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Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Oct. 21-27, 2020


Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

5:50 p.m. | October 27, 2020

Nevada Task Force, Washoe County To Meet After Virus Surge
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada coronavirus task force has called an emergency meeting with the Washoe County Health District to address the county's plan to manage an increasing surge in confirmed coronavirus cases. 

The Washoe County Health District said that the county, reached 2,017 confirmed COVID-19 cases, a record all-time high of active cases. 

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, was called after Washoe County was flagged for elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission for the fifth consecutive week. Health officials said contact tracing has illustrated that cases are coming from a number of sources. 

A district spokesperson said it is concerning because it means residents are not following safety restrictions.

Washoe County reported 189 additional cases today and 57 recoveries. There have been more than 175,000 COVID-19 tests performed.

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

Nevada Will Join California And Others To Review COVID-19 Vaccine
By Lucia Starbuck

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that Nevada, along with a few other Western states, would be joining California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which aims to independently review a vaccine for the virus approved by the FDA. 

Sisolak said the verification process will be happening simultaneously to the federal approval process.

WCSD To Address COVID-19 Cases At Board Meeting Tonight
By Lucia Starbuck

The Washoe County School District said there are no plans to switch to full remote learning, but the Board of Trustees plans to talk about the number of cases at schools during their meeting tonight, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

There have been a total of 130 COVID-19 cases reported at schools since the semester started.

Allegiant Stadium In Las Vegas To Have Fans For The First Time
By Lucia Starbuck

The Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, will allow fans inside for the first time, but it won’t be for the Raiders. It will be the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ football team, according to the Associated Press

UNLV is slated to play against the University of Nevada, Reno on Saturday. 

Only 3% of the stadium’s capacity will be filled, which equates to 2,000 spectators. 

Fans will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. 

This plan will be in place for UNLV’s first two games, and the school must resubmit a plan for future games. 

Still Hampered By Virus, US Casinos Want Aid In Recovering
By The Associated Press 

The U.S. casino industry is seeking tax and regulatory relief from the government as it tries to recover from a coronavirus outbreak that cost states more than $2 billion in lost tax revenue while casinos were shut down for four months this year. Ninety percent of casinos have reopened, but they are operating at restricted levels. The head of the gambling industry's national trade group says additional financial aid is needed for casinos and their workers. In an online speech Tuesday at a casino conference, American Gaming Association President Bill Miller said the industry is coming back but needs a hand.

Fed Up: California Restaurants Seek Booze, Health Fee Refund
By The Associated Press 

California restaurants want state and county officials to refund more than $100 million in fees for liquor and health permits and tourism assessments that they say were charged while their businesses were shut down or partially closed because of coronavirus rules. Claims filed say governments, in what was described as a “a cruel twist,” forced restaurants to close because of the virus, but continued to collect fees. The establishments say they were threatened with permanent closure if they didn't pay up. A government claim is an initial step before filing a class-action lawsuit. California officials have 45 days to respond to the claims.

Inspector Says Lax Prison Enforcement Increased Virus Risk
By The Associated Press 

California's inspector general says prison officials did a poor job requiring inmates and staff to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They even loosened their policy just as cases were spiking. The department says it modified its policy based on guidance from state public health officials. The state's inspector general said yesterday that just seven of the corrections department's more than 63,000 employees were referred for formal investigations or punishment for misconduct, including ignoring face covering and physical distancing requirements. More than 15,500 inmates have been infected, and 76 died as outbreaks ballooned in several state prisons.

10:15 a.m. | October 27, 2020

Elko County Reports 47 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Danna O’Connor

Elko County is reporting a total of forty-seven new cases of COVID 19 and sixty-two recoveries from the virus as of Monday.  Seven active cases are hospitalized.

The county now has 1,373 confirmed cases of the disease and 1,174 recoveries.  Fourteen people have died from COVID 19 in Elko County.

Quad Counties Report 14 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Danna O’Connor

Carson City Health and Human Services reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional recoveries in the Quad-County Region yesterday.

This brings the total number of cases to 1,753, with 1,571 recoveries and 21 deaths.

There are two drive-thru flu vaccination and COVID-19 testing events for Quad-County residents this week.

Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. at the Carson Valley Middle School in Gardnerville and on Thursday from 4-6 p.m. at Mills Park in Carson City.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, October 26, 2020

7:06 p.m. | October 26, 2020

OSHA Cites Douglas County For COVID-19 Violations
By Stephanie Serrano

Douglas County and ABS Aviation, Inc. have been fined more than $5,000 for two citations issued by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. 

The citations come after President Donald Trump held a rally in September at the Minden airport. 

According to a press release, the citations have been issued for violating the state’s then 50-person public gathering capacity. That declaration was put in place by Governor Steve Sisolak in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

Washoe County Reports 126 New COVID-19 Cases Monday
By Stephanie Serrano

Washoe County is reporting two COVID-19 deaths: a female and male in their 80s with underlying health conditions. The county is also reporting 126 new cases and 111 recoveries Monday.

The county is approaching nearly 1,900 (1,885) active cases. The death toll is 195.

Nevada Reports Five Counties Remain At High Risk For COVID-19
By Stephanie Serrano

During a press call with the governor's office, officials announced that five Nevada counties remain flagged for elevated disease transmission. 

Washoe, Clark, Elko, Lincoln and Lyon counties are reporting a high case rate per 100,000 people over the last 30 days and a high test positivity over the last 14 days.

The Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Managing Task Force has plans to hold an emergency meeting with Washoe County officials on Thursday to discuss plans to combat recent spikes in the county. 

President Trump To Rally Just Outside Nevada To Avoid COVID Restrictions
By Stephanie Serrano

President Donald Trump plans to hold a rally just outside the Nevada-Arizona border tomorrow. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the president plans to gather at the Laughlin/Bullhead International airport in Arizona because of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s COVID-19 restrictions, which cap public gatherings at 250 people.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to hold a rally at a hangar located at the southeast end of the Reno-Tahoe airport at 5 p.m. on Thursday. 

Nevada Sends Vaccine Plan To CDC For Approval
By Stephanie Serrano

Governor Steve Sisolak provided an update on Nevada’s COVID-19 vaccination plan at a press conference on Monday. 

Sisolak emphasized there isn’t an approved COVID-19 vaccine yet but reassured Nevadans that the state has been working on a plan for distribution once an FDA approved vaccine becomes available. 

“I want to be very clear with Nevadans. There are still many unknowns for when a vaccine will be finalized and ready for distribution. But I also want Nevadans to know that the state has been planning for months and the state will be ready when the time comes. We will be prepared when the time comes,” Sisolak said.

Candice McDaniel, with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the plans at the conference and said the state will prioritize who receives the vaccine first when it becomes available.

“We anticipate receiving only a small number of doses to begin with and our program has developed an online priority population based on their level of exposure. This framework is based in science and using information that we have and it focuses on our frontline medical professionals first, with priority consideration for those who are close and sustainably contained with those with COVID-19,” McDaniel said. 

The state’s plan was sent to the CDC for review. Health officials consider the plan a living document, meaning it will be adapted based on changing COVID-19 trends. Officials also spoke about potential challenges which includes securing enough ultra-cold storage capacity to properly store the vaccines. Immunization compliance will also be essential because two doses will be required.

The state reported over 1,000 new cases over the weekend and is seeing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Washoe county is one of five counties in the state that remain flagged for elevated disease transmission. 

Sisolak also mentioned that he’ll monitor the increase in cases but for now he’s working on a plan for conventions to operate at 50% capacity at the start of 2021. 

California Restaurants Seek Liquor And Health Fee Refund
By The Associated Press

California restaurants want state and county officials to refund more than $100 million in fees for permits and assessments they say were charged while their businesses were shut down or partially closed because of coronavirus rules. Claims filed say governments in what was described as a "a cruel twist" forced restaurants to close because of the virus, but continued to collect fees for liquor and health permits. The establishments say they were threatened with permanent closure if they didn't pay up. A government claim is an initial step before filing a class-action lawsuit. California officials have 45 days to respond to the claims.

10:12 a.m. | October 26, 2020

Washoe County Reports 
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County officials reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 66 recoveries. No COVID-19-related deaths were reported.

There are 1,872 active cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County and there have been about 173,000 COVID-19 tests performed.

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

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

Nevada officials on Saturday reported more than 1,000 known additional COVID-19 cases for the first time since mid-August.

There have now been a total of more than 95,700 cases in the state, and 1,748 deaths as of Sunday. There were close to 900 new cases reported on Sunday. 

For comparison, the last time Nevada reported more than 1,000 cases in a single day was Aug. 14.

Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press showed increases in seven-day rolling averages for daily new cases and positivity rates from COVID-19. Officials said Nevada may release its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan in the coming week.

Catholic Charities Suspends Warming Center For Unsheltered Individuals
By Lucia Starbuck

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada will not be opening its warming shelter for unhoused individuals this winter because the facility does not have adequate space to maintain social distancing, according to KOLO 8.

In previous years, several hundred unsheltered individuals were able to warm up inside the dining hall from about 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., but this winter, that won’t be an option. 

Homelessness has grown during the pandemic. Additionally, KOLO 8 reported Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada usually helps 20,000 people access food per month but during the pandemic that number has grown to 50,000.

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

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

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Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Saturday, October 24, 2020

12:08 p.m. | October 24,2020

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.


Washoe County

Quad Counties (Carson City, Douglas County, Lyon County, Storey County)

Elko County

Check back on Monday for our regular updates.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Friday, October 23, 2020

7:02 p.m. | October 23, 2020

Washoe County Report
By Michelle Billman

Washoe County reported the largest single day increase Friday of both total and active COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Health officials said there were 350 new cases and active cases stand at 1,840. One additional death related to the virus was reported, a man in his 60s with underlying conditions. The health district said in a statement that it is urging “extreme caution” when out and about because of the high level of disease transmission happening in the community. The total number of cases in the county has surpassed 12,300. 

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility Reports 18 COVID-19 Cases In One Month
By Jayden Perez

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detention facility announced an increase in coronavirus cases. According to This Is Reno, the sheriff’s office reported that 11 inmates and five personnel tested positive for the virus. 

This month, the first two cases of coronavirus found in inmates had been reported. 

The facility is now on lockdown with added health and safety mandates.

South Lake Tahoe SnowGlobe Music Festival Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Concerns
By Jayden Perez

This year’s SnowGlobe music festival in South Lake Tahoe has been cancelled due to concerns regarding the pandemic. 

According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, this would have been SnowGlobe's 10th anniversary. Organizers decided to cancel the event after they talked to health officials. The festival organizers said that they plan on continuing SnowGlobe in the future.

School District Launches COVID-19 Testing Program For Employees
By Jayden Perez

The Carson City School District announced it will offer free COVID-19 testing for all school employees in two drive-thru events. School administrators have provided information about the dates, times and location to their employees. 

After the drive-thru events, school employees who become symptomatic at work may be tested by one of the school nurses. 

The Nevada Department of Education, in partnership with other organizations and professionals, helped develop the testing program for school staff across the state. The program was approved by the state and is funded by the federal CARES Act grant fund.

County Allows Brothel Workers To Provide Escort Services
By The Associated Press

Brothels in Nevada remain closed under state restrictions imposed under the coronavirus pandemic but a rural county is allowing brothels to offer non-sexual escort services. The Reno Gazette Journal reports that the Lyon County Board of Commissioners approved the new authorization for the four brothels in the county on Oct. 15. Lyon County is east of Reno in northern Nevada. Because the brothels remain closed, the sex workers must meet customers elsewhere for escort services authorized under the new ordinance. Brothel owner Suzette Cole told the board that over 500 people were unemployed due to the brothel closings.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, October 22, 2020

7:19 p.m. | October 22, 2020

State And Local COVID-19 Numbers
By Paul Boger

Health officials in Washoe County are reporting 143 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 95 recoveries, today. That brings the total number of confirmed cases to 11,954; 1,563 cases remain active and 189 people in Washoe County have died.

In Elko County, health officials reported 42 new cases and 10 recoveries. Nearly 1,300 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Northeastern Nevada; 208 cases remain active and 11 people have died.

Statewide, nearly 93,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,736 have died.

Nevada COVID Taskforce Backs Washoe Cap On Public Gatherings
By The Associated Press

State health officials have officially backed a Washoe County decision capping public gatherings at 250 people as the county continues to grapple with a surge in COVID-19 cases. Coronavirus infections reached another record high in Washoe County this week after the county topped 100 active cases on Wednesday, an all-time high. The sheriff's office also announced the jail was placed on locked down after 11 inmates and five employees tested positive for COVID-19. And during a state COVID-19 Task Force meeting, county health officer Kevin Dick reiterated his concerns over the current 250-person cap on public gatherings saying it’s too lenient. Dick also asked state health officials to start reporting the number of staffed hospital beds rather than the total number of beds available.

Lyon County Ok’s Escort Services To Aid Brothels
By KUNR Staff

Lyon County is the latest jurisdiction in Nevada to allow brothels to offer non-sexual escort services. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, that's following a unanimous vote by county commissioners, last week. Brothels have otherwise been closed since mid-March in order to follow the state's COVID-mitigation guidelines. Lyon County Manager Jeff Page said that the brothel closures have affected the local economy. He also said that while the brothels are not fully operational, this ordinance will allow them to stay afloat and provide income for people in the industry. Sex workers are considered independent contractors, and their financial relief options are limited. The Mustang Ranch brothel in Storey County also began offering non-sexual escort services in early August.

State Museum Mints Coin For Health Care Workers
By Paul Boger

The Nevada State Museum is minting a special, silver medallion to honor medical professionals and raise money for COVID-19 relief.

The museum says it will press the silver coins on October 30th for $100 a medallion. 

Proceeds would go to the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to support health care workers and nonprofit organizations. 

Museum officials also add the Nevada Health Care Heroes medallion will be minted on the first coin press to enter service at the Carson City Mint in 1870. The building now serves as the museum.

Nevada Continues To See Slow Job Growth
By Paul Boger

Nevada continues to see slow job growth as a significant number of people in the state remain jobless. 

According to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Nevada added roughly 34-hundred jobs in September, marking the fifth straight month of job growth. 

However, Nevada is still down more than 127-thousand jobs compared to that same period last year.

A vast majority of those without jobs are in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area where unemployment there remains in the double digits.

In Washoe County, the jobless rate is hovering around 6.7 percent, that’s down more than 13-thousand jobs compared to last year. 

Most of the state’s unemployed stem from the leisure and hospitality sector.

Las Vegas Raiders’ Game Moved Due To COVID-19
By KUNR Staff

The Las Vegas Raiders’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday has been moved. The NFL announced Thursday, that Sunday's game will air earlier in the day, moving from 5:20 p.m. to 1 p.m., according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The change follows news Offensive Tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID-19 causing several other players to undergo the league's contact tracing protocol. The league replaced the Raiders-Bucs game with the game between Seattle and Arizona.

9:13 a.m. | October 22, 2020

Quad Counties Report 21 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Danna O’Connor

Carson City Health and Human Services is reporting 21 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 additional recoveries from the disease in the Quad-County Region. 

As of Tuesday, this brings the total number of cases to 1,667, with 1,468 recoveries and 21 deaths; 178 cases remain active.

There is a drive-thru flu vaccination and COVID-19 testing event for Quad-County residents today from 3-5 p.m. at the Silver Springs Senior Center and tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. at the Lockwood Senior Center.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

6:45 p.m. | October 21, 2020

Washoe County COVID-19 Report
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County reported 117 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths today. The first individual was a female in her 80s with an underlying health condition and the second was a male in his 70s with underlying health conditions. The third individual was a male in his 60s, although it’s unknown if there were underlying health conditions.

There are now over 1,500 active cases and over 11,800 total cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County.

Owner of Casale’s Halfway House Dies Due To COVID-19
By Jayden Perez

A local restaurant owner in Reno has died from COVID-19 complications. Tony Stempeck, the owner and operator of Casale’s Halfway House in Reno, died due to the virus, according to KOLO. 

Casale’s Halfway House has been in operation for 82 years and plans to reopen early next month.

Nevada Small Business Grant Program’s Deadline Receives Additional $20 million
By Jayden Perez

The Pandemic Emergency Technical Support grant program received $20 million in funding. 

The application deadline is tomorrow at 5 p.m. With the grant, small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 that does not have to be paid back.

Nevada Plans No Immediate Changes As COVID-19 Cases Spike
By The Associated Press

The rate of coronavirus infections is steadily rising in Nevada, but state officials have no plans to reimplement restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Gov. Steve Sisolak said Tuesday that the state's spike was in line with national and worldwide trends. He said he hopes not to reimplement restrictions on businesses and large public gatherings and implored residents not to succumb to "COVID fatigue." The rate of infections has been increasing since Nevada eased restrictions on public gatherings Oct. 1. Because of the number of new cases, the White House Coronavirus Task Force has since re-designated the state as a “red zone.”

Virus Spikes Have Officials Looking To Shore Up Hospitals
By The Associated Press

Hospitals around the United States are starting to buckle from a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with several states setting records for the number of people hospitalized and leaders scrambling to find extra beds and staff. New highs in cases have been reported in states big and small in recent days. With persistent resistance to statewide mask mandates, some states are relying on individuals to do the right thing to stem the tide of the virus. Other states are worried about the spike putting pressures on the health system and are making plans for ensuring those infected get the hospital care they need.

9:48 a.m. | October 21, 2020

Elko County Reports 18 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Danna O’Connor

Elko County reported eighteen new cases and eleven recoveries of COVID-19 yesterday. Nine active cases are currently hospitalized. 

So far, the county has 1,245 confirmed cases of the disease and 11 people have died from COVID-19.

There will be free testing for COVID 19 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Peppermill in West Wendover today and at the Elko County Fairgrounds on Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Quad Counties Report Another Death Due To COVID-19
By Danna O’Connor

Carson City Health and Human Services reported an additional death due to COVID-19 in the Quad-County Region yesterday. The individual was a male Lyon County resident in his 80s. 

Officials are also reporting 26 new cases and 33 additional recoveries from COVID-19. 

This brings the total number of cases to 1,646, with 1,444 recoveries and 21 deaths. 

There are some drive-thru flu vaccination and COVID-19 testing events coming up for Quad-County residents:

  • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 4-6 p.m. at Carson Middle School (1140 W. King St., Carson City)
  • Thursday, October 22, 2020 from 3-5 p.m. at Silver Springs Senior Center (2945 Ft. Churchill St., Silver Springs)
  • Friday, October 23, 2020 from 3-5 p.m. at Lockwood Senior Center (800 Peri Ranch Rd., Lockwood)

Get Caught Up:

October 20, 2020 | Regional Updates

  • Carson City School District Offers Free Testing For Staff
  • Pyramid Lake To Reopen To Public Nov. 2
  • Thousands of Washoe County Residents Participated In The First Days of Early Voting
  • The Mountain West Football Season Will Begin This Weekend
  • State Updates COVID Guidance For Performers
  • Gov. Steve Sisolak Announces Small Business Grant

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

Danna has been with KUNR Public Radio since 1995. She started as a weekend announcer, then full time jazz host and in 2008 became the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition.
Michelle Billman is the news director at KUNR Public Radio in Reno, Nevada where she oversees a scrappy crew of multimedia storytellers. She’s a transplant from the East Coast, where she earned degrees in creative writing and English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Virginia Tech.
Paul Boger is a former reporter 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 a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
Jayden Perez is a former web producer and student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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