KUNR Today: Lawmakers Consider Summary Eviction Ban, Under 6% Of Nevadans Given Both Vaccine Doses | KUNR

KUNR Today: Lawmakers Consider Summary Eviction Ban, Under 6% Of Nevadans Given Both Vaccine Doses

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

Nevada Legislature Considering Summary Eviction Ban
By Paul Boger

Lawmakers may soon take up a measure banning summary evictions in Nevada.

The process is used to quickly move an eviction proceeding through the courts. Currently, landlords must give tenants notice of eviction before asking a judge to issue a summary decision. If they don't comply within a certain timeframe, they're evicted.

Some have criticized that practice because it gives tenants a short window in which to respond, oftentimes less than a week.

AB 161 would ban the practice for issues like not paying rent.

Property owners will still be able to go through the state’s normal eviction process for issues such as non-payment.

More Than 12% Of Nevadans Have Received First COVID-19 Shot
By Lucia Starbuck

It’s been about three months since the COVID-19 vaccine first arrived in Nevada.

Over 556,000 shots have been administered. This means more than 12% of the state’s population has received their first shot and fewer than 6% of residents have received both doses.

This comes as the state is reporting an average of fewer than 400 new daily cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths per day over the last two weeks.

During that same period, there has been an average of 40 daily cases in Washoe County.

Nearly 14% of Washoe County's population has received the first COVID-19 vaccine, and Carson City leads the state in vaccinations per population.

For more information, you can find Nevada’s COVID-19 dashboard here, and Washoe County’s dashboard here.

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

WCHD Not Vaccinating People 65 To 69 Yet
By Olivia Ali

Vaccines are becoming increasingly available for Washoe County residents 65 and older. During a press conference, a spokesperson for the health district said they are not vaccinating people aged 65 to 69 just yet, but private distributors have begun doing so.

The widening in availability for vaccinations comes after an announcement last week from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak that all pharmacies could begin vaccinating people in this age group. According to the health district, they do not want to begin vaccinating this age group until residents 70 and older are fully vaccinated.

Bill Could Protect Nevada Schools From COVID-19 Lawsuits
By Paul Boger

Nevada Republicans are proposing a bill that would provide legal protections to public schools facing COVID-19-related lawsuits.

Assembly Bill 159 mirrors a similar bill passed last summer.

It gave protections to businesses and other governmental entities that took steps to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen of Sparks, said the money sent to schools should be protected from frivolous lawsuits.

“It’s only fair that they be offered the same protections we offer business, in that those tax dollars are so important that I would hate to see litigation take those dollars,” Hansen said.

Republicans are also expected to introduce a measure meant to extend the same legal protections to hospitals, which were also left out of last year’s liability bill.

People Of Color Least Likely To Be Vaccinated
By Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

Latino and Black people are more vulnerable in this pandemic, yet according to the CDC’s latest data, they remain the least likely to be vaccinated.

Devon Greyson is a professor of health communications at the University of Massachusetts. She studies the way people use information to make health decisions. She said when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, there are two factors. The first one is trust.

“It's understandable why individuals and communities that have been mistreated by medicine or the government might have extra questions about whether or not to accept a new vaccine,” Greyson said.

She said this stems from past and current history of racism in U.S. healthcare systems. The second factor is access.

“Many sign-up systems have relied on internet access or other types of technology," she said.

Moving forward, Greyson said medical professionals should partner with Black and Latino community leaders to let them take the lead in shaping the way vaccines are distributed. She said those leaders will also know what resources are needed to help their communities sign up.

Record Enrollment For Nevada Medicaid
By Isaac Hoops

Enrollment for Nevada’s Medicaid has reached a record high. More than 810,000, or nearly one in four Nevadans, are enrolled in the state’s federally funded health insurance program. The increase in enrollment is associated to the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn.

Nevada Health Link is offering open enrollment for the program until May 15, so these numbers are expected to continue to rise.