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Novel Coronavirus in Nevada: July 22-28

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Tuesday, July 28

8:06 p.m. | July 28, 2020

Nevada Reports More Than 1,000 Additional Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,105 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. The department reported 20 additional COVID-19-related deaths statewide. There are now nearly 759 COVID-19-related deaths in Nevada, and there have been nearly 586,000 tests performed in the state.

For the most up to date information, please visit nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.

Washoe County Reports One COVID-19-Related Death
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County reported one COVID-19-related death Tuesday, a man in his 70s. It is under investigation if he had underlying health conditions. There are 108 COVID-19-related deaths in the county.

Washoe County reported 107 COVID-19 recoveries and 38 additional COVID-19 cases. There have also been 20 additional hospitalizations for COVID-19.

There have been nearly 82,000 COVID-19 tests performed in Washoe County.

For the most up to date information, please visit gis.washoecounty.us/COVID19.

DMV Announces Many Drivers Can Renew License Online
By Lucia Starbuck

The Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, announced that starting this fall, most Nevadans can renew their driver’s license and ID online. It’s an effort to limit foot traffic inside the building in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, drivers 65 and older who need to renew their license in person have been given a one-year extension, effective immediately.

These exceptions do not apply to cardholders with a term of less than eight years, instruction permit holders, immigrants with a limited-term license or ID, people with certain medical conditions or sex offenders.

DMV buildings are allowing limited people inside. In Reno and Las Vegas, it is by appointment only. In rural Nevada, in-person DMV services are available for local residents only on a walk-in basis. Nevadans are encouraged to visit dmv.com.

Some Nevadans Didn’t Receive Additional $600 In Unemployment Benefits Due To System Error
By Lucia Starbuck

Some Nevadans did not receive their last $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from the CARES Act this week, according to KRNV.

A spokesperson with the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said the issue was due to a system error, which is expected to be fixed by Wednesday, and payments will be made shortly after.

The additional $600 of federal unemployment benefits expires this month.

Support Lucia's Report for America reporting. Headshot of Lucia Starbuck. She is sitting in the KUNR newsroom and smiling.

We need your support to ensure this vital reporting continues. Learn more at bit.ly/LuciaReports.

Federal Government Argues Over Extending Federal Unemployment Benefits
By The Associated Press

State officials across the U.S. say that Senate Republicans' proposed slashing of a federally funded boost in unemployment benefits could delay payments for weeks or even months. Democrats are pushing back, arguing that cutting the extra payments to $200 from $600 is bad policy — and that it's hard to implement. It took some states a month earlier this year to program aging computer systems to handle the initial increase. Under the GOP plan, there would be a second and maybe more challenging step of boosting benefits, so that they equal no more than 70% of a person's previous income.

Nevada AG Signs Letter Urging Trump To Stop Prohibiting Hospitals From Reporting COVID-19 Data To CDC
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford signed a letter urging the Trump Administration to withdraw its reporting structure that prohibits hospitals from reporting COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In mid-July, the Trump administration announced that COVID-19-related hospital data will now be sent to a private technology firm, instead of the CDC. That information includes bed occupancy, the severity of COVID-19 patients, available ventilators and personal protective equipment on hand.

The administration said the move will speed up reporting; however, the decision has concerned public health officials.

In a statement, Ford said, “At a time when finding a vaccine and keeping our loved ones safe is critical, this directive dangerously undermines transparency and communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The letter was sent to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and signed by 21 attorneys general, including California’s AG.

Bars in Humboldt, Lander And Lyon Allowed To Open Their Doors
By Lucia Starbuck

Three counties in Nevada were allowed to reopen their bars Tuesday: Humboldt, Lander and Lyon. These three counties moved out of the "at-risk zone" under the state’s Elevated Risk Transmission, which takes into account the average number of tests conducted per day, case rates and case positivity rates in each county.

Bars in Clark, Elko, Nye and Washoe must remain closed because the counties did not move out of the "at-risk zone."

Gov. Steve Sisolak said these orders will be in place for the next week while the state finalizes a long-term COVID-19 mitigation plan.

Lawmakers Are Not Getting Tested For COVID-19 Ahead Of Second Special Session
By Lucia Starbuck

Lawmakers will not be asked to take a COVID-19 test, and COVID-19 tests will not be made available, before they gavel in for a second special session, according to The Nevada Independent.

Lawmakers were tested before convening during the 31st Special Session, and someone in the building tested positive, though their identity has not been published.

There is no official start date for the second special session, though Gov. Steve Sisolak has said it could start as early as Thursday.

Quad-Counties Report 21 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

Carson City Health and Human Services reported 21 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. A bulk of the new cases are from Carson City, with 11 in total.

Additionally, six of those cases are from Douglas County, three from Lyon County, one from Storey.

There’s a drive-thru COVID-19 testing event for Quad-County residents without symptoms Wednesday at Douglas High School from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Testing is free and on a first come, first served basis. Appointments are not required.

Gov. Steve Sisolak Releases Directive Geared At Reopening Schools Safely
By Lucia Starbuck

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a directive Tuesday regarding the reopening of schools across Nevada.

Under the directive, face coverings are mandatory for all K-12 students, staff and visitors in the building, including parents, vendors, volunteers and visitors. Exemptions may be approved if there are medical conditions that prohibit someone from wearing a face covering, but this must be documented by a medical professional.

Additionally, students and staff are required to follow quarantine protocols if one has COVID-19, is presumed to have COVID-19, or has had contact with a presumptive case.

The directive also shifts the social distance requirements from six feet to three feet for pre-K, kindergarten and middle school students in Nevada.

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

Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Monday, July 27

8:14 p.m. | July 27, 2020

Nevada Records No COVID-19-Related Deaths For The First Time In Weeks
By Stephanie Serrano

Nevada health officials reported 997 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, but for the first time in a month, no additional deaths around the state as of Monday. The numbers released by the state Department of Health and Human Services keep the total number of known deaths at 734 but push the total coronavirus cases to 43,831.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 across Nevada has decreased, with 879 confirmed cases and 233 suspected cases in Nevada hospitals.

For most people, the novel coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks.

Washoe County Sees Decrease In New COVID-19 Cases
By KUNR Staff

The Regional Information Center reported 35 new COVID-19 cases and 36 recoveries in Washoe County. Currently, there are 1,287 active cases in the county. The death toll remains at 107, and 67 people are hospitalized.

In the Quad-Counties, health officials reported 15 new positive cases and six additional recoveries Monday. The total number of cases is now 615 in the region, which includes Carson City, along with Lyon, Douglas, and Storey Counties.

In Elko County, 40 new cases were reported by the health district Monday and 17 recoveries. The county now has more than 400 total cases; 125 of them remain active.

Las Vegas City Facility To Replace Casino Drive-Thru Virus Tests
By The Associated Press

Health officials in Las Vegas have closed a busy drive-thru coronavirus testing site in a casino parking structure to replace it with an indoor operation at a city-owned conference hall. Clark County and University Medical Center said Monday the Cashman Center site will open August 4, replacing the Texas Station hotel-casino site. With testing operations at capacity and several-day waits for results, the hospital recently adjusted testing policies to give priority to people exhibiting symptoms or who have been exposed to of COVID-19. Nevada health officials reported 997 new confirmed cases on Monday, but no additional deaths.

Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Sunday, July 26

8:55 p.m. | July 26, 2020

Nevada Reports More Than 1,000 New Cases, 2 Deaths
By KUNR Staff

The State of Nevada reported more than 1,000 new positive COVID-19 cases Sunday, along with 2 new deaths related to the virus. The state’s total number of cases is more than 42,800 and the death toll is 734. There are more than 1,100 confirmed and suspected hospitalizations related to COVID-19 statewide. 

Washoe Co. Reports 107th COVID-19 Death
By KUNR Staff

Health officials with the Regional Information Center reported Sunday 76 new recoveries and 64 new positive COVID-19 cases in Washoe County. There was also a death reported, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 107 in the county. The deceased is a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions. Washoe County has seen close to 4,800 positive cases since the start of the pandemic. 

Nevada’s Second Special Session Could Start This Week
By KUNR Staff

No formal declaration has been issued, but Governor Steve Sisolak is expected to start a second special session as early as the middle of this week. The Nevada Independent is reporting that a spokesperson for the governor confirmed that Sisolak has been discussing plans with legislative leaders. 

Sisolak has previously said the second special session would look at criminal justice reform, election laws, and protections for workers. Sisolak called a 12-day special session that wrapped up just over a week ago during which lawmakers made significant cuts to healthcare and education as they grappled with the economic impacts of the pandemic. 

Union Pushes Back After RTC Reported Two Drivers Tested Positive Last Week
By Michelle Billman

The Regional Transportation Commission, or RTC, reported last week that two bus drivers working for Washoe County's transit contractor have tested positive for COVID-19. 

RTC officials said both drivers did not have any close-contact interactions with passengers and all drivers are required to wear masks or face coverings. 

Teamsters Local 533 represents roughly 2,000 workers in various trades throughout the region, including RTC bus drivers. The union has released statements saying the agency and transit contractor Keolis are not doing enough to protect employees.

RTC has released statements as well, saying the agency is complying with Governor Steve Sisolak's social distancing and mask requirements. 

Humboldt County Reports New Positive Cases, Bringing Total To 95
By KUNR Staff

Humboldt County health officials reported two new positive cases over the weekend, bringing the county’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 95. Six cases are active.

The Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe was also notified of four more cases that were confirmed over the weekend through the Fort McDermitt Wellness Center, raising the tribe’s total to 25.

Little Time, Big Agenda When California Lawmakers Return
By The Associated Press

California lawmakers are preparing to return to work after an extended summer recess because of the coronavirus. Lawmakers return to Sacramento Monday and have about five weeks to pass bills. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said many lawmakers want Governor Gavin Newsom to call them back for a special session to give them more time to pass tough bills. Lawmakers are considering proposals that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants unable to pay their rent during the pandemic and making COVID-19 infections eligible for workers' compensation claims. They are also weighing bills about police brutality and health care.
Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Saturday, July 25

7:55 p.m. | July 25, 2020

Washoe Co. Reports 159 Cases, New Daily High
By KUNR Staff

Health officials in Washoe County are reporting 159 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, a new daily high. The previous record was on July 3 when 150 cases were reported. 

Another death related to the virus was also confirmed Saturday, bringing the death total in Washoe to 106. The deceased is a woman in her 70s with underlying conditions. 

Washoe also set a record for its 7-day rolling average for new cases, which is 96. The previous high was 86 on July 4. Active cases have also hit a new high at just over 1,300.

Nevada Sees 931 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
By The Associated Press

Nevada health officials say the state has 931 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the state to 41,816. State data released Saturday by the Department of Health and Human Services also showed 10 new deaths from the novel coronavirus. That brings the total number of deaths to 732. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the state infection rate, or the total number of people tested divided by the number of confirmed cases, increased marginally to 9.75 percent after continually rising since June 17. Hospitalization rates decreased slightly to 1,147 confirmed and suspected patients from the 1,160 reported in Friday's update.

Virginia City Cancels Several Events For Fall, But Not All
By Michelle Billman

Virginia City has announced the cancellation of several events it holds each fall, including the International Camel and Ostrich Races, that attract tourist dollars to the area.

Multiple other events are also canceled due to the pandemic, including the Labor Day Parade and World Championship Outhouse Races.

Ticket holders will be refunded. Some events can still take place with social distancing protocols, including the Great American Craft Faire and the portion of the Street Vibrations motorcycle rally that's held in Virginia City, among others. 

Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Friday, July 24

11:01 p.m. | July 24, 2020

US Supreme Court Denies Nevada Church's Appeal Of Virus Rule
By The Associated Press

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court has denied a rural Nevada church's request to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state's ongoing response to the coronavirus. In a 5-4 decision Friday, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and others to operate at 50% of capacity. The church argued the hard cap on religious gatherings was an unconstitutional violation of its First Amendment rights. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority in denying the request without explanation.

Nevada Reports 13 New Deaths Friday
By Bree Zender

According to new data from the State of Nevada Friday morning, the state reported more than 960 new cases of COVID-19. This follows an upward trend in cases since late June.


In addition, 13 more deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths throughout the state related to the virus to 722.


According to the latest update, nearly 12 percent of tests are coming back positive throughout the state. However, state officials say this number could be artificially low, as a recent system update may have added some previously unprocessed tests to the system. 


Washoe County Reports 109 New Cases, 1 Death Friday
By KUNR Staff

Washoe County health officials are reporting one new death related to COVID-19 Friday. The death was a woman in her 90s with underlying health conditions. The county’s death toll remains at 105 because a previous fatality has been changed to a non-COVID-19-related death after more information was provided by the physician. Washoe also reported 109 new positive cases and 75 recoveries.


Nearly 1,200 cases remain active in the county.


Mono County Now On California Virus Watch List
By The Associated Press

California has placed Mono County on its coronavirus watch list because of a surge in cases in Mammoth Lakes, a center for tourism and outdoor recreation in the eastern Sierra Nevada. The Los Angeles Times reports the surge is largely linked to the town's restaurants. Kern County in the Central Valley also has been added to the list as hospitals there are reaching capacity. The state is closely monitoring case numbers and places counties on the watch list if infections are too high, triggering increased restrictions in an effort to prevent local health systems from being overwhelmed.


Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Thursday, July 23

7:40 p.m. | July 23, 2020

Washoe County Records Over 120 New COVID-19 Cases
By Stephanie Serrano

The Regional Information Center is reporting 124 new COVID-19 cases in Washoe County Thursday. Officials said that is the third-highest number of recorded cases in one day. Seventy-four more people have recovered from the virus, and the death toll remains at 105.

There are currently 1,161 active cases in the county.

Nevada Reports More Than 1,200 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide
By Stephanie Serrano

The state of Nevada reported five new deaths related to COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the death toll to 709. The state also reported more than 1,200 new cases on its online dashboard. More than 39,900 positive cases have been confirmed across the state.

Quad-Counties Report 12 New Cases Thursday
By Stephanie Serrano

Carson City health officials reported 12 new COVID-19 cases in the Quad-County region, which stretches across Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey Counties.

The majority of the cases are being reported from Carson City, along with one in Storey county and two in Lyon County.

Across the region, there are 127 active cases; the death toll remains at nine.

Lyon County Is Asking For Fewer COVID-19 Restrictions In Letter To Governor
By Stephanie Serrano

In a letter addressed to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, the Lyon County Board of Commissioners is asking the governor to lessen the restrictions that have been placed on the county in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The commissioners argue that the county is not in need of strict business closures because only 0.0026% of the people in Lyon County have contracted the virus. Officials want the governor to start looking at tightening restrictions by individual communities rather than whole counties.

They’re also asking the governor to reactivate the national guard to help perform COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites so that the county can increase testing capacity and move away from a “yellow rating.” That rating is listed in a document prepared by the White House Coronavirus Task Force obtained by the Center for Public Integrity earlier this month.

Washoe Health District Recommends Not Reopening Schools In The Fall
By Stephanie Serrano

Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick is recommending the Washoe County School District not reopen schools in the fall amid growing COVID-19 cases.

Dick expressed his opinion in a Washoe County Health District meeting. He said he will be speaking at the school board meeting on Tuesday when the trustees are expected to make a decision on whether to reopen schools or not.

Las Vegas Stepping Up COVID-19 Response, City Officials Say
By The Associated Press

Las Vegas city officials say efforts to test, treat and track community spread of COVID-19 were already increasing when a top doctor on the White House Coronavirus Task Force listed the city as a virus trouble spot. Officials say the city manager sent a letter last week to Gov. Steve Sisolak's office outlining the efforts, including deploying 50 teams of city officials for business visits to ensure compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing mandates. The governor's virus response chief declined to comment about the White House task force Dr. Deborah Birx's call for aggressive steps to stop the virus.

California Counties Increase Health Order Enforcement
By The Associated Press

California counties are stepping up enforcement of public health orders as hospitalizations and positive tests for the coronavirus skyrocket in many parts of the state. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Marin and Napa county officials this week approved fines ranging from $25 to $500 for individuals violating public health orders, including failing to wear masks. The virus continues to surge in many parts of California, topping 425,600 total cases. There were 157 deaths on Thursday, the highest reported in a single day. Gov. Gavin Newsom called it a "grim milestone."

Regional Novel Coronavirus Updates: Wednesday, July 22

7:40 p.m. | July 22, 2020

Nevada Reports 28 Deaths Wednesday
By KUNR Staff

The state of Nevada is reporting 28 new deaths related to COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the death toll to more than 700. The state also reported more than 1,100 new cases on its online dashboard. Nearly 38,700 positive cases have been confirmed across the state. 

Washoe Co. Health Officials Say Many Cases Are Due To Not Wearing Masks At Social Events
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. 57 new recoveries have also been reported. There are over 1,100 active cases and more than 4,300 total cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County.

Washoe County also reported that there are delays in testing due to the number of people being tested. Results can take from five days to over one week.

In addition, a significant number of cases have come from people not wearing masks during social events with people outside of their household. County officials recommend limiting gatherings to less than 25 people.

Quad-Counties, Elko Report New Cases
By KUNR Staff

Carson City Health and Human Services reported 11 new positive cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 14 additional recoveries. The new cases include 7 Carson City residents, 3 Douglas County residents, and one Lyon County resident. The region has reported more than 540 cases. 

Elko County health officials are reporting six new positive cases of COVID-19 and 16 recoveries Wednesday. Four cases are currently being hospitalized. At this point, there have been 350 confirmed cases in Elko County and nearly 90 remain active. 

Veterans Home In Sparks Reports A Fourth Death
By KUNR Staff

The Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks is reporting that another resident there has died from COVID-19-related complications. There have now been four deaths there related to the virus. 27 residents and staff members have recovered.

The resident who died most recently was an Army Vietnam veteran in his 70s with underlying medical conditions. All other residents have recovered except one, who remains in stable condition pending further testing. Five staff members are still positive for the virus and are quarantined at home.

RTC Reports A Driver Has Tested Positive
By KUNR Staff

The Regional Transportation Commission, or RTC, reported Wednesday that it has learned from Washoe County's transit contractor that a bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The driver has not been working since July 13, which is when the employee took a COVID test which later came back positive. 

In an RTC statement, officials explained that "the driver did not have any exposure or close-contact interactions with passengers within the guidelines of 15 minutes or more and less than six feet."

California Sets Single Day Record For New Covid-19 Infections
By The Associated Press

California's confirmed coronavirus cases have topped 409,000, surpassing New York for most in the nation. But New York's 32,520 deaths are by far the highest total in the country and four times more than California's tally. And New York's rate of confirmed infections of about 2,100 per 100,000 people is twice that of California's rate. U.S. government data has determined that reported and confirmed coronavirus cases vastly underestimate the true number of infections. Los Angeles County has experienced a surge of new infections among people under age 41.

Get Caught Up:

July 21 | Regional Updates

  • Nevada Creates New Online Tool For Distance Learning
  • Nevada To Invest $30 Million Into Rent Assistance Relief
  • A New Bill Could Help Nevada Public Libraries
  • Sisolak Delays Second Special Session Citing Health Concerns
  • Feds Deem Washoe County A “Yellow Zone” For Coronavirus Infections
  • Updates On Reported Cases For Washoe, Elko and Quad-Counties

For continued updates on the novel coronavirus in Nevada, visit our updates and resourcespage.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
Stephanie Serrano (she/her/ella) is an award-winning multimedia bilingual journalist based in Reno, Nevada. Her reporting is powered by character-driven stories and is rooted in sound-rich audio. Her storytelling works to share the experiences of unserved communities in regards to education, race, affordable housing and sports.
Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
Jayden Perez is a former web producer and student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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