Nevada County, cities to ask state for more funding, autonomy, in wake of COVID-19 spike | SierraSun.com
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Nevada County, cities to ask state for more funding, autonomy, in wake of COVID-19 spike

John Orona
Special to the Sierra Sun

NEVADA CITY — As statewide efforts to reopen while mitigating coronavirus concerns continue, Nevada County government entities will ask Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials for continued local flexibility and additional funding to help further them along the road to recovery.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a letter that asks the state to allocate $1.3 billion in relief funds, with adjustments that take into account direct funding already given to larger cities and counties.

“Formulas that do not adjust for funds already received will leave small counties, cities and towns with a fiscal gap that will impair our ability to respond to new COVID-19 cases, and to address the economic and social impacts of this crisis. In addition, we request maximum flexibility in how (Coronavirus Relief Fund) funds can be used,” the letter states.

The letter argues for local autonomy in reopening and potentially reinstituting restrictions, and attributes the county’s initial success in keeping cases low to the community adhering to local guidelines.

“In Nevada County, due to our community’s diligence in complying with the Shelter-in-Place order, and the hard efforts of our local governments and community organizations, we were successful in ‘bending the curve’ and building the capacities necessary to be on the forefront of safely reopening,” the letter states. “We cannot underscore enough the importance of local flexibility to address this crisis.”

The letter will go before the Nevada City, Grass Valley and Truckee councils this week for approval before being sent to Newsom.

In the last 10 days, western Nevada County has seen as many COVID-19 cases as it has in the first three months of the pandemic. The county had 92 cases as of Tuesday.

In eastern Nevada County, there are now 65 cases after it remained steady at 29 cases throughout May. Western county had 12 cases throughout May. It now has 27.

The trend is similar to June spikes throughout the region, Public Health Officer Ken Cutler told the board. According to Cutler, as the county expected to see more cases with increased testing, an important metric to hone in on is the rate at which positive cases are rising.

He advocated for the public to continue social distancing, washing their hands, wearing masks, and to patronize businesses that have taken appropriate measures to decrease risk of infection.

John Orona is a reporter for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun based in Grass Valley. Contact him at jorona@theunion.com or 530-477-4229.


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