Health officials consider direction of Delta surge

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nevada County had reached 8,060 by Thursday morning. There are 315 new cases since Sept. 10, indicating a 4% increase over last week.

Of the 8,060 total cases, 7,297 have been released from isolation and 672 are presently active. Since the start of August and the surge caused by the virus’ Delta variant, 16 people have died — three this week — bringing the total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 91.

Nevada County administered 1,409 vaccines over the last week, bringing the total number of doses delivered to 112,628. Over the course of last week, 791 people in the county became completely vaccinated, bringing the number of fully vaccinated people up to 53,526 — over 50% of the population.

Gov. Gavin Newsom reported over 80% of adult Californians received at least one shot before September began.

According to a press release issued by public health officials, Nevada County had 488 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 — the highest number of weekly cases since the start of the pandemic. Over 500 confirmed cases in the month of August alone were cases involving children aged zero to 17.

The California Department of Public Health authorized schools to implement “a modified or shortened” quarantine for unvaccinated students who have had an exposure to COVID-19, to keep kids in school as much as possible.

A shortened quarantine would allow self-quarantine at home after an exposure to be discontinued after the seventh day, if a specimen from the fifth day after the exposure tests negative; or, in a modified quarantine, some exposed students may continue to attend school as long as they are asymptomatic, continue to wear a mask, undergo at least twice weekly testing during their quarantine, and quarantine from all extracurricular activities during that time.

According to Nevada County’s Public Health Director Jill Blake, the structure of local educational institutions provides the capacity and oversight necessary to perform robust contact tracing and relevant testing.

“The health officer order was … a response to outbreaks in schools, and how we can work in a collaborative relationship with the schools to ensure that the schools can remain open, and that they’re safe environments for the kids to study,” Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann said Wednesday.

County orders require everyone, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, to wear face coverings indoors in public settings and businesses.

Discussing Nevada County’s recent new COVID-19 cases at a Q&A Wednesday, Health and Human Services Director Ryan Gruver noted the county was still experiencing a level which would firmly correspond to the purple tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system, if it were still in place.

Blake said with fewer new cases this week than last, the county is hopeful for the future but staying alert to the current situation at hand.

Regarding the 16 deaths recorded in the county since the beginning of August, Blake said, “We are hopeful that we’ve turned a corner and that things are improving, but we just want to acknowledge that lives have been lost and families are grieving.”


As of Thursday morning, Placer County reported 32,910 COVID-19 cases, indicating a 3% rise in cases over the last week. The county’s COVID-19 dashboard indicates there were 1,024 new cases over the last week.

There were 11 recorded deaths caused by COVID-19 in Placer County last week, bringing the death toll to 347.

Placer County has distributed 458,157 vaccines since their introduction, 5,630 this week. There were 3,748 people who became fully vaccinated over the week, which was more than the prior week, bringing the number of fully vaccinated up to 221,887 people.

Placer County’s data may reflect inaccuracies.

According to the health system’s website, anyone 12 years and older can schedule an appointment at

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun and The Union, a sister publication of the Sun


(As of Thursday morning)


Number of COVID-19 cases: 8,060 (County officials haven’t yet determined which side some cases reside in)

Number in western county: 6,371

Number in eastern county: 1,683

Number of active cases: 672

Number hospitalized: 18

Number of recoveries: 7,297

Number of deaths: 91 (3 in the last week)

Number tested: 144,472


Number of COVID-19 cases: 32,910

Number in East Placer: 1,212

Number in Mid-Placer: 4,901

Number in South Placer: 26,309

Number of recoveries: 29,983

Number of deaths: 347 (11 in the last week)

Number tested negative: 532,543


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