June 19-21, 2020 Moonshine Minutes
Hot on the heels of sectors reopening across California has come a significant bump in positive COVID-19 cases.
Some Nevada County healthcare representatives, however, are attributing the boost in numbers to lax personal responsibility rather than businesses opening their doors and an increase in testing availability.
I’m Alex Hoeft, here with this weekend’s Moonshine Minutes.
On June 17, Nevada County saw its largest single-day spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, a jump of 11. As of recording, there are 71 confirmed cases — 19 of which are active, and one death due to the disease in the county.
The rise comes after a flatlined month of May — from April 28 to May 31, Nevada County stayed at 41 total cases. But with June came an uptick, one new case on June 1, up to 6 the next day, and so on.
Ryan Gruver, director of health and human services, isn’t linking the rise in positive cases to the reopening of sectors. Rather, it’s complacency.
He said, “It’s imperative that the community understands and we as individuals understand that just because business sectors are reopening doesn’t mean it’s business as usual.”
Placer County also saw a record rise in cases: June 18 had 28 newly confirmed cases, the highest number in a single day ever. Statewide, California has 165,416 confirmed COVID-19 cases, resulting in 5,360 deaths.
This past Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that face coverings are now required in public spaces because, as the guidelines state, “the risk for COVID-19 remains and the increasing number of Californians who are leaving their homes for work and other needs, increases the risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection.”
The state of Nevada is reopening with a more aggressive schedule than California — most recently allowing casinos to reopen June 4. Washoe County, too, saw its highest ever spike in new cases announced on a single day on June 18, with 83.
Cindy Wilson, director of public health nursing for Nevada County, credits her county’s spike in numbers to increased social interactions: people back at work, attending more family gatherings, out and about in community settings, and traveling more. Yes, there’s more testing availability now, but the testing is simply the medium for translating the reality of reopening, Wilson says.
“The increase in cases is due to the increase of social interactions. We are able to know about it because of the increased testing. We saw a few weeks with increased testing without increased cases. Then we started the reopening and it has accelerated at a pretty rapid pace — [businesses] being reopened and [they’re] not reopened very long before the next things get to reopen.”
The current spike has to do with the time span over the past couple months and increases in outings in general, Wilson said. Recent George Floyd demonstrations have not impacted cases, she said, as far as she knows.
Gruver with Nevada county added that recent cases seem to be trending toward the younger population.
The county doesn’t have “enough cases [of younger people] to make a statistically significant determination,” Gruver said, but he did point out that “the first cases in the 0-17 age range are reflected on our dashboard now.”
Placer County is approaching the rise in cases as likely caused by four different factors rather than a main headliner: increased testing, increased activity, increased gatherings, and cases in vulnerable settings (for example, homeless shelters and assisted living facilities).
Dr. Aimee Sisson, Placer’s health officer and public health director, explained in a statement that the county is not currently approaching threshold triggers that would cause modification to the reopening approach. However, she does caution that COVID-19 is still a major threat to the Tahoe region and the risks should be taken seriously.
Wilson says her main message in light of case spikes is for people to be careful about their social interactions and be wary of taking more risks.
“I think really assessing the importance of a trip to the grocery store or a visit at somebody’s house or a large family gathering or a special event like a birthday party, because those can have some pretty significant consequences if one person there ends up with COVID. Be calculated about the risks you’re willing to take rather than just casual and non-evaluative.”
The full piece, titled Local COVID-19 Cases Back on the Rise, is available online at moonshineink.com, where you can find a link to the state thresholds guiding reopening, giving what are considered acceptable numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Part 2: Becca
On a lighter and more musical note, Moonshine’s latest Tiny Porch concert is almost here! I’m Becca Loux, editor for the Ink.
Through our Tiny Porch series, we snag local or nationally famous bands passing through the area and invite them to be filmed performing an unplugged-style concert on the tiny porch at our world headquarters.
A new episode is releasing today! This episode features multi-instrumentalist Otis McDonald (aka Joe Bagale), a San Francisco-based performer and producer. In addition to being a regular teacher at Moody’s Jazz Camp in Truckee, he has combined YouTube plays of 7 billion! That’s a “b”.
It’s been almost a year since Otis hopped on a boat and strummed his guitar down the Truckee River by Moonshine Ink world headquarters. His rosy retro shades matched the warmth of his smile and spirit. He brought the rock and the roll. Also, another San Franciscan musician joined Otis for this episode and he’s a favorite in this region — the inimitable trombonist Adam Theis.
Find it on Facebook, youtube and the Moonshine ink website. We also published an exclusive interview with Otis himself, which showcases his love for funkiness and sharing the joy of music.
That’s a wrap for this episode of Moonshine Minutes. Be sure to tune in on KTKE 101.5 FM Tuesdays through Thursdays and weekends for the latest Truckee/North Tahoe news.