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KUNR Today: Nevada Senate Approves Expanded Birth Control Access, UNR Vaccinating Students This Week

An image of Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.
David Calvert
The Nevada Independent
State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro sponsored a new proposal expanding access to birth control.n the first day of the 81st session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Cannizzaro

Here are your local morning news headlines for Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2021.

Task Force Created To Improve Nevada Schools
By Isaac Hoops

The Nevada System of Higher Education and the Nevada Department of Education have created a task force to increase the number and diversity of teachers in the state. Due to Nevada’s teacher shortage, 87% of students were in a larger-than-recommended class size last school year.

Also, through self-reported race and ethnicity data, teachers do not reflect the demographics of students in Nevada. 81% of teachers identify as white, while only 28% of students self-identify as white.

The task force says that all students will benefit by improving teacher diversity. They will hold their first meeting this week.

Nevada Senate Passes Proposal To Expand Birth Control Access
By The Associated Press

The Nevada state Senate on Monday voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to allow pharmacists to provide patients birth control without authorization from a doctor or health care provider. The proposal next must be passed by the state Assembly and signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak before becoming law. If it becomes law, it will expand the scope of services that pharmacists can provide to ensure people who cannot access doctor’s appointments can obtain hormonal contraceptives including pills, patches or rings directly from a pharmacy. Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, the Las Vegas Democrat sponsoring the proposal, called it critical for women's health.

Official: Thousands Without Nevada Addresses Vaccinated Here
By The Associated Press

The head of Nevada's coronavirus response effort acknowledges that almost 58,000 people who received coronavirus vaccine shots in the state didn’t provide in-state addresses. But COVID-19 Task Force chief Caleb Cage said that's a small number compared with the nearly 1.7 million doses of vaccine administered in the state and is not a cause for concern. Vaccinations are now offered to anyone 16 and older in every state. In Nevada, health officials reported upticks in the statewide test positivity rate, to 5.9%, and added 698 new cases and three deaths to totals posted on the state coronavirus website.

Washoe County Inching Closer To 50% Vaccination
By Noah Glick

Washoe County is nearing an important milestone in COVID-19 vaccinations.

As of Monday, more than 45% of the county's residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. James English is with the county's COVID-19 response team, and he said he's confident the community will hit 50% soon.

"I'm extremely pleased with the sheer number of 16 and 17-year-olds also coming through our pod, as that's a large demographic out there that will help with our numbers," he said, "but we still have a ways to go to get to 50%, but hopefully by the end of next week, we'll be there - if not sooner."

English says to date, the Washoe County Health District has administered 122,000 doses of the vaccine, but many are also missing follow up appointments. He says 2,000 people countywide have not returned for their second dose.

Vaccine Appointments Available To UNR Students
By Isaac Hoops

The University of Nevada, Reno is distributing vaccines to students this week. The university’s student health center will be distributing the Moderna vaccine Wednesday and Thursday by appointment.

Students can schedule their appointments through the student health center’s website.

Senator Rosen Co-Sponsors Resolution Establishing National Park Week
By Isaac Hoops

U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen from Nevada has co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution designating April 17-25 as National Park Week. In celebration of National Park Week, many of the parks across the country are offering free entry for the week.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
Isaac Hoops is a former student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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