Nevada County is declaring a local health emergency and local emergency in response to the emerging, rapidly evolving situation and increasing spread of novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. There are no known cases of coronavirus in Nevada County currently.
"Nevada County Public Health has ramped up preparedness activities as we’ve seen COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, spread in California, and diagnosed most recently in Placer County," said Jill Blake, Nevada County Public Health Director. "These declarations enhance Nevada County’s ability to proactively respond to local needs if or when a confirmed coronavirus case happens in Nevada County."
The emergency declarations allow the County access to additional resources such as mutual aid, financial reimbursement and increased coordination with state and local partners. The local and health emergencies will be considered for ratification by the Board of Supervisors at their March 10th meeting next week.
"In addition to increasing our resources with emergency declarations, our Emergency Preparedness Program has been reaching out to their health care coalition partners, such as skilled nursing and residential care facilities, daily if not more frequently," added Jill Blake. "We are making sure our community partners have the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus and are thinking about their Personal Protective Equipment resources and preparedness plans."
Following the recent death of an elderly adult who contracted coronavirus in Placer County, Nevada County encourages the community to prepare for the possibility of local, sustained community transmission.
"We know that being elderly and having underlying health conditions greatly increases the risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 and of dying from this illness, whereas healthy, younger populations might only experience mild flu-like symptoms," continues Jill Blake. "Like Placer, we are encouraging our residents that are healthy and not at a higher risk to reach out to those more vulnerable and help them plan for the possibility of transmission of coronavirus in Nevada County. We are calling on all our community partners, from our in-home care facilities to those who have elderly neighbors, to help slow the spread and think through their own preparedness plans."
The community can help slow the spread of coronavirus by:
- Washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Coughing into a tissue or your elbow if a tissue isn’t available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth especially with unwashed hands.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Nevada County Environmental Health has created recommendations for homes with known or suspected coronavirus infections (PDF).
- Keeping your distance from people who are sick, especially if they have a respiratory virus. If you think you are exhibiting symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and have been exposed to the coronavirus, call your local health care provider. Contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk.
Since there are no diagnosed local cases currently in Nevada County, now is a great time to prepare for an actual event. Public Health is asking the community to consider how they might adjust if daily routines are disrupted by an outbreak:
- Can you work from home/remotely?
- What are your transportation plans if public transportation is disrupted?
- If schools are closed, do you have an alternate plan for childcare?
- Do you have enough food, medications and other necessities to sustain you and your family if you needed to stay home?
Find local coronavirus resources and updates at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. Public Health has activated Connecting Point’s Call Center to answer community questions. Connecting Point can provide callers up-to-date information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and connect residents to other resources. Dial 2-1-1 or 833-DIAL211 (833-342-5211) to talk with a call center representative. Residents are also able to subscribe to receive related media releases at www.mynevadacounty.com/stayinformed by following the subscription directions to subscribe for “Public Health – Coronavirus” under the News Flash category.