COVID-19 case rates decline; Red tier still off in distance

Cheyanne Neuffer


El Dorado County officials the last two days reported 143 new coronavirus cases, including eight residents from the Lake Tahoe region.

In the county, there were four total deaths reported on Wednesday and Thursday. Three are from the greater Placerville area and the other is from Carmeron Park/Shingle Springs pushing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 85.

The county remains in the purple tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy with the adjusted case rate at 22.7 on Wednesday and 17.4% on Thursday and a positivity rate of 7.7% and 5.6%, respectively.

For the county to be eligible to move into the red tier, the adjusted case rate must be at seven or below, so it appears the county has significantly more progress to make before restrictions are lifted, even with the adjusted case rate dropping daily.

Based on county statistics, the last weekend in January (Jan. 30 to Feb. 1) compared to the one prior (Jan. 23 to Jan. 25), the adjusted case rate dropped by 11, which if that trend continues it would be about two weeks before the county approaches the red tier. The county would need to maintain the adjusted case rate for another consecutive two weeks before being eligible for the red tier.

However, Carla Hass, the county’s communications director, says we are still a long way from moving into the red tier.

“We’re of course hopeful that we get to a point where we’re at a less restrictive tier as soon as possible, but people have to continue to take all the precautions needed to do so,” she said.

She said that moving to the next tier is going to take action on the part of residents to wear masks, stay at least six feet apart and not mix with people you don’t live with, as well as time for the numbers to naturally come down.

Tiers can change on any given day if the county needs to move into a restrictive tier, but to move to a less restrictive tier, the county needs to show eligible statistic for two consecutive weeks before moving.

To see what would change moving into the red tier, visit

With 140 assumed recoveries, recoveries continue to outweigh new cases.

Between the county’s two hospitals, 9 COVID patients are fighting the virus, including two in intensive care units as of Thursday. These numbers have been cut more than in half compared to last week.

The greater Sacramento region’s last 4-week projection released by the CDPH shows a 27.3% ICU projection which would end Feb. 21. All regions in California were released from the Regional Stay at Home Order on Jan. 25, which lifted the state’s Limited Stay at Home Order, or curfew.

Placer County

Placer county has 13 ICU beds available with 108 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and there have been 201 residents who have died from the virus, which is up by nine from last week.

In California, 41,811 individuals have died from the virus, this number increased 1.2% from the previous day. Statewide, only 1,278 ICU beds are available in all of California which is up 119 beds from last week and 40 from the week prior. ICU bed availability in the state continues to rise.


Washoe County

On Wednesday, Washoe County reported only 41 new cases which is the lowest reported number since Oct. 10.

“We are seeing a significant decline in new case numbers,” said Kevin Dick, Washoe County district health officer in a press briefing on Wednesday.

The county’s 7-day moving average is beginning to flatten, with the average staying between about 110-120.

“It goes to show that when people are all working together to combat the spread of COVID-19, we can be successful in this and we have been able to drive the numbers down in Washoe County,” Dick said.

The county has seen a decrease in the test positivity rate and a lower demand for testing. The positivity rate has even decreased by about 5% in the last couple weeks and is currently at 11.6%.

The county also hit a grim milestone this last weekend, when the total number of deaths went over 600, and is at 607 as of Wednesday.

“We need to remain vigilant,” warned Dick.

Restaurants, bars and gyms among other businesses in Nevada will continue to operate at 25% capacity as per Gov. Steve Sisolak’s statewide extended “pause” which will be reassessed in mid-February.

Currently, 67% of staffed hospital beds are currently occupied and 47% of all ICU beds are in use, both of which are down 1% from last week.

The county has 22 individuals in the ICU which is down by nine from last week.

In Incline Village, 354 total cases have been reported and 127 remain active. Crystal Bay has five active cases.

Quad County

Douglas County has two residents in the ICU and has suffered 29 COVID-19 related deaths.

Carson City has had 106 individuals who have succumbed to the virus, which is up from four last week. They also have two patients in the ICU and nine COVID-19 hospitalizations.

There are a total of 4,424 Nevadans who have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The state currently has 1,121 residents hospitalized with 254 in the ICU.

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