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Winter brings more COVID across the state

Nevada County reported 154 new COVID-19 cases over the last week — a 2% increase.

According to the COVID-19 dashboard, 9,817 people have been released from isolation and 158 people had active cases. Since the Delta variant surge began in August, 42 people have died — two last week — bringing the total number of deaths in Nevada County since the pandemic began to 121.

According to the state’s online dashboard that tracks COVID-19, Nevada County’s rate rose quickly above the state average in July due to the Delta variant. The local case rate peaked at over 70 while the statewide average hovered above the low 30s in August. The discrepancy between the state and county’s case rate remained significant until earlier this month.



Nevada County’s case rate has yet to drop to what it was this time last year in the first “round” of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the introduction of the Omicron variant, the state’s case rate has risen to meet the county’s.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nevada County has delivered 148,846 doses of the vaccine, and fully vaccinated 60,311 people as of Wednesday.



OMICRON VARIANT

On the Omicron variant, county Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Glennah Trochet said preliminary findings indicated it is “much more infectious” than the Delta variant, and appears to cause less severe disease. She qualified this evaluation in a Q&A two weeks ago, saying it is “subject to change as we learn more.”

Recent information from studies, she added, indicated that currently available vaccines provide “some immunity against Omicron, although it appears to be less than they’d provide for the older variants.”

Trochet said her recommendation was that those who have received an original vaccine series get a booster if the appropriate period of time — six months since the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two months since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — has passed.

“If you haven’t been immunized, it’s never too late to start getting immunized and get your first dose now,” she added.

Over 21,600 boosters have been given to Nevada County residents.

MASK ORDERS

The first case of the Omicron variant in the Unites States was detected in California on Dec. 1, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The state department has updated its guidance for the use of face coverings to require that masks be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, until Jan. 15.

“This new measure brings an added layer of mitigation as the Omicron variant, a Variant of Concern as labeled by the World Health Organization, is detected across California, the United States, and the world and is likely to spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Delta variant,” stated the new guidance.

It added that, since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate had increased by 47% and hospitalizations had increased by 14%.

PLACER COUNTY

As of Thursday morning, Placer County reported 313 new cases, a 1% increase in cases from the prior week.

There were no COVID-19-caused deaths in Placer County last week, leaving the death toll at 486.

Placer County has distributed 609,175 vaccines since their introduction. The number of fully vaccinated Placer County residents is now 250,752 people.

The Union and Sun Staff Writer Rebecca O’Neil contributed to this report

BY THE NUMBERS

NEVADA COUNTY

Number of COVID-19 cases: 10,096

Number in western county: 7,858

Number in eastern county: 2,238

Number of active cases: 158

Number hospitalized: 5

Number of recoveries: 9,817

Number of deaths: 121 (two in the last week)

PLACER COUNTY

Number of COVID-19 cases: 39,606

Number of recoveries: 38,079

Number of deaths: 486 (zero in the last week)

Number tested negative: 687,945

As case investigations are conducted and more information is gathered, case counts may change or even decrease due to residents’ locations being confirmed in nearby counties. The number of laboratory tests reported to the Public Health Department is approximate


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