Plateauing COVID-19 cases higher than last year
Nevada County COVID-19 cases have plateaued now that the Delta variant surge appears to have abated.
Despite this, current case numbers are higher than they were this time last year.
As of Wednesday, according to the state’s dashboard for COVID-19 data, Nevada County has a seven-day average of 14.6 cases per 100,000 residents, and test positivity rate of 6.7%.
In comparison, last year, the county’s case rate on Oct. 28 was 5.8, and its test positivity rate was 1.4%.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nevada County had reached 8,969. There are 145 new cases since Oct. 22, which indicates a 2% increase over last week.
This week’s increase is a percentage higher than the previous week, and the current case rate would have put Nevada County in the purple tier of California’s now-lifted Blueprint for a Safer Economy system, if that system still existed.
During a Wednesday Q&A, Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake said the state reached out to the county to inform it of the apparent plateau in COVID-19 cases.
“We’ll see if that continues or not, but the concern that was expressed is that it’s a higher plateau than where we plateaued last fall around this time,” Blake said.
According to the dashboard, 8,700 people have been released from isolation and 166 remain active — 400 less than last week. Since the start of August and the surge caused by the virus’ Delta variant, 28 people have died — two this week — bringing the total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 103.
Nevada County administered 1,986 vaccines over the last week, bringing the total number of doses delivered to 122,581. Over the course of last week, 346 people in the county became completely vaccinated, bringing that number up to 56,593.
Dr. Scott Kellermann, the county’s public health officer, said Wednesday that there is still “a lot of virus in this community” that can be mitigated by masking, vaccination, and boosters for those who are eligible.
“It has tended to plateau a little bit, like other counties in the state, but I think if we continue on the way we’re doing now, we’ll see a drop,” said Kellermann.
Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Glennah Trochet described Kellermann as “optimistic,” and recalled the impact of last year’s winter surge on families and businesses in the area.
Trochet said a “multi-layered” approach to addressing COVID risk is necessary.
Trochet described vaccination as “important,“ but added that masking when indoors or in crowded settings outdoors, continuing to maintain social distance, and, in particular as various holidays approach, holding any gatherings safely and in small groups as opposed to large crowds.
“All that will help me be wrong about the surge, which I dearly hope I will be,” said Trochet.
As of Thursday morning, Placer County reported 560 new cases, a 2% rise in cases from the prior week.
There were 9 recorded deaths caused by COVID-19 in Placer County last week, bringing the death toll to 433.
Placer County has distributed 505,356 vaccines since their introduction. Of the 9,888 shots administered, 1,619 were for those who became fully vaccinated over the week, bringing the number of fully vaccinated Placer County residents up to 234,999 people.
Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun and The Union, a sister publication of the Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Number of COVID-19 cases: 8,969 (County officials haven’t yet determined which side some cases reside in)
Number in western county: 7,066
Number in eastern county: 1,895
Number of active cases: 166
Number hospitalized: 10
Number of recoveries: 8,700
Number of deaths: 103 (2 in the last week)
Number of COVID-19 cases: 36,277
Number of recoveries: 34,629
Number of deaths: 433 (9 in the last week)
Number tested negative: 601,870
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Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann said it will take weeks before key questions are answered regarding the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.