Today, Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann issued an order requiring all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings and businesses. The order also strongly recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings outdoors in crowded settings. The order goes into effect at 12:01 am on Friday, August 20th.
Additionally, the order clarifies that all schools, private or public, and settings where students from more than one household gather for purposes of education, must follow the requirements of the California Department of Public Health for wearing face coverings for students, staff, volunteers, and visitors.
The Health Officer’s order comes on the heels of soaring case rates and hospitalizations connected to the highly infectious Delta variant, which has been labeled “younger, sicker, quicker” in comparison to the original virus. Case rates have risen over elevenfold–from 5.5. to 61.2 per 100,000 residents–since the statewide transition to Beyond the Blueprint on June 15, 2021. Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has been experiencing the highest volume of patients admitted since the beginning of the pandemic.
Though the three vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. have been shown to be safe and effective, over 30% of Nevada County residents remain unvaccinated.
“With the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, we must use the tools we know to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus. Masking is the least disruptive and most immediately impactful additional measure we can take,” Kellermann said.
Kellermann recommended that all individuals, especially those who are unvaccinated or at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, take personal measures to reduce risk in addition to masking.