Nevada County to release more data on COVID-19 cases |

Nevada County to release more data on COVID-19 cases

John Orona
Staff Writer

Nevada County’s Public Heath Office plans to share more detailed information surrounding confirmed COVID-19 cases once there are about 50 active cases in the county.

Officials said demographic information similar to what the state provides — which lists positive cases, deaths, number of tests conducted, gender, age range, and county — would likely be included. Officials did not answer questions about whether they would include information about general geographic areas within the county with cases.

The county’s coronavirus site currently lists the number of active cases, the number of deaths, and whether they are in east or west Nevada County. Areas of the county with cases are not included.

According to Public Health Officer Ken Cutler, the county is limiting information in order to protect patient confidentiality, but if the number of cases grows, information such as age groups will be included.

Nevada County had 34 COVID-19 cases Wednesday afternoon.

“With smaller numbers it is more difficult to maintain confidentiality,” Cutler said in an email.

CEO Alison Lehman, Health and Human Services Agency Director Ryan Gruver, Public Health Director Jill Blake and Cutler did not comment further on why more specificity about the location of confirmed cases would violate confidentiality, or on the link between the number of cases and the ability to maintain confidentiality.

El Dorado County, with 29 cases as of Wednesday, lists the number of tests administered, pending tests, confirmed cases, age range, gender, and the general area where cases occur. For example, it states there are 10 cases in El Dorado Hills and nine in the Lake Tahoe area.

According to Blake, because testing does not require public health authorization, the county cannot track the number of tests administered. Due to the lack of testing capacity and the potential for carriers to be asymptomatic, the amount of people with COVID-19 is likely to be much higher than number of confirmed cases.

According to data from the state, people age zero to 17 account for 1% of cases in the county, people age 18-49 make up 49% of cases, people 50-64 years old account for 27% of cases, and people 65 and over make up 22% of county cases.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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