State to announce Tuesday whether Nevada County moves to red tier |

State to announce Tuesday whether Nevada County moves to red tier

The state will announce Tuesday whether Nevada County will move down to the red — or substantial — COVID-19 risk tier, rather than the current purple — or widespread — tier, with the associated changes in restrictions going into effect Wednesday.

Last week, the state announced that Nevada County had met the red tier criteria for the first time since November.

In order to meet red tier criteria, a county must stay below 10 cases per day, per 100,000 people, and have a positivity rate lower than 8%.

According to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier guidelines, which are based on COVID-19 case rates and test positivity, a county must stay within the criteria for a lower tier for two consecutive weeks in order to move tiers.

The state Department of Public Health assesses these indicators each Monday, putting out the updated tier designations each Tuesday, meaning Nevada County will find out today whether it has qualified for the lower tier this week.

In a shift from purple to red tier guidelines, retailers’ permitted indoor capacity would increase from 25% to 50%.

Lillie Piland-Robertson, owner of the Grass Valley boutique Yuba Blue, said this shift would not be “that much of a change” for her business, given that the 25% capacity has generally not been filled recently.

According to Piland-Robertson, the shift in guidelines may have made a bigger difference during the last quarter of 2020, which she said was a much busier time for the shop, and more often required monitoring at the door for capacity.

In contrast, as a shift to the red tier would mean dine-in service at restaurants would go from being permitted outdoor only to a 25% indoor capacity, Wild Eye Pub co-owner Beth Moore said she is making several changes in anticipation of the shift.

“We are feeling confident that the announcement will be made (today) and effective Wednesday,” said Moore, adding that she has been putting out hiring ads as well as calling back former staff as she expects to have more hours for them.

Moore said that, while she is committed to continuing to follow all public health restrictions, “Like everyone, we’re very ready and eager to move into this phase of lower risk and less restriction.”

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

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