Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Dec. 2-8, 2020 | KUNR

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Dec. 2-8, 2020

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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 county is expecting multiple shipments of the vaccine and will only be receiving slightly more than 3,500 doses by Dec. 15th. That’s according to a spokesperson for the Washoe County Health District.

Those initial doses will be allocated to medical providers at four acute care hospitals. They are Renown, Saint Mary’s, Northern Nevada Regional Medical Center and Incline Village Community Hospital.

The state has asked CVS and Walgreens to be in charge of vaccinating staff and residents in long term care facilities, who are also among the first in line.

Editor’s note: This is an expanded version of the story, “Washoe County To Receive 3,655 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine,” published on Dec. 8, 2020 at 5:40 p.m.  

5:40 p.m. | December 8, 2020

Washoe County To Receive 3,655 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada will receive 164,000 doses in the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of that, an allotment of 3,655 doses will go to Washoe County on Dec. 15.

The Washoe County Board of County Commissioners announced the doses will be allocated to four hospitals. Renown, Saint Mary’s, Northern Nevada Regional Medical Center and Incline Village Community Hospital will be the first to get vaccines in the county.

Union Alleges More Than Two Dozen RTC Bus Drivers Have Tested Positive For COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

The President of the Teamsters Local 553 union is alleging more than two dozen Regional Transportation Commission, known as RTC, bus drivers have tested positive for COVID-19. The head of the union alleges employee safety is being ignored, according to KRNV.

RTC’s contractor, Keolis North America, says while there has been a spike in cases amongst its workforce, only 15 RTC employees have tested positive since the pandemic began.

The Teamsters Union filed charges for illegal and unfair labor practices earlier this year with the National Labor Relations Board and won.

WCSD Board To Decide To Bring Secondary Students Back To Classroom
By Lucia Starbuck

The Washoe County School Board of Trustees is scheduled to discuss whether or not to reopen middle and high schools during its meeting tonight.

The board voted last month to move secondary students to full remote learning until at least Jan. 4. Elementary students are currently offered in-person learning, but families can also choose distance learning. 

The board is also slated to discuss the school’s dire substitute needs. In an effort to mitigate staffing shortages, the Nevada Department of Education recently announced larger school districts can now bypass some hiring requirements. Substitute teachers now only need a high school diploma.

A teachers union, the Washoe Education Association, released a statement ahead of the board meeting opposing the decision. The head of the union stated it undermines the professionalism of educators and will not give students the quality teaching they deserve.

California's Hospitals Filling Up As Virus Cases Skyrocket
By The Associated Press

California officials are painting a dire picture as upward of 22,000 residents test positive for the coronavirus each day, with about 12% inevitably showing up at hospitals in two to three weeks.
 

They fear the spike could soon overwhelm intensive care units, though hospitals are used to converting other beds to infectious disease care because of the annual flu season. They could use nurses with less training, while the state is seeking help from the federal government and contract providers.
 

The state is also opening the first two of 11 alternative care facilities, though the sites went largely unused when they were first set up last spring.

California Has Paid About $2 Billion In Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits
By The Associated Press

Bank of America says it is likely California has paid at least $2 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
 

Bank of America contracts with the state to distribute unemployment benefits to people on debit cards. In September, the state asked Bank of America to freeze 345,000 accounts because of suspected fraud. In a letter to state lawmakers on Monday, Bank of America said its assessment of those accounts revealed about $2 billion in fraudulent activity. The bank also identified 295,000 suspicious accounts it says the state should investigate.
 

California has paid $110 billion in benefits since the start of the pandemic.

5 Lawmakers Dine Outside At Restaurant Despite Virus Surge
By The Associated Press

Five California legislative assembly members dined together outdoors Monday despite surging coronavirus case levels that have triggered stay at home orders for much of the state's population.
 

The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday the lawmakers ate dinner outside at a restaurant after a swearing-in session that had been moved from the state Capitol to the Golden 1 Center for social distancing purposes.
 

State rules are silent as to how many households can dine together outdoors at restaurants, but health officials have implored people to limit outside gatherings to no more than three households. A staffer for one of the lawmakers said the members had tested negative for the virus and were following the rules.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s Palazzo Hotel Tower To Close Immediately
By The Associated Press

The owner of two casino resorts in Las Vegas has announced that it will temporarily prevent hotel booking at one of its resorts.
 

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation said Monday that it would temporarily close all hotel rooms at The Palazzo. The hotel stopped accepting weekday reservations in July. Reservations will be offered exclusively at the company's Venetian hotel through at least Dec. 23.
 

Most of The Palazzo's restaurants and bars will remain open. Its casino will stay open, but there will be limited table games available.
 

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports spokespeople for the company did not respond to how the new measures would affect employment.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, December 7, 2020

7:40 p.m. | December 7, 2020

As COVID-19 Cases Continue To Climb In Nevada, So Do Hospitalizations
By Paul Boger

Health officials in Nevada reported 2,448 new cases of the novel coronavirus, Monday.

The state's total number of cases has grown to 170,587 since the start of the pandemic and 2,319 people have died." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

The state's two-week test positivity rate is now at 21.2 percent — the highest since the start of the pandemic.

Medical facilities are also continuing to see an increasing number of hospitalizations.

According to the Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, the state has seen a dramatic 230 and 250 percent increase in hospitalizations and ventilator use, respectively, over the last month.

Currently, 1,767 people in the state are being hospitalized because of the virus.

Officials say they expect that number to continue to climb due to holiday gatherings.

In Washoe County, health officials reported four deaths and 410 new cases of the novel coronavirus, Monday.

More than 28,000 have now contracted the virus in Washoe County since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 12,000 cases remain active and 321 people in Washoe County have died from COVID-19.

In all, more than 6000 (6018) people have caught the virus. Nearly 2,900 (2880) cases remain active and 58 people have died.

California Stay-At-Home Orders Applies To Hotels/Vacation Rentals
By Paul Boger

Mono County in California is advising that all hotel, motel and short-term rental reservations be canceled for the duration of Southern California's Regional Stay-At-Home Order.

The order took which took effect Sunday night will be in effect for a minimum of three weeks.

The order prohibits short term lodging for recreational or leisure purposes.

Short term lodging is allowed for “essential purposes” such as pandemic response and in support of critical infrastructure.

The facilities can also remain open for stranded travelers, people who have been displaced and cannot return to their homes, people who need to isolate or quarantine, or to protect the homeless population.

The prohibition also includes vacation rentals such as Airbnb’s or VRBO’s, timeshares, private residence clubs, hotels, condos, campgrounds, RV parks and motels.

Mono County is classified as part of California’s Southern Region.

Nevada Prisons Continue To See Spike In COVID Cases
By The Associated Press

Nevada state health and prison officials are charting a sharp spike in coronavirus case counts among inmates and employees at facilities around the state, amid calls from advocates for more transparency.
 

An acting state corrections spokesman didn't immediately respond Monday to messages about a state Health and Human Services tally of 1,103 people in corrections custody positive for COVID-19.
 

That was up from 646 cases in mid-November when officials reported almost 80% of inmates at Warm Springs Correctional Center tested positive.
 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and prison advocates have called for more action on the pandemic from state officials.

Two Northern Nevada Businesses Cited For COVID Non-Compliance
By Paul Boger

The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two businesses in Northern Nevada for state COVID-19 compliance violations.

The state Division of Industrial Relations' regulatory arm says Costco in Sparks was cited more than $6,200 for not posting an adjusted maximum capacity sign at the public entrance.

In Eureka, Raines Market was cited nearly $3000 after employees and customers were seen not wearing face masks inside the store.

Of the roughly 5,500 complaints received since the start of the pandemic, OSHA says that 29 percent concern general retail establishments. That's followed by restaurants, bars and medical facilities, with concerns about casinos and grocery stores rounding out the bottom of the list.

California Lawmakers Meet Despite Stay-At-Home Orders In Much Of The State
By The Associated Press

Lawmakers in California met in-person in Sacramento to swear in new members and introduce bills as part of a new legislative session, Monday.
 

The meeting comes on the same day California officials ordered more than 33 million people to stay home because of a surge of new coronavirus cases.
 

The new stay-at-home order does not apply to the Sacramento area, where state lawmakers will meet.
 

The state Senate will meet at the Capitol while the Assembly will meet in an NBA arena to ensure they have enough room for social distancing.
 

Lawmakers plan to introduce legislation addressing evictions and unemployment benefits.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Saturday, December 5, 2020

KUNR is committed to sharing information and resources on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in Nevada please visit the following websites for your area.

Nevada
https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/

Washoe County
https://covid19washoe.com/

Quad Counties (Carson City, Douglas County, Lyon County, Storey County)
https://gethealthycarsoncity.org/novel-coronavirus-2019/

Elko County
https://www.elkocountynv.net/alert_detail.php

Check back on Monday for our regular updates.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Friday, December 4, 2020

5:28 p.m. | December 4, 2020

Washoe County Reports 476 New Cases, 2 Deaths
By Michelle Billman

Health officials in Washoe County are reporting two new COVID-19 deaths today and 476 new cases. The county’s COVID-19 death toll is 306 and there are roughly 10,900 active cases.

Right now, 90 percent of staffed hospital beds are occupied.

Nevada To Receive 164,150 Vaccines In December
By The Associated Press

Federal officials have allocated 164,150 vaccines to be distributed in Nevada this month. State officials plan to distribute the initial doses to frontline health care workers and nursing home residents and staff. More than 173,000 people are designated as part of the first distribution tier forcing the state to decide how to prioritize among health care workers. Officials said they plan to prioritize individuals in high risk environments and were still determining what each category entailed, including whether "essential retail workers" included casino employees that the state has said are key to economic recovery.

Panel Warns Recession May Imperil Nevada Economy Into 2023
By The Associated Press

A panel of economic experts in Nevada has released projections that suggest the economic toll the coronavirus has taken on Las Vegas and the rest of the state will outlast the virus. Projections also suggest the toll will cut into the tax revenue the state uses to fund services including health care and education until 2023.
 

Nevada's five-member Economic Forum sent forecasts to the governor and legislators on Thursday that the state will collect less tax revenue in 2022 and 2023 than in 2020 and 2021. The forecasts will serve as a starting point for lawmakers tasked with re-balancing the budget when the Legislature reconvenes in 2021.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, December 3, 2020

7:32 p.m. | December 3, 2020

Nevada Sees Deadliest Day From COVID-19, Thus Far
By Paul Boger

Nevada reported 48 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, Thursday, marking the deadliest day in the state since the onset of the pandemic.

Statewide, health officials also reported 2,536 new confirmed virus cases, as the state quickly approaches 160,000 confirmed cases and 2,249 deaths since March.

Hospitals are also facing the strain as beds fill and overflow requires additional staff.

This week, the Nevada Hospital Association reported 81% of staffed beds in the state were full.

In northern Nevada, health officials reported nine deaths and 628 new cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County, Thursday.

According to the Washoe County Health District online dashboard, 26,498 cases have been confirmed since March, 10,507 cases remain active and 304 people have died from COVID-19.

In the Quad-Counties region, health officials reported one death and 144 new cases.

In all, Carson City Health and Human Services reports 5,349 total cases, and 54 deaths, while 2,291 cases remain active.

Nevada Lawmakers Face Tighter Budget As COVID-19 Rages
By Paul Boger

Lawmakers in Nevada are going to have to deal with another round of budget woes.

According to the latest analysis by the Economic Forum, the state is projected to collect roughly 8.5 billion dollars in tax revenue during fiscal years 2022-2023. That's down roughly $400 million dollars from the current state budget.

The dour revenue projections are a result of the state's sluggish economic recovery as the pandemic rages.

The non-partisan group tasked with projecting state income made the determination during their final meeting before lawmakers are set to meet in Carson City next February.

Lawmakers use the forum's numbers to start crafting a state budget for the next two fiscal years. They'll receive an update from the Economic Forum in early May before appropriations are finalized.

Nevada National Guard Extended As State Remains Under Siege From COVID-19
By Paul Boger

Hundreds of Nevada National Guardsmen will remain on active duty through the end of the first quarter of 2021 as the state continues to see a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The announcement comes after President Donald Trump issued a memorandum authorizing the use of National Guardsmen in many states across the nation through March 31, 2021.

Nevada Guardsmen were first activated for COVID-19 response in early April,  and have helped to run community-based testing centers as well as contact tracing, laboratory and logistical support operations.

Funding will be split with 25 percent of the funds coming from the State and 75 percent from the federal government.

In a statement, Governor Sisolak thanked the president for the extension highlighting the state's need for more federal funding to help with further public health and economic recovery efforts.

Most Of California Could Soon Be Under Tighter COVID-Restrictions
By The Associated Press

California Governor Gavin Newsom says most of the state will likely be under a new stay-at-home order within a day or two.
 

Newsom announced new stay-at-home rules on Thursday that will trigger when a region's intensive care unit capacity falls below 15%.
 

Newsom said four of the state's five regions are likely to meet that threshold within a day or two.
 

He added the only one likely not to meet the threshold is the San Francisco Bay Area.
 

The new rules would require hair salons and barbershops to close, limit retail stores to 20% capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery.

High Court Order Reexamination Of California’s limits On Indoor Religious Services
By The Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court is ordering a lower federal court to reexamine California's restrictions on indoor religious services in areas hard hit by the coronavirus.
 

The decision comes in light of the justices' recent ruling in favor of churches and synagogues in New York.
 

The high court's unsigned order Thursday, with no noted dissent, leaves the California restrictions in place for now.
 

But it does throw out a federal district court's ruling that rejected a complaint from Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry that argued the limits are unconstitutional.
 

Last week, the Supreme Court split 5-4 in holding that New York could not enforce certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues.

10:17 a.m. | December 3, 2020

Washoe County Reports 10 COVID-19-Related Deaths
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County officials reported 10 COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, the highest number reported in one day.

The deaths include people in every age range, starting from 30s all the way through their 90s. All with underlying health conditions.

Over 70 deaths have been reported over the last two weeks. That accounts for almost a quarter of the 295 COVID-19 deaths in Washoe.

Officials also reported 401 additional COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and 222 recoveries.

Hospitalizations also continue to be on the rise. In Washoe County, 91% of staffed hospital beds are occupied.

And according to the COVID Tracking Project, statewide, Nevada is one of three states reporting the highest number of hospitalized patients per population. There are more than 500 hospitalized individuals per million people in the state.

For more information, please visit: https://covid19washoe.com/

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

6:50 p.m. | December 2, 2020

Washoe And Clark County School Districts Can Bypass Regulations To Hire Substitutes
By Lucia Starbuck

In an effort to mitigate staffing shortages, the Nevada Department of Education has announced larger school districts can now bypass some requirements to hire substitute teachers, under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency regulation.

This includes Washoe and Clark County school districts. Substitute teachers will not be required to have a teaching license or to complete 60 college credits, meaning that only a high school diploma is needed. Subs can apply through February 24.

Washoe officials said the district has been short staffed due to teachers taking sick leave, requested time off or other health district-related exclusions.

For more information on how to apply to become a substitute teacher in WCSD, click here.

High School Winter Sports On Hold, Clark County School District Cancels Winter Sports
By Lucia Starbuck

Right now, all youth and adult sport tournaments are on hold under Sisolak’s recent directive to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. This puts a halt to high school winter sports for about two more weeks statewide.

But the Clark County School District, which has remained online since March, said it will be cancelling all winter sports, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. This includes sports such as basketball, wrestling and bowling.

Other school districts in the state could still hold an abbreviated winter sport season -- if Sisolak allows sports to resume later this month.

Longtime Carson City Official Dies
By Lucia Starbuck and Michelle Billman

Longtime Carson City official Alan Glover died Monday from pneumonia caused by a COVID-19 infection. According to the Nevada Appeal, Glover’s passing was confirmed Tuesday by his wife.

Governor Steve Sisolak released a statement remembering Glover as an exemplary Nevadan who was committed to servitude which led to the improvement of both Carson City and the state. Glover was a Carson City native who served in the Nevada legislature for 14 years. He then spent two decades as Carson City’s longest-serving Clerk Recorder.  

2:32 p.m. | December 2, 2020

COVID-19 Could Impact Douglas County Schools
By Noah Glick

The Douglas County School District is working to confirm eight presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus, according to KRNV News 4. The outbreak would impact Douglas High School, Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, Carson Valley Middle School and Scarselli Elementary School.

Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. John Holman says the community is at a critical point and everyone needs to take the pandemic seriously. He urges everyone to follow CDC and state guidelines.

Quad Counties Sees 11 More COVID-19 Deaths
By Noah Glick

Eleven more people have died from COVID-19 Tuesday across the Quad Counties area. That includes Carson City, as well as Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties. Carson City Health and Human Services reports that of those deaths, seven were Carson City residents, one lived in Douglas County, and the other three occurred in Lyon County. The area now has nearly 2,200 known cases.

In Elko County, another 49 people were confirmed positive for the coronavirus Tuesday, bringing the county total to more than 2,800 cases. The county currently has 479 known active cases of COVID-19 and 17 people have died.

Reno Councilmember Tests Positive For COVID-19
By Noah Glick

Reno City Councilmember Oscar Delgado has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In a Facebook message posted today, Delgado said he is doing well, with mild symptoms at this point. He also praised local healthcare workers, calling them “heroes.” Delgado is urging the community to continue to stay home when possible, social distance and wear a mask.

Get Caught Up:

December 1, 2020 | Regional Updates

  • More Flights And Enhanced Cleaning Measures Added At Reno-Tahoe International Airport
  • President Trump Claims Renown’s Alternate Test Site Is ‘Fake’
  • Washoe Co. Sees Continued Virus Growth Over Thanksgiving
  • Elko Co. Continues To See Rise In COVID Cases
  • UNR To Go Remote After Thanksgiving Break, Over 1,000 Positive Cases Reported

For continued updates on the novel coronavirus in Nevada, visit our related stories page.