‘Vaccine makes a difference’: County health officials discuss vaccine progress | TheUnion.com

‘Vaccine makes a difference’: County health officials discuss vaccine progress

Ryan Gruver, the county’s director of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday that he is hopeful the work Public Health and local providers have done in vaccinating the population will help the county get through its current surge in cases.

The state announced Tuesday that Nevada County had once again met the criteria for the purple, or widespread, COVID-19 risk tier, and will be returning to that tier this coming Wednesday if the criteria is met for a second week.

From the previous week, the county’s average daily case rate jumped from 6.9 cases to 12.7 cases.

“I think every time we’ve seen a decrease in cases, we’ve seen complacency set in, and that’s been followed by a spike,” said Gruver.

Nevada County Director of Public Health Jill Blake said Wednesday that vaccine supply has kept up with the county and local providers’ capacities locally so far, and is expected to increase “fairly significantly” over the next four to six weeks.

According to Blake, while vaccine hesitancy exists in the community, it is not “showing up yet in our appointments” as they have continued to fill up.

“When supply starts to meet demand, when it’s more balanced, I’m guessing that that’s where we’ll see more hesitancy show its face,” said Blake.

In some sectors of the community, said Blake, some individuals hesitated to receive the vaccine at the beginning of the rollout but have since reached out to Public Health and are “ready now.”

“I imagine we’ll still see that pattern for a while,“ said Blake.

Blake said Wednesday that fewer cases are being reported in groups which were vaccinated first, such as health care providers and those 65 and older.

“So, we know that vaccine makes a difference, and we know that adherence to the guidelines makes a difference as well,” said Blake.

However, the county on Wednesday said that a new, more easily transmissible variant of the virus was detected locally. Officials in a press released said it’s likely variants are widespread in the county.

As of Wednesday, 52,901 doses have been administered to Nevada County residents, according to the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

County officials said Wednesday that around 40% of the county’s population over the age of 18 has had at least one dose.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.

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