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KUNR Today: Omicron variant in Douglas County, Free COVID-19 testing and vaccination events

A close up of a man getting a shot in his right arm by a woman in blue scrubs. The image is taken on the other side of plexiglass, so there is a slight reflection.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.

Democratic AGs continue fight seeking recognition of ERA
By The Associated Press

Three Democratic attorneys general are seeking to overturn the dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to force the federal government to recognize Virginia’s 2020 vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and add it to the Constitution.

In an opening brief filed Monday, Virginia, Nevada and Illinois argue that a district court’s dismissal of the case must be reversed. Otherwise, they say it would obstruct their right to ratify constitutional amendments.

The ERA passed Congress in 1972. In 2020, Virginia became the critical 38th state to ratify it, but debate remains about whether a long-passed ratification deadline applies.

First case of omicron variant in Quad-County region
By Kaleb Roedel

Carson City Health and Human Services reported its first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in the Quad-County Region Monday. It was identified in a Douglas County woman in her 20s who was not fully vaccinated and has no recent travel history.

Health officials say she experienced mild symptoms and has been released from home isolation, in accordance with the new CDC guidance. The omicron variant has also been detected in Washoe, Churchill, and Clark counties.

Remote work led to population increase in Mountain West
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

New data from U-Haul shows many people whose jobs went remote during the pandemic decided to move into our region from urban centers on the coasts. The moving truck rental company calculates growth by comparing the number of one-way trips into a state versus the number of trucks that leave. In 2021, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and New Mexico were all in the top ten. That lines up with recent estimates from the U-S Census Bureau, which showed our region added more than 350,000 new residents since April 2020.

Chris Piedra is in charge of marketing for U-Haul in Northern Nevada and said over the last year, the company has also seen more in-town moves for which customers only rent a truck for 24 hours.

"They’re not leaving the state necessarily, but they’re moving to either bigger homes or just changes in general," Piedra said.

But in some cases, the trends diverged from government data. For example, Nevada and Utah both fell in terms of truck rentals, even though both states gained population overall.

Four new free COVID-19 testing locations in Washoe County
By KUNR Staff

Washoe County is offering four new locations for free COVID-19 testing. All residents are eligible to get the test and appointments are not required.

Testing locations are open seven days a week, from 8am-4:30pm and are located at:

  • Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Rd, Reno
  • Eagle Canyon Park, 400 Eagle Canyon Drive, Spanish Springs
  • South Valleys Regional Park, 15650 Wedge Pkwy, Reno
  • North Valleys Regional Park, 8085 Silver Lake Rd, Reno

Up to 400 people can be tested daily at each location. Details can be found at covid19washoe.com.

Nevada Health Center offering free vaccination clinic in Carson City Jan. 5
By Kaleb Roedel

Free COVID-19 and flu vaccines will be available for adults and children in Carson City Wednesday morning. Nevada Health Centers is offering a free walk-in immunization clinic at its school-based center in Carson City. The vaccines will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at 618 W. Musser Street in Carson City.

More than 300 Nevada nonprofits seek funding through federal grant program
By Kaleb Roedel

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak recently announced that hundreds of nonprofits in the state are seeking funding through a federal program that’s aimed to help nonprofits. More than 300 Nevada nonprofits responded with funding requests to the Community Recovery Grant program, which launched last month.

Governor Sisolak said the response for the grants has been overwhelming. In all, Nevada nonprofits submitted more than $445 million in funding requests. The program, funded by American Rescue Plan dollars, will distribute a total of $30 million to organizations that provide direct and immediate community services.

Next month, the state expects to bring forward an initial set of applicants for approval to the Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee.

Anti-COVID mandate Nevada lawmaker to run for Congress
By The Associated Press

A state lawmaker who was censured for refusing to wear a mask or announce her vaccination status is running for Congress in Nevada. Mesquite Republican Annie Black announced Tuesday that she was running in Nevada's 4th Congressional District against U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford.

Republicans are targeting the North Las Vegas area district in 2022, although the party lost registered voters in the district during last year's redistricting process. Black referenced her opposition to mask mandates and said her campaign would focus on jobs and the economy in a statement announcing her candidacy.

Black is set to run against Republicans Sam Peters, Jessie Vargas and Chance Bonaventura in next year's primary.

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