Near the red: Nevada County needs to maintain current COVID numbers to enter next tier |

Near the red: Nevada County needs to maintain current COVID numbers to enter next tier

This week Nevada County’s COVID-19 risk metrics met criteria to reach the red tier for the first time in more than four months after the state lowered its case and positivity rate requirements.

The state announced earlier this month it would the change the requirements for the red tier from seven or fewer new cases per day to 10 once it’s able to deliver 2 million additional vaccine doses to communities in the bottom 25% of the state’s Healthy Places Index.

After meeting that goal last week, state officials gave counties already meeting the criteria a week of credit, bumping some to the red tier, which Nevada County missed out on by 0.1 new cases per day.

Nevada County’s case rate this week dropped to single digits for the first time since the end of October, going from 10.1 new cases a day to 9.3, according to state data.

If it remains within the red tier next week, industries like restaurants, bars and movie theaters will be able to reopen with limited indoor capacity the following week.

Once the state is able to administer another 2 million vaccine doses to those same targeted communities, which took about two weeks last time, it will lower the criteria to enter the orange tier from 3.9 or fewer new cases per day to 5.9.

The next tier assessment will use data from the second week of March, during which the county reported only 64 cases, the fewest since the end of October.

This week’s assessment wasn’t all good news, however, as the county’s positivity rate went up this week, from 3.9% to 4.4%, remaining squarely within the orange tier.

The county’s active cases also increased to 80 on Monday, following a steep decline that saw a drop from over 350 on Feb. 23, down to less than 50 two weeks ago.

John Orona is a Staff Writer for The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. To contact him, email or call 530-477-4229.

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