Nevada County coronavirus cases see ‘spike’ over two days |

Nevada County coronavirus cases see ‘spike’ over two days

Victoria Penate
Special to the Sierra Sun

After over a month without any new confirmed cases of COVID-19, Nevada County reported eight new cases this week, bringing the total case count to 49 as of Thursday morning.

The new confirmed cases are adults living in eastern Nevada County. According to a release from the Nevada County Department of Public Health, five of these individuals were linked to a common exposure.

The department confirmed that all have been notified of having tested positive and will be isolating, with their household contacts also under quarantine.

“We are not considering changes today, but we’ll need to see how things evolve and whether or not the spike in COVID-19 cases continues to grow,” said Jill Blake, Nevada County’s director of public health, in an email.

The Reopen Nevada County Plan outlines multiple thresholds for the extent to which coronavirus spread would have to worsen to set into motion the tightening of local restrictions, focusing on epidemiology, health care, and public health.

A couple of epidemiological markers to look for would be a significant increase in new cases over a period of three days without any substantial increase in testing, or a doubling of cases over less than five days.

In the health care and public health categories, health officials are looking at intensive care unit capacity, supply of protective equipment for health care workers, and effective contact tracing as some of the key measures to evaluate.

“The health officer may consider stricter measures when one or more criteria listed in the plan are met, but as of this response, that has not happened,” said Blake.

Western Nevada County has remained at a total of 12 cases since April 17.

However, Blake explained that it is unclear whether western and eastern Nevada County case developments should be treated as separate in assessing personal risk, saying that where the affected individuals reside doesn’t tell the whole story.

“Two of the last seven cases reported were in people with mild to no symptoms, so we may never know how or where they contracted the disease,” said Blake.

County officials have refused to give more detailed geographic information about positive cases.

Blake added that, due to an increase in both sanctioned and unsanctioned travel as the county and state open back up, an increase in COVID-19 cases is expected. Due to this shared risk, Blake emphasized the importance of basic precautions at this time.

These include staying home when unwell, frequent hand washing, maintaining a six-foot distance from others when possible, getting tested, and wearing a face covering as a consideration when coming into proximity with others outside the home.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun based in Grass Valley.

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