Nevada County COVID-19 stats continue positive trend
Most Nevada County skilled nursing facilities will complete their first round of vaccinations by the end of this week.
According to officials at Golden Empire and Crystal Ridge Care Center, their first rounds of vaccinations are now complete, which includes residents and health care workers.
Spring Hill Manor is scheduled to administer their vaccinations Friday. Tahoe Forest Hospital skilled nursing facility has started its process and expects to wrap up the first round by Jan. 15.
Officials at Wolf Creek Care Center could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Skilled nursing facilities are the highest priority for vaccinations, and are administered through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program that uses CVS and Walgreens staff to handle the vaccination logistics free of charge to the facilities.
Skilled nursing facility residents and staff will have follow-up doses administered three weeks after their initial dose.
Congregate living facilities have been one source of COVID-19 outbreaks and account for most of the county’s 50 COVID-19 related deaths.
As of Wednesday, there have been 22 resident deaths at Golden Empire and 11 at Spring Hill Manor. There have been fewer than 11 resident deaths at each of the county’s other three skilled nursing facility.
There have also been fewer than 11 deaths at three residential care facilities for the elderly: Atria Grass Valley, Brunswick Village, and Eskaton Village Grass Valley.
Due to privacy concerns, the state does not give exact figures for deaths and cases when there are fewer than 11 and more than zero.
The latest state data shows the county has continued its slight decrease in case and positivity rates for the third consecutive week.
Case rates fell to 24.2 new cases per day and positiity rates lowered to 7.7%, after reaching highs of 54 new cases per day and 11% positivity one month ago. Both COVID-19 risk level indicators have declined each week since.
The county’s positivity rate lowered enough to meet the threshold for the red, or “substantial,“ tier, but case rates are still three times the requirement for even the most restrictive tier, or purple tier, designation.
The latest released data covers the week from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, so any transmission caused by holiday gatherings would not yet show up in the statistics.
“While we are working on getting ready for wider distribution of vaccines, it is absolutely imperative that we all continue to wear a mask, social distance, and support our businesses by ordering takeout and shopping judiciously,” Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chair Heidi Hall said in an email.
“Those who continue to ignore these public health mandates are recklessly putting others in danger, and adding to the stress of our health care workers. We need to hold the line so we can get to a full and safe re-opening later this year.”
The Sacramento region remains under a stay-at-home order, with regional intensive care unit capacity at 11% Wednesday. The region’s alternative care site at ARCO/Sleep Train Arena had 25 of its 244 beds active, with 17 in use and eight ready to accept patients. The remaining are in “warm status.”
The state has yet to release four-week projection data that will determine when the regional order could be lifted.
John Orona is a Staff Writer with The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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As of Thursday morning, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nevada County had reached 4,869. There are 37 new cases since Thursday, May 3, indicating a 1% increase.