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.