A prominent Tahoe healthcare worker has declared Truckee a Coronavirus “hotspot” and is pleading with non-fulltime residents to leave the area as to not overwhelm the local healthcare system.
Tahoe Forest Hospital CEO Harry Weis says the Truckee healthcare system is primed to be overcrowded with a large number of Coronavirus patients with part-time residents sheltering-in-place in the area. Weis reported there are now 46 positive tests in the Truckee area, about 9 times the amount of positive tests per capita in California.
“I have described it as a hotspot,” Weis said. “In early March we had this great snow and what I saw happen is we lit up like a fire, in early March.”
Of the 14,000 homes in the Truckee area, approximately half are owned by part-time residents and vacation-home owners. With a large number of Bay Area and Sacramento residents traveling to their second homes to shelter-in-place, the local healthcare system could be easily overcrowded. The local Truckee hospital is equipped with only 44 beds at surge.
Nevada County Supervisor Richard Anderson has echoed that sentiment, asking people to return to their main residences with higher hospital capacity to avoid a healthcare emergency in the Truckee area.
“If you are now residing in Nevada County, and have another home in an area with a higher-capacity healthcare system, our public health officer advises that you may be better off returning to that home to shelter in place,” said Anderson.
A similar message was released in South Lake Tahoe this week, with El Dorado County issuing a “no-travel Order” to reduce the number of visitors and other non-fulltime residents in the basin.
“Visitors whom we enthusiastically welcome during normal times are further impacting an already decreased availability of essential supplies and food, and putting the entire Lake Tahoe population at greater risk of being able to receive proper health care,” said Dr. Nancy Williams, who issued the South Lake Tahoe order.