guidance

In order to reduce the level of risk of spreading COVID-19, each business should implement a COVID-19 Prevention Plan, which will address implementing risk mitigating practices in their business to create safe environments for workers and customers.

Businesses with questions about modifying business practices to keep customers safe and slow the spread of COVID-19 can email COVID19recovery@co.nevada.ca.us. General coronavirus questions can be directed to the Coronavirus Call Center at 1-833-DIAL211 or 211@connectingpoint.org.

State Stay-at-Home Order Still in Effect as County Rescinds local Order

Nevada County Public Health Officer, Dr. Ken Cutler, has rescinded Nevada County’s local Stay-at-Home Order which was originally set to expire on May 15, 2020. Nevada County is now under the statewide Order and looking towards meeting the state’s “readiness criteria” that will allow counties to move more quickly through Stage 2. Progress into Stage 2 will continue to be a thoughtful and phased approach to reopening.

“We thank everyone for following the Stay-at-Home Order closely,” said Dr. Ken Cutler. “We are looking forward to working with our local businesses and employers to move safely with the state into Stage 2, but this is not a return to normal yet.”

For frequently asked questions about Nevada County rescinding Nevada County’s Stay-at-Home Order, visit www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.

State Guidelines on Stage 2

The Resilience Roadmap stages that California is using to guide its gradual reopening process are:

  • Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness
  • Stage 2: Lower-Risk Workplaces
  • Stage 3: Higher-Risk Workplaces
  • Stage 4: End of Stay at Home Order

The state has published guidelines for the initial “soft opening” of Stage 2 and the businesses that includes at covid19.ca.gov/roadmap.  All businesses should review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for your business industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business. Before reopening, all facilities should:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidance

The State is all allowing local health jurisdictions that meet the criteria set forth by the California Department of Public Health and follow the process in the Guidance to County governments to move through Stage 2 and reopen more businesses before the State as a whole. The State’s readiness criteria were released yesterday and Nevada County is on track to attest to being prepared to advance through Stage 2 reopenings.

“We are well-positioned and well-prepared to meet the state’s criteria,” said Jill Blake, Public Health Director. “This readiness is due to the hard work and forward thinking of our Public Health team as well as the dedication and preparedness of our local partners including the hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and others who serve vulnerable populations.”

The state is planning to provide additional restaurant industry guidance for this latter part of Stage 2 on Tuesday.

State guidance for Stage 2 businesses

Nevada County Prepared For Stage 2 of Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

Today Governor Newsom announced good news that “the state can begin to move into Stage 2 of modifying the stay at home order this Friday, May 8, with guidelines released Thursday, May 7,” according to a press release on Governor Gavin Newsom’s website.

Stage 2 will focus on reopening lower-risk businesses with modifications to lower the risk of transmission. The State is planning to provide initial guidance on businesses such as “bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores.”

“The Board of Supervisors and County Staff are awaiting details on the criteria of the state’s readiness plan,” said Alison Lehman, County Executive Officer. “We are confident that the good work we have done collaborating with key stakeholders and community partners will make the progress through the state’s next phases clear and steady.”

“Nevada County has the groundwork in place to be able to quickly respond to modifications in the state order with a thoughtful, phased approach,” added Ryan Gruver, Health and Human Services Director. “Our residents have also played a role in our community readiness. We would not be in a position to move safely towards Stage 2 without everyone’s effort to stick to the Stay-at-Home orders.”

Nevada County Report Card: “Readiness Criteria”

The Governor also issued a state “Report Card” indicating that the state is currently meeting all key measures for moving into Stage 2. Although the state’s readiness criteria will be released in the coming days, indicators point towards Nevada County being on track to begin Stage 2 reopening.

“For local businesses Stage 2 may look like meeting state requirements and creating a physical distancing plan before opening,” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Public Health Officer. “Because of our community commitment to following the Stay-at-Home orders health impacts have been limited and we are prepared to move into this next stage.”

The State also announced that counties can move more quickly through Stage 2, which includes offices and dine-in restaurants according to the Governor’s Office press release, if the state’s readiness criteria is met.

Recovery Advisory Committee

Nevada County has convened a Recovery Advisory Committee to provide guidance and resources to local businesses to assist them in preparing to reopen, once allowed, with modified public health and safety measures in place.

“The Recovery Advisory Committee will also provide recommendations to Dr. Cutler on how we move forward in Nevada County,” said Mali Dyck, Assistant County Executive Officer. “Having a Recovery Advisory Committee already in place puts our best foot forward to reopen our local businesses safely.”

The Recovery Advisory Committee has worked to prepare to provide local guidance to businesses owners this week, in alignment with guidance expected from the State on Thursday.

Nevada County Increases COVID-19 Testing With New Test Sites

May 4th UPDATE: Testing locations confirmed and appointment registration now available

Western Nevada County

New COVID-19 testing sites are accepting appointments and will open on TUESDAY, May 5, in Grass Valley. Visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting (or call 1-888-634-1123 during business hours) to see if you are eligible for a test and make an appointment. In Grass Valley, the Grass Valley Veterans Hall will serve as the testing site.

Eastern Nevada County

New COVID-19 testing sites are accepting appointments and will open on MONDAY, May 4, in Kings Beach. Visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting (or call 1-888-634-1123 during business hours) to see if you are eligible for a test and make an appointment. In Kings Beach, the North Tahoe Event Center will serve as the testing site.

Qualifications

Recently, the California Department of Public Health expanded eligibility for COVID-19 testing. Anyone who meets the testing criteria can be tested at an OptumServe community testing site, including uninsured, underinsured, undocumented and homeless individuals. More information about who is eligible for testing can be found on California Department of Public Health’s website. OptumServe will generate a unique identification number for individuals who do not have a driver license.

Payment

If an individual has medical insurance, OptumServe will bill the patient’s medical insurance company. Uninsured individuals may also use the community test site, and their tests will be paid for by the state.

April 30th: Nevada County will increase COVID-19 testing with new community testing sites

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement to add more than 80 community testing sites across the state, Nevada County will soon launch a test site in Grass Valley. Another site in neighboring Placer County in the North Tahoe area will also be able to serve nearby Nevada County residents in the Truckee/Tahoe area. Nevada and Placer Counties collaborated on the testing site locations in an effort to ensure that the sites are strategically placed and that people who have had difficulty accessing testing are able to gain that access with the least amount of required travel.

The new testing sites are scheduled to open next week. The new sites are powered through a partnership with OptumServe, the federal government health services business of Optum, a leading health services innovation company. Testing will be by appointment only. Additional information and location details will be released when appointments become available.

“These new testing sites will help Nevada County and our neighboring counties dramatically increase testing capacity for those who have had limited access to COVID-19 tests up until now,” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Health Officer. “Additional testing locally and statewide will help us work towards a thoughtful and phased reopening.”

Nevada County is now encouraging all residents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to get tested, whether through a provider or through an OptumServe site, as testing capacity has grown countywide.

To determine where to locate new testing sites, the state looked at rural areas where Californians would have to travel 60 minutes to reach an existing testing site or hospital. That information was then evaluated based on underserved populations, to address known disparities, and median income, so residents have access to testing regardless of socioeconomic status.

OptumServe has extensive expertise in rapidly deploying and setting up health care services and has worked closely with the military under the leadership of former Army Surgeon General and retired Lieutenant General Patty Horoho, RN.

“OptumServe is honored to assist California in expanding COVID-19 testing for residents,” said Patty Horoho, CEO of OptumServe. “We are bringing our full commitment and capabilities to serve Californians, including extensive experience conducting large community health events.”

At maximum capacity, OptumServe will be able to support up to 80 testing sites at one time throughout the state, increasing total testing capacity by more than 10,500 tests per day.

“Thanks to Nevada County and to OptumServe for the collaboration to make these testing sites possible,” said Charity Dean, M.D., Assistant Director of the California Department of Public Health. “We’re working together as part of the state’s Testing Task Force to ensure regions with the greatest need have access to tests, and these sites are going to be a major component in reaching our testing goals.”

Nevada County will increase COVID-19 testing with new testing sites

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement to add more than 80 community testing sites across the state, Nevada County will soon launch a test site in Grass Valley. Another site in Kings Beach, in neighboring Placer County, will also be able to serve nearby Nevada County residents in the Truckee/Tahoe area. Nevada and Placer Counties collaborated on the testing site locations in an effort to ensure that the sites are strategically placed and that people who have had difficulty accessing testing are able to gain that access with the least amount of required travel.

The new testing sites are scheduled to open next week. The new sites are powered through a partnership with OptumServe, the federal government health services business of Optum, a leading health services innovation company. Testing will be by appointment only. Additional information and location details will be released when appointments become available.

“These new testing sites will help Nevada County and our neighboring counties dramatically increase testing capacity for those who have had limited access to COVID-19 tests up until now,” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Health Officer. “Additional testing locally and statewide will help us work towards a thoughtful and phased reopening.”

Nevada County is now encouraging all residents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, even if those symptoms are mild, to inquire with their doctor about testing as testing capacity has grown countywide.

To determine where to locate new testing sites, the state looked at rural areas where Californians would have to travel 60 minutes to reach an existing testing site or hospital. That information was then evaluated based on underserved populations, to address known disparities, and median income, so residents have access to testing regardless of socioeconomic status.

Public Health Officer Modifies Local Stay-at-Home Order for Nevada County

Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Ken Cutler has modified Nevada County’s local Stay-at-Home Order to further clarify and allow outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed safely and with precautions in place.

“Because of the actions taken by everyone, we have, for now, successfully avoided a crisis-like situation that has occurred in other places like New York and Italy,” said Dr. Ken Cutler. “Recognizing that the Stay-at-Home Order has been challenging and with spring weather upon us, many wish to be outside both for their physical and mental health. With that health and wellness lens, we’ve amended Nevada County’s Stay-at-Home Order to allow for outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed in a way that reduces the risk for disease transmission.”
In addition, the amended Order also includes guidance for construction workers that will help them to reduce their risks of disease exposure.
As we move into the gradual reopening phase, Nevada County Public Health continues to ask everyone to consider similar issues: how can you adapt your environment, change your practices, and protect yourself from becoming ill? It is recognized that most people are still susceptible to COVID-19 infection. the virus is still actively circulating, and illness can be severe, so caution and adherence to physical distancing is still very much needed. As a community we’ve made terrific gains against COVID-19, and with your help and continued cooperation, we’ll maintain them.

For additional information on the statewide Stay-at-Home Order, including frequently asked questions on the Stay-at-Home Order, please visit Nevada County’s coronavirus webpage at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.

NCPH and Connecting Point Unveil Community Data Project

We all want a clearer picture of how COVID-19 is moving through our community, and now Connecting Point, in partnership with the County of Nevada, is empowering residents to do just that. The Nevada County COVID-19 Community Data Project is crowd-sourced, relying on Nevada County residents who have COVID-19-like symptoms to share their experience to benefit the wider community.

Anyone showing COVID-19-like symptoms can report them using a simple form. The data will then be combined and shared on the COVID-19 Community Data Project Dashboard. The Public Health Department will use the data to detect possible outbreaks and ongoing transmission in the absence of widespread testing.

“Because the demand for testing continues to exceed the capacity to test due to a critical shortage of necessary testing supplies, Nevada County Public Health continues to recommend prioritizing testing for high-risk patients until testing supplies becomes more available,” says Jill Blake, the Director of the Public Health Department. “Unfortunately, this will mean that the number of lab-confirmed tests may not reflect the true spread of the COVID-19 virus in our county.”

The COVID-19 Community Data Project Dashboard allows the community to look by their geographic area to get a snap-shot of what their neighbors are reporting. The more people who complete the survey, the more accurate the Dashboard will be.

This project does not take the place of testing. It is meant to compliment testing results and—in the absence of widespread testing—provide community-level data that can be used to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in Nevada County.

The information provided may be shared with the Nevada County Public Health Department. Individuals choose whether or not to share their name and contact information.