Happy New Year Sierra County! I wish I could say that all of what has been happening with the COVID-19 pandemic is now all behind us when we said goodbye to the year 2020. Unfortunately, that is far, far from reality. While we in Sierra County have prided ourselves of being fairly protected from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are now experiencing a rapid rise in Sierra county residents getting infected and experiencing illness. Initially, the cases were sporadic and well contained. Most cases were coming from exposure in workplaces outside of Sierra County. Now, however, it is safe to say that we are experiencing community spread. Meaning in simple terms, the virus is here on both sides of the County. The virus is being spread from friend to friend, family member to family members, and across households. As of today, we have 59 positive cases and 25 of those are since Christmas Eve! We have had 3 hospitalized. This means that we are utilizing surrounding hospitals for Sierra County emergency needs. Not only are the hospital capacities significantly impacted, our schools are significantly impacted. The increased numbers of people having to be isolated and quarantined is impacting our children's education. Recently, the Sierra County Superintendent had to make the difficult decision to go to
distance learning once again in Downieville. We are facing the most critical time of this pandemic. This most serious moment requires our communities to step up efforts on all fronts - homes, businesses, churches, and public spaces. We need to take responsibility for our community, our family and our friends.
Sierra County remains under the Regional Stay Home Order. As the whole state is experiencing increasing numbers of COVID-19, hospitals across the state have reached capacity. Intensive care beds, for all critical needs, are in jeopardy of not being available for any of us. We will now be watching the Greater Sacramento Region's ICU capacity projections (four week increments) to determine if we can maintain a 15% or higher capacity. When it looks like we can, the state will lift the order and we will enter whatever Sierra County's Blueprint tier has been calculated to be. Everything depends on stopping the spread of the Coronavirus and getting the numbers down to be manageable by our healthcare systems.
Stay home if you are ill. Limit travel to essential activities like groceries, gas and work. Do not gather with people outside of your immediate household. Wear a mask in public places.
Get outside for a walk and fresh air. Take good care of yourself!
The good news is that Sierra County Public Health is receiving weekly allotments of the Moderna Vaccine. This is a very promising breakthrough in this pandemic. It has been found to be a very safe and effective vaccine. Multiple outside independent review boards have confirmed testing trial findings and recommendations. Please follow the County Website and inquire with your employer as to when you will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
P.O. Box 7, Loyalton, CA 96118(530) 993-6700www.sierracounty.ca.gov