Photo: Paul Hamill Photography
As you make plans to enjoy summer’s end and early fall, please remember to avoid social gatherings. We know it’s tempting… who doesn’t want to see their friends and family after months of isolation? But here in Truckee, as everywhere else, group gatherings are a high risk activity and also prohibited in Governor Newsom’s state order. Follow the tips below to plan a safe, respectful visit to Truckee and learn about group gatherings.
What are “social gatherings?”
The simple definition that a gathering is when people from multiple households get together, inside or outdoors. The key point here is that gatherings expose you to households outside of your own. Here is how the state of California defines a gathering:
“Gatherings are defined as meetings or other events that bring together persons from multiple households at the same time for a shared or group experience in a single room, space, or place such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, or other indoor or outdoor space. They pose an especially high danger of transmission and spread of COVID-19.”
Are social gatherings allowed in Truckee, California?
Just like the rest of the state of California, in order to be safe, social gatherings are not allowed. Professional, social, and community gatherings of any kind are prohibited with the exception of faith-based services, cultural ceremonies, and protests.
Here in Truckee, contact tracing has indicated that social gatherings are high risk for community transmission. Many of the recent COVID-19 cases in Nevada County are linked to gatherings that may seem benign but are in fact, quite dangerous. Examples include backyard barbeques, family reunions, and dinner parties.
You’re probably wondering, what makes these small social gatherings just so dangerous? Well, to put it simply, we let down our guard. These intimate get togethers feel “normal,” a feeling we’re all so desperate for after a long quarantine. But it’s this feeling of normalcy that causes us to forgo the safety precautions that are commonplace in public settings. We hug, we spend time with others within 6 feet, we don’t wear our masks, we forget to sanitize surfaces, we use someone else’s restroom, we don’t wash our hands… When these things happen, our risk of contracting COVID-19 jumps up.
Healthy Behaviors and Best Practices
We can’t say this enough: please, do not attend or create group gatherings outside of your household. However, if you are attending one of the approved types of gatherings listed above, follow these best practices from the CDC to keep yourself and others safe:
- Stay home if you are sick, exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, or waiting for COVID-19 test results. If you feel ill, please make an appointment for free COVID testing in Truckee or find a testing facility near you.
- Call organizers before the gathering and ask about what preventative strategies are in place.
- Arrange tables and chairs to allow 6 feet of distance in all directions.
- Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol, especially before eating.
- Wear a mask when you are less than 6 feet from others or if you are indoors.
- Bring supplies to help yourself and others stay safe such as a mask (bring extra), hand sanitizer, and drinking water.
- Bring your own food, drinks, and utensils if dining is a part of the gathering.
- Limit your contact with commonly touched surfaces.
10 Tips to Planning a Safe, Respectful Visit to Truckee
Truckee is not a vacation from COVID-19. A small healthcare system that is vulnerable to a widespread outbreak of the virus supports our community. Please #RespectTruckee and #RecreateResponsibly by following the tips below:
- Check the latest updates and information for travelers on our Know Before You Go guide.
- Book lodging with members of your household bubble only.
- Avoid dining with friends or family outside of your household bubble.
- Explore Truckee’s numerous outdoor dining options or order takeout with curbside delivery.
- Avoid crowds and book your trip midweek or in the fall during Truckee’s shoulder season.
- Seek out off the beaten path trails for your hiking adventure. Always make sure to be considerate of others and follow proper hiking etiquette on the trail.
- Learn how to recreate responsibly in the outdoors and prevent a wildfire in Truckee and Lake Tahoe.
- Dispose of all trash properly at your lodging and when spending time outdoors. Locals tip: prepare for full dumpsters and bring your own bag to pack out trash.
- Wear a face covering anytime you are around others and cannot maintain 6 feet of distance. For more information on mask usage, view these Face Covering FAQs.
- Park in legal parking spots only. Do not park in bike paths or over the white line as it poses a dangerous safety risk to drivers, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles.
For more information on responsible travel, please read How To Recreate Responsibly & Leave No Trace in Truckee and take the Traveler Pledge to R.E.S.P.E.C.T Truckee, California.
Siobhan traveled the American West as a National Park Ranger before setting down roots in Truckee. Outdoor adventure is her bread and butter and most days you can find her skiing, trail running, or backpacking. Follow along with her adventures on Instagram @siokenney.