News Flash

Public Health - Coronavirus

Posted on: November 16, 2020

Nevada County moves into the State’s Purple Tier with a rapid rise in local COVID-19 cases

PH COVID NewsFlash 11.16.20

Nevada County COVID-19 cases rapidly rise due to social gatherings and workplace exposures

The State announced Nevada County in the most restrictive Purple “Widespread” Tier for COVID-19 business modifications

Given the exponential rise and cases and concern for our acute care hospital capacity, the State is moved all counties into this week’s tier assignments based on one week’s data

Nevada County has seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, with over six times as many new cases in the second week of November compared to the second week of October. Today, the State announced that Nevada County’s COVID-19 data meets the most restrictive Purple “Widespread” Tier that will reduce the capacity and increase restrictions for local businesses. The State’s tiered framework connects the level of openness of business sectors to COVID-19 conditions on the ground.

Nevada County Public Health reminds residents to continue practicing social distancing, masking, hand washing, and minimizing social mixing between households. Even if you are mildly symptomatic, please stay home and don’t assume it is allergies or a cold. California has also issued a travel advisory alongside Oregon and Washington to discourage non-essential travel over the holidays, encourage staying local and ask that those that choose to travel self-quarantine for 14-days after returning.

"We saw around 30 cases per day over the weekend, and both our case count and our positivity rates have risen significantly. We are growing increasingly concerned about overwhelming our local healthcare system and hospitals," said Nevada County's Director of Public Health Jill Blake. "As we see cases surge locally and regionally, we encourage everyone to get back to the basics that we know help curb the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands, wear a mask, distance yourself, and don’t take unnecessary risks like social gatherings. These are simple actions we can take to keep ourselves and others safe and get back to less restrictive tiers."

Nevada County COVID-19 Community Webinar

We know you have questions. Join us Tuesday evening from 4pm-5pm on Zoom to learn how to protect and help our local businesses, get updates from Public Health and the local schools. This is a collaborative, all hands on deck, learning session for everyone who wants to be part of the solution and help get us headed in the right direction.

Register at

Get Tested for COVID-19

Testing is highly recommended for those who are symptomatic. While we are experiencing this surge in new COVID-19 cases and working on increasing our testing capacity, Nevada County Public Health would like to encourage those who are not symptomatic and have not knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 to consider temporarily delaying getting tested to allow for testing of those who are symptomatic or have a known exposure to another diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you are getting tested due to being symptomatic, a possible exposure to COVID-19 or as a precaution after traveling, please remember to stay home and limit your interactions in public places until you receive your results. Schedule a cost-free COVID-19 test at or call 1-888-634-1123.

Changes in business modifications as we move into the Purple “Widespread” Tier

Purple Tier modifications for Nevada County businesses begin Tuesday, November 17th. Nevada County businesses should modify their business operations according to the guidance published on the State’s website. Some notable changes while moving from the Orange “Substantial” tier to the most restrictive Purple “Widespread” Tier are:

  • Restaurants: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Retail: Reduce indoor capacity to 25% with modifications in the Purple Tier from no capacity limit with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Movie theaters: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 25% capacity indoors with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Family entertainment centers: Open outdoor activities only including kart racing, mini golf and batting cages with modifications in the Purple Tier from 25% capacity with modifications for naturally distanced activities including bowling alleys and climbing walls in the Orange Tier.
  • Places of Worship: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever if fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Bars and Breweries: Closed (if no meals provided) in the Purple Tier from open outdoors only with modifications in the Orange Tier 
  • Wineries: Open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple Tier from 25% capacity indoors or 100 people (whichever is fewer) with modifications in the Orange Tier.
  • Outdoor live performances (including live music): Not allowed in the Purple Tier from allowed with substantial modifications in the Orange Tier. Indoor music performances and other indoor live performances are not allowed in any tier. 
  • Hair Salons, barbershops and personal care services (skin care, nail services, body art and tattoo, massage): Moving from the Orange Tier to the Purple Tier will not result in closure of hair salons, barbershops and personal care services. These can be open indoors with modifications.
  • Schools: Moving from the Orange Tier to the Purple Tier does not mandate school closures. 

Please reference the State’s website for complete COVID-19 business safety guidelines and modifications.

To support our business community and lessen business restrictions, we need to be even more diligent about limiting the behaviors that we know contribute to COVID-19’s spread. All members of the community are encouraged to consider how personal behavior can help move Nevada County back towards less restrictive tiers for our business sectors.  Individual action will lead to collective mitigation that will affect the county’s tier status and our collective behavior matters. Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance and washing your hands can help reduce COVID-19 exposures.

Business Resources

Find more information about COVID-19 in Nevada County at Email questions about the State’s COVID-19 business sector guidance to Small businesses may also access no-cost personal protective equipment (PPE) and Environmental Health permit fee waivers at

To submit a business compliance complaint, visit or submit via the Ask Nevada County app. Residents can also call 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak with a local call center representative with COVID-19 questions or to connect with resources. 

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