Nevada County will send letter to state officials outlining reopening plan

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NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Calls to reopen are growing louder across the region, especially in counties that have not seen new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday afternoon to send a letter to the state outlining a reopening plan that would move faster than the statewide order.

For more than 100 years, Stucki Jewelers has served as Grass Valley’s one-stop shop for all things that sparkle and shine.

“The second owner of the jewelry store went through the (Great) Depression and two world wars,” said owner James Arbaugh. “Don’t want anything to happen to the store on my accord.”

With such a rich history, Arbaugh said he is determined to keep the business running through COVID-19 by moving to curbside pickup, per the governor’s orders. But he said it’s not sustainable.

“Jewelry is one of those things you don’t necessarily want to buy online. You want to be able to see it, touch it, feel it and compare it,” he told FOX40.

He is hoping the California Department of Public Health will approve Nevada County’s new plan to move further into phase two of reopening.

The proposal would allow for a full reopening of shops, in-person dining and offices, with safety measures in place.

“To make sure that they have the proper PPE when they open, that there’s social distancing that continues to happen and that there’s regular and ongoing sanitation and disinfecting happening,” said Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chair Heidi Hall.

Hall said she believes her county meets the state’s criteria for a faster reopening because they have not seen an increase in cases in more than two weeks, despite expanding testing capability.

As of Monday, the county has 41 reported COVID-19 cases and one death.

“This community has been amazing at implementing social distancing measures, wearing masks and staying at home,” Hall told FOX40.

Health officials know this reopening will inevitably lead to more cases but they said they have the testing and hospital capacity necessary.

County officials had a phone call Monday with state health officials about their proposal, which they said went well. They expect a response from the state within the next two days.

Arbaugh said he prays they will get the go-ahead because his business depends on it.

“Our community is ready to respect the rules and see the businesses open again,” he said.

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