Nevada County sees highest weekly COVID-19 case count on record

A group of Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning students don their masks as they take part in a class project Wednesday in downtown Nevada City. Nevada County has noted its highest COVID-19 rates since the beginning of the pandemic.
Photo: Elias Funez

Nevada County recorded 1,357 new cases of COVID-19 last week, according to the county’s Coronavirus Dashboard, the highest weekly total recorded for the county since the pandemic began.

The previous three weeks’ cases had each totaled — in chronological order — 453, 632, and 702 — forming the beginning of what local officials have recently referred to as a COVID-19 surge. The county had previously spent 15 weeks in which weekly case totals remained below 200.

“Nevada County continues to see an increase, while the state is leveling off and may be reporting a decline in cases soon,” wrote Nevada County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Glennah Trochet in an email Wednesday.

People don their face coverings Wednesday in downtown Nevada City.
Photo: Elias Funez

“Throughout this pandemic, the trends in Nevada County have lagged behind the state as a whole by about two weeks,” wrote Trochet. “Our surge started later and will probably peak later than the state as a whole.”

As of Wednesday, according to state data tracking COVID-19, the state’s average rate of new cases per 100,000 residents was 212.2. Nevada County’s average rate per 100,000 residents, as of Wednesday, was 170.2.

“I think you can … infer, from what we’ve seen in other parts of the world, other parts of the nation, and the state, that we’re not done with this yet,” said Nevada County Director of Health and Human Services Ryan Gruver in a Q&A last week, adding that he believed at the time that the county was “in the beginning” of a surge of the Omicron variant.

According to state data on COVID-19 variants of concern, Omicron became the most commonly identified variant among sequenced samples statewide in late December, overtaking the Delta variant and remaining the most prevalent since then.

Not everyone chooses to wear face coverings while out in public.
Photo: Courtesy Grace Crain for The Union

As of Tuesday, according to state data on hospitalizations, Nevada County had 32 patients who were positive for COVID-19, and had 35 on Monday.

During the surge in COVID-19 cases last summer, as the Delta variant became more prevalent, Nevada County’s hospitalized patients positive for COVID-19 had peaked at 32, according to the state.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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