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KUNR Today: Blizzard Continues, Nevada's Test Positivity Rate Continues To Decline

An image of a mailbox with a large amount of snow on top.
Noah Glick
Multiple inches of snow blanketed the Reno-Sparks area Wednesday night, leaving roads snowy and slick.

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

Blizzard Warning Remains In Effect For Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes

More snow is expected across Northern Nevada and the eastern Sierra Thursday, with 5-9 inches of snow forecast for the Tahoe Basin throughout the day. In Mammoth Lakes, 11-17 inches of snow could fall Thursday.

Another inch of snow is expected in the Truckee Meadows Thursday as well, after several inches fell in the Reno-Sparks area overnight Wednesday.

Fewer Nevadans Testing Positive For COVID-19, But Numbers Remain High
By Paul Boger

Nevada's COVID-19 test positivity rate has declined for the second-straight week.

The test positivity rate essentially keeps track of how many people in the state, on average, are testing positive for COVID-19 on a daily basis.

Over the past couple of weeks that number has fallen from a high of 21.7% to the new rate of 18.6%. The World Health Organization's goal is to keep that number below 5%.

At the same time, Nevada has seen an overall decline in the two-week rolling average of new daily cases. Yet, health officials still reported 46 COVID-19 deaths and more than 1,000 new cases statewide Wednesday.

More than 4,100 Nevadans have died from the virus.

In Washoe County, health officials reported two additional COVID-19 deaths and 138 new cases Wednesday. COVID-19 has killed 587 people in Washoe County since the start of the pandemic.

In the Quad Counties area, health officials reported two addition deaths due to COVID-19. That brings the area's total death toll to 184.

Washoe Health Officials Respond To UK Variant Entering Nevada
By Jayden Perez

The U.K. variant of the coronavirus was reported in Las Vegas earlier this week, but health officials in Washoe County say so far, no cases of the variant have been reported locally.

According to District Health Officer Kevin Dick that doesn’t mean the variant won’t have an impact on the region.

"While we have not had any cases reported yet in Washoe County, we anticipate there may well be this variant in the community already," he said. "It's very important that people continue to exercise the mitigation measures of wash our hands, watch our distance, wear our mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Dick also said that he believes that the COVID-19 vaccine will be effective against the variant.

Rare Children's Disease Associatied With COVID-19 Reported In Washoe County
By Jayden Perez

Health officials have reported three new cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, known as MIS-C.

All three cases were among children younger than 10 years old, who have since recovered.

The disease inflames the body’s organs and can occur approximately 2-4 weeks after the onset of COVID-19 in children and adolescents under 20 years old.

According to early studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately two-thirds of these cases did not have pre-existing medical conditions prior to onset of the disease.

Routine Care Being Delayed During Pandemic
By Jayden Perez

Officials from Renown Health have expressed concern over delays with community members seeking routine treatment during the pandemic.

According to physician Dr. Bret Frey, a lack of public confidence in the safety of visiting healthcare facilities has resulted in missed checkups.

In more serious cases, some individuals who suffered strokes or heart attacks have also delayed going into the emergency room.

"For folks that come in with delayed stroke symptoms that have progressed, time is brain and muscles, especially with stroke and heart attacks. So, I think it's important that people have a renewed level of confidence in the systems that serve them," Frey said.

Frey said patients are also missing preventative exams such as mammograms and colonoscopies.

Gov. Sisolak Pushes For More Infrastructure, Jobs
By Noah Glick

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is urging state local leaders to accelerate infrastructure projects this year, in hopes of jump-starting new jobs for the state.

In a letter to state and local partners, Sisolak asked for any infrastructure projects that can move forward this year. He mentioned record low interest rates as one reason to push for investment now, as the state can borrow money at a lower cost.

Gov. Steve Sisolak Letter to Local Leaders re: Capital Projects by KUNR Reno Public Radio on Scribd

In the letter, the governor said there are billions of dollars' worth of infrastructure projects in some stage of planning.