Loyalton, CA – August 13, 2021: Effective Monday, August 16, face coverings will be required for everyone in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status in Sierra County. As a result of rapidly increasing case rates within the county, local and regional testing positivity rates, and number of COVID- 19 positive patients in hospitals, additional layers of protection are needed to slow the spread of COVID- 19 amidst a fourth surge. Since indoor spaces increase risk for spread there needs to be an extra layer of protection to provide to people who are both unable to get vaccinated or are more vulnerable to infection. Wearing a face covering in indoor public spaces reduces both the risk of getting and transmitting COVID-19 and does not limit business occupancy or operations.
The significantly more transmissible Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has become the predominant strain in the US. Genomic sequencing has confirmed that the Delta variant is present in Sierra County and most likely the predominant circulating strain within Sierra County based on regional trends. The COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the US have been shown to be highly safe and effective at providing protection to individuals and communities, particularly against severe COVID-19 disease and death, and are recommended by the CDC for all populations for whom the vaccine is authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The new Order will remain in effect until there is a sustained decline in weekly cases, at the discretion of the Sierra County Public Health Officer. The same exemptions apply under the local universal indoor masking order as the State’s current face covering guidance and include persons under age 2 and persons with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a mask.
Sierra County Public Health Officer, Dr. Celia Sutton-Pado states, “Unless we can stop the perpetual cycle of spread of the virus, we will continue to see dangerous mutations, creating new COVID-19 variants, placing the residents of Sierra County at constant risk. We can only stop this cycle if we will all work together as a community.”
Vaccines remain the most effective protection against severe disease from COVID-19. All unvaccinated residents 12 and older are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Walk-in clinics are held on Thursday afternoons at the Health Department at 202 Front Street in Loyalton. Everybody 12 and older can make an appointment by going to My Turn – California COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling & Notifications, or by contacting the Health Department at (530) 993-6700 for assistance.
For more information, please go to: http://sierracounty.ca.gov/COVID-19 Email: COVID19@sierracounty.ca.gov