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KUNR Today: Reno police chief endorses Catherine Cortez Masto, First monkeypox case in rural Nevada

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto wears a mask over her face as looks towards a speaker off-camers while sitting in between health and fire officials at a table. Masto is holding a sheet of paper and a pen in her hand.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. speaks with health and fire officials in Washoe County to learn about the impacts of wildfire smoke on Aug. 18, 2021, in Reno, Nev.

Read or listen to news headlines for Thursday, August 11, 2022.

Reno police chief endorses Catherine Cortez Masto for U.S. Senator
By Lucia Starbuck

Reno Police Chief Jason Soto has endorsed Catherine Cortez Masto for senate. It’s his “first-ever Democratic endorsement,” according to the announcement. Soto, who’s been chief since 2015, said the incumbent senator was tough on crime while she was the state’s attorney general, and she currently “shows her support for police through action.”

Cortez Masto is running against Republican Adam Laxalt, also a former Nevada attorney general. Both candidates have received endorsements from police unions in Nevada.

Health officials report 1st case of monkeypox in Humboldt County, additional case in Washoe County
By Lucia Starbuck

Health officials are reporting the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Humboldt County and an additional case in Washoe County. The Humboldt County resident did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home.

This is the only confirmed positive in rural Nevada. There are five cases of monkeypox in Washoe County and about 60 in Clark County.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it can be transmitted through close physical contact, which can include sex, and contact with objects used by someone who has monkeypox. In the U.S., transmission is largely occurring among men who have sex with men from close, intimate contact, but it can affect anyone who has experienced close contact with someone with the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the public should be aware of any new or unexplained rashes on themselves or sexual partners, and to avoid sex if they have symptoms. Symptoms can include a rash that initially looks like pimples or blisters and flu-like symptoms. If you suspect you may have contracted monkeypox, seek medical advice immediately.

Washoe County has a limited supply of vaccines. The health district is only distributing the vaccine to close contacts of confirmed cases and will contact those individuals.

The case count in Washoe County has increased to five since this story originally aired on KUNR-FM. The web story has been revised to include the update.

Learn more about Monkeypox in Washoe County here and Clark County here. Information on monkeypox from the CDC can be found here.

Washoe County School District to have 87 classroom vacancies on 1st day 
By Jose Davila IV

When school starts next week in Washoe County, there will be 87 classroom vacancies. Washoe County School District Superintendent Susan Enfield has ordered teachers on special assignments back into the classroom on short notice to deal with a shortage of instructors in the county. These teachers usually work as support staff for the district’s instructors as curriculum trainers and coaches.

Before the reassignment and additional hiring, Enfield said the district was facing upwards of 200 vacancies. For the 87 vacancies remaining, district officials are working to triage each one with a combination of long-term substitutes, paid interns and retirees.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

COVID-19 trends decrease in Washoe County
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 trends are decreasing in Washoe County. There have been under 84 cases per day over the last week. That’s down from the average of over 200 daily cases seen at the end of June and the first half of July. At-home tests are not reported.

Hospitalizations have decreased since the start of August. There are currently 44 people in Washoe County hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. There has been one COVID-19-related death so far this month.

Learn more aboutCOVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada,COVID-19 testing, or view thestate COVID-19 dashboard.

Construction starting for new Moana Springs Community Aquatics and Fitness Center
By Maria Palma

On Wednesday, the City of Reno and CORE Construction held a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the Moana Springs Community Aquatics and Fitness Center. The former Moana pool closed in 2007, and since then, organizations such as Sierra Nevada Community Aquatics have fought to get a community pool back.

The Reno City Council recently approved a $12 million construction contract for phase one of the new facility, which will include three pools, a fitness center, multi-purpose rooms and locker rooms. Moana Springs Community Center is expected to open in the summer of 2024.

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