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KUNR Today: Nevada approves monoclonal COVID-19 treatment funds, Hospital expanding in Carson Valley

A rendering of the new Carson Valley Medical Center emergency and ambulance entrance
Carson Valley Medical Center
A rendering of the new Carson Valley Medical Center emergency and ambulance entrance.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Oct. 18, 2021.

Nevada approves $30 million for monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that the state has approved a $30 million contract for what’s called monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19.

This treatment gives people antibodies to fight the virus. It’s for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have a high risk of getting very sick. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says early evidence shows this can result in milder symptoms and decrease one’s chances of hospitalization and death.

“These treatments will help in areas of high caseload and low vaccination rates, including our rural communities,” DuAne Young, the policy director for the governor said.

More than 60 patientshave received the treatment at a clinic at Great Basin College in Elko since October 1.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada or view the state COVID-19 dashboard.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

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Nevada Gov. Sisolak injured in car crash
By Noah Glick

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak suffered minor injuries Sunday after he was involved in a car crash in Las Vegas. The crash happened around 1 p.m. at the intersection of Rainbow and Russell. The governor was taken to the hospital as a precaution but was released shortly after.

A spokesperson with the governor says he is resting at home. No other information is currently available.

COVID-19 underscores need to diversify Tahoe tourist economy
By The Associated Press

A nonprofit group's new report raises concerns about changes in the workforce at Lake Tahoe and the future of the area's economy, including looming impacts from climate change. It says the COVID-19 pandemic helped expose the growing vulnerability of its increasing dependence on tourism as housing costs balloon, year-round residency declines and more workers commute from afar or seek jobs elsewhere. Tourism now accounts for more than 60% of Lake Tahoe’s $5 billion regional economy, up from 40% in 2010. The Tahoe Prosperity Center says the findings underscore the need to seek more economic diversity, build more affordable housing and utilize an increasingly skilled work force.

Las Vegas hotels projected to lose $1.65 billion in business travel revenue
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada is one of the top ten states negatively impacted by a lack of business travel during the pandemic. That has ripple effects on the hospitality industry.

A new reportshows Las Vegas hotels are projected to lose more than $1.65 billion in business travel revenue this year. That’s a more than 70% decrease from 2019. The American Hotel & Lodging Association is reporting that people who travel often for work are still scaling back plans due to COVID-19 concerns. Because business travel is the largest source of revenue for hotels, the association is projecting that Nevada will lose more than 50,000 hotel jobs in 2021.

The association is urging Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen. The proposed bill includes recommendations to provide laid-off hotel workers a path to go back to work as well as to enhance safety measures in the workplace.

Harris to discuss drought, climate change at Lake Mead
By The Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday will visit Lake Mead in Nevada to highlight the problems caused by Western drought. Harris will meet federal and state officials at the largest manmade reservoir in the U.S. in an effort to promote Biden administration infrastructure and climate change proposals that have stalled in Congress. Water levels at Lake Mead, created in the 1930s, have fallen to record lows. U.S. officials in August declared the first-ever water shortage at the Colorado River, which means Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will get less water than normal next year amid a gripping drought.

Carson Valley Medical Center to expand emergency room and ICU capacity
By Lucia Starbuck

The Carson Valley Medical Center in Gardnerville will be expanding the facility’s services, after officials broke ground on Friday, Oct. 15.

The expansion will increase emergency room capacity from five beds to 12, along with expanding the surgery and radiology department, the rehabilitation center and ICU space. Officials expect the projects to be completed by the end of 2023 and anticipate construction will create about 100 to 150 jobs.

The hospital serves the Carson Valley area along with Yerington, Topaz Ranch Estates and Smith Valley.

Nevada football keeps winning streak going
By Noah Glick

The Nevada Wolf Pack football team picked up right where it left off, beating Hawaii 34-to-17, over the weekend. The win improves Nevada's record on the season to 5-1 overall, with a 2-0 record in the Mountain West Conference.

Quarterback Carson Strong passed for 395 yards and two touchdowns. Nevada's next game is on the road against Fresno State on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Editor’s note: This update was revised on Oct. 22 to clarify “Wolf Pack.”

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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