‘As cases have climbed’: Highest number of cases per day this year recorded Tuesday

Bruce Thome gets a nose swab COVID-19 test last week at Nevada County’s free walk-in testing center set up inside of the former Summer Thyme’s Restaurant off Colfax Avenue in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez

Amid rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases reported in the county, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has seen an increased number of patients with the virus, according to the hospital’s president and CEO, Dr. Brian Evans.

“What has happened throughout the pandemic is that an individual hospital like this will kind of fluctuate … so it’s a little easier to spot the trends when you start to spread out and look at multiple hospitals or a whole region,” said Evans on tracking the trend.

Evans said Monday that, as has been the case at other hospitals that Sierra Nevada Memorial partners with in the region, an increase in emergency room visits and hospital admissions related to COVID-19 had become notable during the preceding one to two weeks.

A line forms along the front of the county’s COVID-19 testing facility at 231 Colfax Ave. last week.
Photo: Elias Funez

Evans said that, throughout the pandemic, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital peaked at around 15 admitted patients, noting that the hospital has so far avoided being “overwhelmed.”

“With this most recent wave, and they’re calling it the fourth COVID wave here in California, I think we got up to 12,” Evans said Monday, adding that the number fluctuates on a daily basis.

As of Tuesday, according to the state Department of Public Health, there were 11 active hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in Nevada County.

“I would certainly encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Evans, explaining that areas of the country with high vaccination rates are seeing the prevention of “a big surge from this Delta variant” relative to areas with low vaccination rates.

Jason Dokimos gets a COVID-19 test conducted on him last week at the county’s free testing facility in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez

According to Evans, the vast majority of hospitalizations across the country are in unvaccinated individuals, and this has been reflected in hospitalizations seen at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

While some other weeks have seen a spike in reported new cases early in the week due to pauses for weekends and holidays, as well as other logistical aspects involved in recording cases, the 126 new cases reported Monday represented the highest number of new cases reported for the county in a single day since December. It was then surpassed Tuesday, when 140 new cases were reported.


According to county Administrative Analyst Taylor Wolfe, while a reduction in hours had been considered for the western Nevada County COVID-19 testing site recently, the county received approval from the state late last week to continue its current schedule instead.

Wolfe wrote in a message Tuesday that the approval to continue opening the testing site five days per week came “after seeing appointments fill up as cases have climbed.”

Nurse Marisol Tapia admits people for COVID-19 nose swab testing last week in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez

The county testing site is located at 231 Colfax Ave. in Grass Valley, and appointments can be made at or by calling 1-888-634-1123.

According to the state’s dashboard, which tracked testing in Nevada County through Saturday, the county’s seven-day average test rate per 100,000 residents was around 331.

As of July 15, the same state dashboard showed a seven-day average of 225.9 for the county, and as of June 30, a seven-day average of 174.1.

Jason Dokimos gets checked in to have his nose swabbed for a COVID-19 test last week at Nevada County’s free testing facility.
Photo: Elias Funez

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union, a sister publication with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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