Lucia Starbuck | KUNR

Lucia Starbuck

Report for America Corps Member

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is from Reno and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in cinema and media studies. Local community issues are her passion, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, a lack of access to healthcare, protests and challenges facing vulnerable communities in northern Nevada.

Lucia contributed to KUNR’s coverage of hateful expressions, including anti-Semitism, at the University of Nevada, Reno, produced in 2019, which won a regional Edward R. Murrow award in the Best Continuing Coverage category and first place in the Associated Press Television and Radio Association (APTRA) broadcast contest for Continuing Coverage. She co-created and contributed to a series about the Reno Rodeo’s 100th anniversary called Spurs & Mud: A Century of Rodeo, which won first place from APTRA in 2019 for Best Sports Coverage. In 2020, she was awarded the Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Award from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

6:50 p.m. | January 19, 2021

One In Five People Getting Tested For COVID Are Testing Positive In Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

The test positivity rate in Nevada continues to be high. The rate has been hovering at around 20% since early December. This means, about one in five people getting tested are testing positive.

A closeup of a pharmacist filling a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Health officials say that a majority of Nevadans would need the COVID-19 vaccine for the population to receive herd immunity. That’s when enough people are immunized to slow the spread of infection. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck has this explainer.


Bret Frey is a man who is wearing a face mask and sitting in his car. Through the window, a health worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine into his arm.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

There was an air of excitement and a small round of applause as some of the first health care workers with Renown Health received their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday. This will ultimately provide them about 95% protection from the virus,  which has taken the lives of over 540 Washoe County residents as of Tuesday.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

5:39 p.m. | January 12, 2021

Nevada Surpasses 250,000 COVID-19 Cases
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada hit a milestone in the pandemic. The state surpassed a quarter of a million COVID-19 cases since March. The state’s death toll is more than 3,500. 

A closeup of a pharmacist filling a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference Monday to update Nevadans on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

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

It’s been nearly a month since the COVID-19 vaccine first arrived in Nevada. KUNR’s Anh Gray and Lucia Starbuck discuss how the rollout has been going so far.

A tweet by Republican Representative Mark Amodei that reads, “January 6, 2021: History made today for all the wrong reasons. Shameful. All our Washington staff are safe.”
RepMarkAmodei Via Twitter

Update Thursday, Jan. 7, 8:48 a.m. PT

Nevada lawmakers continue to comment on the armed insurgency of the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto tweeted an update yesterday about the importance of finishing the Electoral College tally.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

6:12 p.m. | January 5, 2021

Washoe County Reports 24 COVID-19-Related Deaths Since Start Of New Year
By Lucia Starbuck

There have been two dozen COVID-19 deaths in Washoe County in just the first five days of the new year so far. More than 500 lives have been lost since the start of the pandemic in Washoe County, and more than 3,200 statewide.

Illustration of a series of people in rows. Each person is wearing a face mask.
Angelina Bambina / Adobe Stock

COVID-19 upended just about everything in 2020. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talks to Brian Labus, an epidemiologist with Nevada’s COVID-19 medical advisory team, to learn more about the past 10 months in Nevada and what is expected for the start of the new year.

A wide shot of a busy city at night. There are tall buildings in the foreground, many small dots of light in the middleground and dark blue mountains in the far background.
f11photo / Adobe Stock

Editor’s note: Since this story published, the Fremont Street Experience cancelled their New Year’s Eve event in a day-of decision on Dec. 31.

Downtown Las Vegas typically attracts tourists from all over the world for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Even though the pandemic has shut down most of the festivities this year, a scaled-back event could still draw thousands. Health officials decry the potential risks.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

10:20 p.m. | December 29, 2020

Washoe County Reports 14 COVID-19-Related Deaths
By Lucia Starbuck

The nation is continuing to grapple with the post-holiday COVID-19 surge.

6:55 p.m. | December 22, 2020

‘It’s All About Our Individual Behavior For The Month Of January,’ Health Officials Warn
By Lucia Starbuck

Some frontline personnel received their first dose of the Modera COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, including staff with REMSA and members of the Nevada National Guard who have been a part of the state’s COVID-19 response. But officials argue we won’t see an impact on the current cases until much later.

A digital illustration of the back of a person holding up a graphic with a pie graph and illegible text.
Visual Generation / Adobe Stock

There’s so much COVID-19 data being reported. What does it all mean? KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talks to Brian Labus, an epidemiologist with Nevada’s COVID-19 medical advisory team, to break down what the numbers can tell us.

Four people in masks are seated in a row and separated by plexiglass. There is an end table with medical supplies to the left of each person.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

The Reno-Sparks Tribal Health Center was the first to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for tribal members in northern Nevada, alongside some of the facility’s frontline health care workers, on Wednesday.

An older man in a mask pushes a dolly with a white box on it. In the background is the back of a white Fedex truck.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

The much anticipated first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Washoe County Tuesday morning. KUNR's Lucia Starbuck was there when the truck rolled into town.

5:26 p.m. | December 15, 2020

Washoe County Report
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County reported six COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday. The individuals are aged between their 70s and their 90s. Each individual had underlying health conditions. The new death total is 378.

A digital illustration looking down on about 40 people. Each person is standing on a gray circle and each circle is connected to another circle by a gray line.
Bobboz / Adobe Stock

Nevada officials reported a little over 3,000 COVID-19 cases Wednesday. As Nevada sees a surge in COVID-19 cases, contact tracers are struggling to keep up. The state is instructing disease investigators to curtail some of their questions and prioritize who to talk to.

9:21 p.m. | December 8, 2020

Washoe County To Receive 3,655 Doses In Initial Shipment Of COVID-19 Vaccine
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada is slated to receive 164,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December.

Washoe will receive 32,000 doses.

The image is dark except for four candles in a row going diagonally across the image. The candle second to the front is the only one in focus.
Rawpixel / Adobe Stock

Washoe health officials reported 354 additional COVID-19 cases and seven deaths Tuesday. That brings the countywide total to 328 deaths. Deaths are rising at alarming numbers.

A close up of hand in a blue glove holding a clear vial upside down and the other hand is sticking a syringe in the entrance of the vial.
Alernon77 / Adobe Stock

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Nevada will receive about 164,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this month. But that amount is shy of what’s needed to vaccinate everyone identified for the first round.

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