‘The trajectory that we want to be on’: Nevada County health officials discuss COVID-19 cases, vaccines

Nevada County’s rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases is headed in the right direction, said county Director of Health and Human Services Ryan Gruver on Wednesday.

Five weeks ago, during the week ending on Sept. 3, the county saw its highest weekly case count this year, with 488 cases recorded that week.

Falling within a surge which Gruver said can be attributed to the Delta variant, the county saw higher case counts that week — and in three others in August — than it had during last winter’s surge.

The county’s weekly cases have since begun to decline.

Gruver had described the week ending on Sept. 17 as “still a lot of cases, but a lot better than where we were,” with 231 cases. Then, the week ending on Sept. 24, which saw 193 new cases, was described by county Director of Public Health Jill Blake in a Q&A as “our lowest weekly case rate in about eight weeks.”

Last week, the county recorded 172 new cases, said Gruver.

“So, that’s obviously the trajectory that we want to be on, seeing our cases go down,” said Gruver.

While the county’s recent COVID-19 case and positivity numbers are improved, they remain elevated relative to the state, said Gruver.

According to state data, as of Wednesday, Nevada County has a daily case rate per 100,000 residents (using a seven-day average) of 18.8, and a test positivity rate of 5.4%.

For reference, according to that data, the county’s current case rate is significantly down from the its highest-ever — when it hovered in the high 60s and low 70s during much of August.

However, the case rate remains elevated compared to much of last year, when the county remained in the single-digit range until early November, as well as another extended period of a single-digit case rate this year, from early May to early July.

In comparison, as of Wednesday, the statewide daily case rate per 100K residents was 13.5, and its positivity rate was 2.5%.


Dr. Glennah Trochet, the county’s deputy public health officer, said in the Q&A Wednesday that immunizations against COVID-19 remain effective even amid spread of the Delta variant.

According to Gruver, individuals who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 make up approximately 80% of new cases, with those who are vaccinated making up 20%. Just over 64% of eligible Nevada County residents have been vaccinated as of Wednesday, he said.

“And, I think we would be remiss not to mention the flu, which is going to be upon us,” said Trochet.

The county Department of Public Health held a drive-thru flu shot clinic Tuesday, at which Trochet says over 530 shots were distributed.

She said Wednesday that the parents of children 6 months of age or older are encouraged to take their children to get a flu shot, and that “everybody should get a flu vaccine this year.”

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union and the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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