Regional stay-at-home order could hit Nevada County within days |

Regional stay-at-home order could hit Nevada County within days

to register for county informational zoom

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a COVID-19 update Thursday that the state will be introducing a regional stay-at-home order, projected to apply to Nevada County early this month.

For the purposes of this measure, Nevada County falls within the Greater Sacramento region, the other four regions being Northern California, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. A region will be placed into the stay-at-home order for three weeks if its intensive care unit capacity falls below 15%.

He said that, within the month, “the ICU capacity in all of these regions will drop, based on our current projections, below 15% in total capacity.”

In the update, bars, wineries, personal services, and hair salons and barbershops were named as some of the sectors which would face temporary closure when a region is placed on this stay-at-home order. Places of worship and political expression would be allowed outdoors only.

Schools that have already opened and critical infrastructure will remain open, as well as retail up to 20% capacity, and restaurants would be limited to takeout and delivery.


Tony Norskog, owner of The Wheelhouse, said that his restaurant — which opened with an emphasis on burgers and beer earlier this year — has been preparing for a few weeks to transition to a primarily takeout-based service. The Wheelhouse has a large outdoor seating area, he said, but only the “tough” have been out there in recently decreasing evening temperatures.

“As we move into colder weather in December and January, we were expecting to be mainly takeout anyway,” said Norskog. “So we’re going to stay open, going to keep doing takeout, smoking chickens, doing some more meal prep for people.”

He said takeout has made up around 30% of the restaurant’s sales currently, and they have shifted their menu to feature foods such as soups, chilis, and stews — both because they add winter weather appeal and are easily put into containers to-go.

“We’ll be lucky to break even through the winter and keep this going, but luckily locals have been very supportive about trying to dine out more often,” he said, adding he has high hopes for “a different landscape” next year following expected progress on COVID-19 immunization.

Ken Paige, owner of Friar Tuck’s, emailed a letter to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and other local officials Thursday. In the email he congratulated Nevada County Supervisor Dan Miller on his recent comments expressing a desire for a more localized approach to COVID-19 restrictions.

Paige went on to say in the letter that he and a coalition of local restaurants opposed to the statewide mandates commit to “look for ways to circumvent Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus mandates” as well as “stand with our county supervisors” to lobby Sacramento, protest for the governor to pay more attention to local supervisors, and as local citizens, “be conscious and respectful of where people are in the situation and stop being selfish.”

He concluded by encouraging local supervisors and other officials to “meet and rally together” on the matter.


In a press release Thursday, Nevada County administrative analyst Taylor Wolfe said, “Nevada County is experiencing an unprecedented escalation in new COVID-19 cases.”

Concerning the Greater Sacramento region, which includes Nevada County, she said 76% of ICU beds were occupied as of Thursday.

The county will be holding a community informational session “about the individual actions required to protect our community and our essential workers” on Zoom at 2 p.m. today featuring updates from Nevada County Public Health and local hospitals.

Newsom said in his update that, statewide, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 86% in the last 14 days, with ICU admissions rising 67%. In order to bolster medical capacity, he said, the state is preparing 11 new facilities to receive patients, including over 220 beds, in ARCO/Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, set to open Wednesday.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at

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