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Placer County ends its local health emergency

Sierra Sun staff

BY THE NUMBERS

(As of noon, Sept. 10)

NEVADA COUNTY

Number of COVID-19 cases: 476

Number in western county: 286

Number in eastern county: 190

Number of active cases: 74

Number hospitalized: 2

Number of recoveries: 397

Number of deaths: 5

Number tested: 17,969

PLACER COUNTY

Number of COVID-19 cases: 3,238

Number in East Placer: 152

Number in Mid-Placer: 322

Number in South Placer: 2,737

Number of recoveries: 2,863

Number of deaths: 36

Number tested negative: 73,844

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nevada County increased by less than 1% since last Thursday, Sept. 3, standing at 476 cases as of noon Thursday.

Of those, 397 have recovered and 74 cases remain active. Five people have died, with four of those deaths reported in August.

According to Nevada County’s coronavirus dashboard, 190 cases are in eastern county and 286 in western Nevada County. The eastern county area kicked off the pandemic’s appearance in the Sierra Foothills in March, but western county surpassed its counterpart’s case numbers beginning Aug. 1.

In Placer County, total case numbers had reached 3,238, up from 3,062 last week. There have been 36 deaths, two additional deaths since the Sierra Sun’s report last week. There have been 2,863 likely recoveries.

In eastern Placer County, 152 people have tested positive, which is up from 144 last week.

PLACER CHANGES

Citing a low incidence of COVID-19 and increasing harm caused by California’s reopening framework, the Placer County Board of Supervisors this week unanimously approved a resolution declaring the end of Placer County’s local health emergency.

According to a news release, while acknowledging that California’s state of emergency and Department of Public Health orders, directives and guidance remain in full effect in Placer County, the resolution expresses the board’s concerns that the state framework for measuring COVID-19 mischaracterizes the current state of disease specifically in Placer County and harms the community’s economic, health, mental and social wellbeing.

The resolution also rescinds the board’s resolution on March 9 that ratified the Placer health officer’s March 3 declaration of a local health emergency, the release states. On June 23, the board adopted a resolution to return the authority to terminate the local health emergency to the Board of Supervisors, delegated to the health officer under its March 9 resolution.

“We cannot continue to keep our community shut down for some unknown amount of time as determined by the ever-changing metrics according to the governor,” said Board Chair and District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “Health emergency declarations are obligated to be terminated at the earliest possible date that the conditions warrant and, based on the number of COVID-19 cases in our county, there is no longer a health emergency with regards to COVID-19 in Placer County.

“Residents need to continue practicing safety measures recommended by the CDC and need to remember that the state emergency and orders are still in effect,” Gore said.

Since the board’s ratification of the local health emergency March 9, the county has and will continue to work diligently to manage local disease spread — sharing community health information; reporting COVID-19 case dynamics at board meetings; providing a COVID-19 dashboard for community reference; addressing the needs of vulnerable populations; and clarifying state guidance so local businesses can reopen responsibly and consistently with state public health orders and safety protocols.

“If we look at this based on facts, we currently do not have a health emergency in Placer County,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “I agree with ending the emergency based on the statistics that we have in front of us, but I can’t agree with a lot of the politicization of this issue. We do have a virus that we don’t understand and we need to protect our most vulnerable.”


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