Stricter COVID-19 safety order not likely | TheUnion.com
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Stricter COVID-19 safety order not likely

John Orona
Staff Writer

By the numbers

As of April 22

Number of COVID-19 cases in Nevada County: 36

Number in western county: 12

Number in eastern county: 24

Number of deaths: 1

Learn more at http://www.theunion.com/coronavirus

Despite public calls for stricter measures on businesses still open, health officials said additional orders are not likely at this time.

“We’ve been getting a lot of citizens calling concerned about lack of mask and glove use,” Nevada County Environmental Health Director Amy Irani said. “That’s been our biggest question.”

Irani said the health department recommends businesses use masks and gloves if the resources are available and noted some, like BriarPatch Co-op, Safeway and SPD, have voluntarily enacted mask policies. However, with the lack of supplies readily available and weakened supply chain, it wouldn’t make sense to make them a requirement.

“For the most part, our stores are doing a great job. They’ve got areas marked, they’re trying to limit the number of people in the store,” Irani said. “Sometimes we’ll get a call where they’re saying, ‘The person bagging my groceries was too close to me,’ and we’re heading out to the store location and talking to the store manager any time a citizen complain comes in.”

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While many complaints are deemed unfounded, checking in on them has opened a consistent channel of communication with establishments, Irani said.

“It’s a shame that COVID has created that connection, but it’s a great thing to have and being able to reach out,” she said.

According to Public Health Officer Ken Cutler, whether people need to wear face covering in public is another frequently asked question. While the county recommends the move, Cutler said last week making it an order could lead to people lowering their guard in other areas, like social distancing and staying at home.

County officials said they don’t have a measure on how well people are complying with the recommendation to wear face coverings while in public.

Information

The county has begun releasing more demographic data for its 36 confirmed cases.

The number is two less than the county reported the day before. Officials said they determined two cases were confirmed to be in nearby counties.

According to the county, 15 cases are people age 18-49; 14 are age 50-64; and 7 are from people 65 or older. There have been 17 male patients and 19 female, with 30 cases acquired from the community and six travel-related.

Since April 3, the county has accrued seven cases, which Cutler said may be a potential sign of the state’s stay-at-home order’s effectiveness, though the case count does not reflect the extent of transmission.

“We continue to encourage and recommend cloth face coverings when going out in public, particularly if social and physical distancing could be difficult,” Cutler said. “We still recommend that face coverings be used in addition to going out less and only for essential services and activities, keeping distance from others, meticulous hand hygiene, and disinfection of surfaces.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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