Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Dec. 23-29, 2020 | KUNR

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Dec. 23-29, 2020

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Tuesday, December 29, 2020

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.

In Washoe, 14 deaths were reported Tuesday. About 41% of all COVID-19-related deaths in the county were reported this month alone. County officials also reported 94 additional cases of COVID-19, but attributed the low numbers to a lull in testing over the holidays.

Southern Nevada leads the state in the number of hospitalizations with about 80% of the 1,800 patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19.

Statewide, the test positivity rate has remained around 20% throughout this month. That rate is significantly higher than what is recommended by health officials.

In Nevada, there have been about 1,700 new cases per day, on average, and 19 deaths over the last two weeks.  

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

6:07 p.m. | December 29, 2020

California Small Business Relief Grant To Open On December 30
By Olivia Ali

California is opening its Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program Wednesday with $475 million available in two separate rounds.

Applications for the first half of the funds will close on January 8 at midnight. The deadline for applications for the second round has not yet been determined. 

Grant amounts can range from $5000 to $25,000. Awards are not first-come, first-serve, and businesses most impacted by the pandemic will be prioritized.

Lockdowns Extended In Large Swath Of California Amid Surge
By The Associated Press

California has extended its strict stay-at-home orders in areas where intensive care units are running out of beds.
 

The state's top health official said Tuesday that Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley still have what is considered no ICU capacity and that the state's coronavirus restrictions would continue longer there. Gov. Gavin Newsom has warned residents to brace for the effect of a "surge on top of a surge" from recent holiday travel.
 

He says the state is heading into a new phase it's been preparing for as it sets up hospital beds in arenas, schools and tents, though it's struggling to staff them.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, December 28, 2020

5:30 p.m. | December 28, 2020

Nevada Sees Slight Dip In New Daily COVID-19 Cases, Officials Say Several Factors For Why
By Lucia Starbuck

Two counties in northern Nevada lead the state with the most COVID-19 cases per capita. 

There are over 8,000 COVID-19 cases out of 100,000 people in Carson City, compared to more than 7,200 in Washoe.

Since the pandemic started, in Washoe County, about 40% of the total deaths were reported in December alone. 

Statewide, nearly 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 per day, on average, have been reported over the last two weeks.

COVID-19 testing typically declines over the holidays, and as a result, new daily cases have dropped slightly over the last week. Nevada’s COVID-19 response director Caleb Cage said several factors are at play.

“The reality is it’s probably a combination of all of the factors right now, with mitigation measures, decreased testing and we’ve had some days where we didn’t get reports from all of the health districts,” Cage said.

For most of this month, the test positivity rate in Nevada has been high - at about 20%, with an average of 18 deaths per day over the last two weeks. And about 1,900 people are hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Nevada. Nearly a quarter of the state’s staffed hospital beds are currently available. 

No additional deaths were reported in Washoe on Monday, and there were 176 new COVID-19 cases.

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

COVID-19 Vaccines Available For Washoe County Medical Personnel
By Jayden Perez

The Washoe County Health District is advising medical personnel who are a part of the Tier 1 COVID-19 vaccine group to schedule a vaccination appointment as soon as possible.

According to a press release, Tier 1 personnel include general medical staff, as well as many others. It is important to note that the public is currently not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Governor Sisolak Issues Statement On Federal Stimulus Deal 
By Jayden Perez

Governor Steve Sisolak released a statement today after President Donald Trump signed last week’s coronavirus relief deal into law.

In his statement, Sisolak approved the passage of the deal. He expressed gratitude for the monetary relief businesses and Nevadans will receive; however, he did disapprove of the time it took congressional leaders and the president to come to a compromise. He added that not enough money is being provided for Nevadans.

Sisolak also assured that the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation will continue to administer programs, but he cautioned that the federal delay will cause a gap for many Nevadans in need.

Las Vegas Airport Recorded 1.8M Passengers In November
By The Associated Press

More than 1.8 million travelers passed through the Las Vegas airport in November, a slight drop from October and less than half the pre-pandemic traffic the airport saw a year earlier. McCarran International Airport reported Monday that number of passengers tallied in November 2020 was 57% lower than November 2019. Air travel has been among the hospitality and visitor industries in Nevada that's been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. McCarran has recorded about 21 million passengers to date this year. That's less than half the 47 million recorded by the same point in 2019.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Sunday, December 27, 2020

4:25 p.m. | December 27, 2020

About 40% Of Washoe County’s Total COVID-19-Related Deaths Reported in December Alone
By Lucia Starbuck

Over the last two weeks, nearly 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 per day on average have been reported in Nevada. Statewide, the test positivity rate remains high, at around 20%. For comparison, California’s rate is about 12%.

In Nevada, there have been about 20 deaths per day on average over the last two weeks.

In Washoe County, deaths continue to be reported in high numbers. About 40% of the total deaths in Washoe since the pandemic started were reported in December alone.

The Washoe County Health District reported seven COVID-19 deaths on Christmas and 13 Sunday, among individuals ranging from their 30s to 90s.

The health district also reported 310 additional COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

Cities Of Reno, Sparks Partner With Walgreens For COVID-19 Testing
By Michelle Billman

The Cities of Reno and Sparks have announced a partnership with Walgreens that will offer residents free testing for COVID-19. The partnership is possible due to the use of federal CARES funding, and testing is now available at eight local Walgreens locations.

The test is a self-administered nasal swab and patients will remain in their cars. Children three years and older can be tested, and a parent or guardian will have to administer the nasal swab for them.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said in a statement that this necessary partnership will “help alleviate the strain on Washoe County Health District and our hospitals,” while providing a better understanding of how the virus is moving through the community.

Residents can find more information and make an appointment here.

Virus, Other Problems Threaten To Throw Off Homeless Census
By The Associated Press

When census takers tried to count the nation's homeless population, they ran into many problems that could threaten the accuracy of the effort. That's what a half dozen census takers around the U.S. tell The Associated Press. For instance, the homeless residents of stormwater tunnels below Las Vegas were left uncounted because of safety concerns.
 

The situation could lead to an undercount in some communities and result in losses of political representation and federal money. The homeless count was originally scheduled for last spring but got postponed to September because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Saturday, December 26, 2020

11:11 p.m. | December 26, 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: Thursday, December 24, 2020

4:20 p.m. | December 24, 2020

Nevada Reports 45 Additional COVID-19-Related Deaths, Almost Double The Daily Average Seen In Recent Weeks
By Lucia Starbuck

Over the last two weeks, about 1,900 new cases of COVID-19 per day have been reported, on average, in Nevada.

The state reported 45 additional COVID-19 deaths Thursday, which is nearly double the daily average seen over the last two weeks. And in Washoe County, deaths are being reported in high numbers, with over a third of the total reported this month.

Washoe health officials report the rise in deaths are due to the surge of cases prior to Thanksgiving. That’s because deaths tend to trail new cases by about a month.

The Washoe County Health District reported seven additional deaths and 322 new COVID-19 cases, Thursday.

Statewide, the test positivity rate remains high - at around 20%. For comparison, California’s positivity rate is about 12%.

Roughly 2,000 patients in the state are currently being hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, according to the Nevada Hospital Association.

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

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

6:30 p.m. | December 23, 2020

Washoe County Continues To See High Number Of Deaths From Pre-Thanksgiving Surge
By Lucia Starbuck

Over the last two weeks, 1900 new cases per day have been reported, on average, in Nevada. Statewide, the test positivity rate remains high - at around 20% - and has for the last several weeks.

There are currently about 2,000 patients hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Nevada. The state recently reported 46 additional deaths. This is double the daily average seen over the last two weeks.

And in Washoe County, deaths are being reported in high numbers, with over a third of the total reported in December. Washoe health officials report the rise in deaths are due to the surge of cases prior to Thanksgiving. That’s because deaths tend to trail new cases by about a month. Health officials have reported fewer daily cases over the last several days compared to the end of November.

The Washoe County Health District reported 231 additional COVID-19 cases and nine deaths on Wednesday.

And with the recent roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick said they’ve been inundated with calls from the public. People are asking for priority. Dick said vaccine distribution is based on federal and state guidelines, and the county won’t veer from those set plans. 

Statewide, about 16,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.

Nevada Researchers Say COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Effective Against Virus Mutations
By Lucia Starbuck

A new variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly throughout the United Kingdom, and researchers in Nevada are closely monitoring this development.

The head of the Nevada State Public Health Lab, Dr. Mark Pandori, said the virus found overseas has had several mutations. But Pandori says the vaccine will still likely be effective. 

“From our previous experience in virology, it would require far more mutation than is seen in this particular strain,” Pandori said.

This strain hasn’t been found in Nevada yet. But, the state lab has identified a mutation unique to northern Nevada. Researchers are still trying to learn more about this particular variant in the region.

The state lab is expecting to receive new equipment next month to help with surveillance of the virus. 

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

Get Caught Up:

December 23, 2020 | Regional Updates

  • Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor In Reno To Close By End Of 2020
  • DETR Announces Two-Day Delay In Some Unemployment Benefits
  • St. Mary’s To Continue Postponing Elective Surgeries
  • Nevada To Recieve Less COVID-19 Vaccine Than Expected
  • Nevada’s Democratic Congresswoman Susie Lee Gets First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Washoe County School District To Continue Providing Meals Throughout Winter Break
  • City Of Reno Cancels Reno-Tahoe Senior Winter Games

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