Due to the recent dramatic increase in cases of COVID-19 in our community and following recently released Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, the Nevada County Public Health Officer strongly recommends masking indoors. Nevada County’s daily case rate and case positivity rate have drastically increased in less than a month. The steep increase is in part, due to the highly contagious Delta variant. The Delta variant in California now accounts for over 80% of cases sequenced, resulting in cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19 rising throughout the state, especially amongst those that remain unvaccinated.
“The recommendation for everyone to resume masking indoors and to get tested after an exposure is a prudent measure to slow the spread of the Delta variant,” said Nevada County Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann. “It is proven that masks work, and they work against every variant that this virus has produced. Putting on a mask indoors in settings where you can’t be sure that everyone is fully vaccinated is a simple way to add another layer of protection against COVID-19. Our best protection against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine. Being immunized and using masks in indoor settings, will save lives, save livelihoods, protect our families and friends and will allow our economy to prosper.”
While cases continue to surge and until vaccination rates have increased in Nevada County, it is strongly recommended that vaccinated residents wear masks in indoor public settings such as a grocery store or restaurant.
The current California Department of Public Health (CDPH) masking mandate requires individuals that are not vaccinated to wear face coverings in indoor settings. In addition, face coverings are required in healthcare settings, jails, public transportation and schools.
The Nevada County Health Officer also recommends that fully vaccinated individuals get tested for COVID-19 following an exposure to someone infected with COVID-19, even if they have no symptoms. Data continues to show that fully vaccinated individuals are well protected from the Delta variant and that all three available vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, but breakthrough infections do occur in vaccinated persons. Although vaccine breakthrough infections with the Delta variant in Nevada County are not common, preliminary evidence suggests that the affected persons may be able to transmit the virus to others even when they have no symptoms.
All residents 12 and older are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Nationwide data from June showed that unvaccinated individuals were 79 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated remain vulnerable to the highly infectious Delta variant.
For questions, call 2-1-1 or visit www.MyTurn.ca.gov. Homebound residents can contact 2-1-1 to request in-home vaccination services. Find information about COVID-19 in Nevada County at www.MyNevadaCounty.com/Coronavirus, including signage for local businesses that aligns with the indoor masking recommendations from the CDC, CDPH, and Nevada County Public Health.