‘Heading in the right direction:’ Statewide average daily COVID-19 case rate is falling

County Director of Health and Human Services Ryan Gruver said because the Omicron variant is “so much more transmissible,” the recent surge in cases has made previous peaks in graphic representations of the pandemic’s peaks “look like hills.”

Gruver said that, before January, the county’s highest weekly case count had been during increased spread of the Delta variant — 488 cases during the week ending in Sept. 3. In comparison, the county recorded 632 new cases during the week ending Jan. 14, and 1,384 new cases the week ending Jan. 21.

“Last week, we saw a record case count of 1,642 cases that were added to our dashboard,” said Gruver. “And that’s despite the fact that we’re in a vastly different testing environment than we were in those previous peaks.”

Officials have said that the county’s Coronavirus Dashboard records only laboratory-confirmed positive tests.

Statewide, the average daily case rate per 100,000 residents was 159.8 as of Wednesday, according to state data. Gruver noted that this was “significantly down” from its peak at approximately 270.

“So that’s great news, definitely heading in the right direction,” he said. “We did not peak as high as the state did, so that’s another piece of good news.”

He noted, however, that under the statewide system of COVID-19 measures which were in effect until June, the threshold for a county to be placed in the most restrictive of these was an average case rate of 10.


Just over three-quarters of Nevada County residents eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine have received at least one dose, county Director of Public Health Jill Blake said Wednesday.

“If you look at our vaccination rates, if you combine the state and federal data which is presented to us from time to time, you can see that, of the eligible residents in Nevada County, 76.7% have had at least one dose — so that’s something to be celebrated,” said Blake.

Over 30,000 booster doses have been given to county residents, Blake added.

Referring to state data tracking cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status, Gruver said that “in the Omicron environment, boosters are strongly recommended because they really tick up the protection versus two doses, and certainly versus being unvaccinated.”

The state’s dashboard, which previously differentiated only between vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, now also includes two separate categories of people who have been vaccinated — those with and without a booster dose.

Blake said it is not unusual for vaccines to be approved under emergency use as soon as possible.

County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Glennah Trochet said some “very rare” but serious side effects have been observed from those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including clotting or Guillain-Barre syndrome

Trochet said people who experience side effects from the vaccine can report them for data collection through the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or VAERS.

“The database is continuously being monitored by the CDC to observe early signals that there might be problems,” Trochet said. “That’s how the clotting problem was found early on.”

Blake is proud of the vaccination rate, but said the Public Health Department continues to focus its efforts on vaccinating those on the fence, as opposed to convincing those who seem ideologically against getting the shot.

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

Staff Writer Rebecca O’Neil contributed to this report



(As of Thursday morning)

Number of COVID-19 cases: 14,911

West county: 11,112

East county: 3,799

Number of active cases: 4,229

Number hospitalized: 33

Number of recoveries: 10,557 (up 10 from last week)

Number of deaths: 125 (one in the last week)


Number of COVID-19 cases: 58,803

Number of recoveries: 49,232

Number of deaths: 531 (8 in the last week)

As case investigations are conducted and more information is gathered, case counts may change or even decrease due to residents’ locations being confirmed in nearby counties. The number of laboratory tests reported to the Public Health Department is approximate

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