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Public Health

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Jan. 20-26, 2021

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

7:02 p.m. | January 26, 2021

Nevada Records Fewer Than 1,000 New COVID Cases Two Days-In-A-Row
By Paul Boger

Health officials in Nevada confirmed fewer than 1000 new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row on Tuesday.

The newest data from the state marks the first time since early November Nevada has recorded fewer than a thousand new daily cases.

And while health officials are hesitant to call it a trend, it is part of the state's overall decline in COVID-19 metrics. That includes the two-week rolling average of new daily cases which has now dropped to 1,212. A couple of weeks ago that number was closer to 1,700.

The test-positivity rate has also seen critical declines in recent days, dropping by a half-a-percentage-point from the previous day, to 18.9 percent.

Despite the improvement, the state reported 59 additional COVID deaths on Tuesday.

Nevada COVID Response has confirmed 272,853 cases since the start of the pandemic and 4,088 people have died statewide.

In Washoe County, recoveries continue to outpace new cases 391-to-56, and 12,606 cases remain active. The health district also reported three additional coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday. Thus far, 587 people have died from COVID-19 county-wide.

Carson City Health and Human Services is reporting one additional death due to COVID-19 in the Quad-County Region, in addition to 16 new cases and 133 additional recoveries from the virus. This brings the total number of cases to 10,641, with 182 deaths in the Carson City, Storey, Lyon and Douglas County area. 

California To Take More Control Over Slow Vaccine Delivery
By The Associated Press

California is revamping its delivery system mid-stride, centralizing what has been a hodgepodge of county systems and streamlining appointment sign-up, notification, and eligibility for its 40 million residents. The state's health agency on Tuesday said third-party administrators would take over ordering and distributing vaccine doses with a new state secretary in charge of logistics. The move comes after California faced criticism for a slow rollout as coronavirus cases soared and hospital beds filled up with patients in much of the state. Residents have been baffled by the varying systems as some counties will vaccinate people 65 and older while others are limited to the more restrictive 75 and up.

California Reverses Stay-At-Home Order As Conditions Improve
By The Associated Press

Business owners hailed Gov. Gavin Newsom's decision to lift stay-at-home orders across California in response to improving coronavirus conditions. But local health officials expressed concern that it could reverse the recent sharp drop in cases and hospitalizations. The turnaround comes after a month after some hospitals were drawing up plans for rationing care and as ICU capacity still sits at 0% in the vast Southern California region. The order's end allows churches and restaurants to open for outdoor services and other businesses to reopen as early as this week.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, January 25, 2021

9:19 p.m. | January 25, 2021

More Contagious Coronavirus Strain Found In Nevada
By Paul Boger

Nevada public health officials say they have detected a more contagious strain of COVID-19 in Nevada.

The B.1.1.7 virus — also known as the U.K. variant of COVID-19 — was detected in Southern Nevada last week, and its genome sequenced over the weekend. While it remains unclear whether this mutation is more dangerous than more common variants, health officials warn it is more contagious.

Dr. Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, says the discovery underlines the need for continued vigilance.

“It’s still in the very early stages. It’s in the very early stages where public health can do its best work and has the largest opportunity to stop something like this,” Pandori explained.

Overall, Nevada has seen important declines in coronavirus-related metrics. The two-week rolling average of new daily cases has dropped below 1,300. The test-positivity rate now hovers around 19.5 percent, down more than two percent from earlier this month. The number of hospitalizations and deaths have also dropped but at a slower rate.

Nevada COVID Response has confirmed nearly 272,000 cases since the start of the pandemic. More than 4,000 people have died statewide.

Recoveries outpaced new cases in Washoe County Monday, 368-to-75. The health district also reported one additional coronavirus-related death. A total of 584 people have died from COVID-19 countywide. Nearly 13,000 cases remain active.

The Quad Counties experienced an overall decline in active COVID-19 cases Monday. Health officials also reported four COVID-19 deaths. A total of 181 people living in and around the capital city have died since March. More than 10,600 cases have so far been reported.

5:28 p.m. | January 25, 2021

Washoe County To Receive Static Vaccine Allocation For Next 2-4 Weeks
By Olivia Ali

The Washoe County Health District said the county is expecting a static allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state for the next two to four weeks. The number of vaccines expected during this period was not defined.

Washoe County received 6,250 doses of the vaccine this week, with 1,800 of the doses sent to private distributors, such as Smith’s Pharmacy, for people 70 and older. The remainder of the vaccines were split between five of the 17 federal providers in the county.

Besides people 70 and older, various essential workers are eligible for the vaccine. During a press conference Monday, James English from the health district said the county is focusing on vaccinating Washoe County School District staff members.

California Governor Lifts Regional Stay-At-Home Orders, Returns To County-Based Restrictions
By The Associated Press

California has lifted regional stay-at-home orders statewide in response to improving coronavirus conditions. Public health officials said Monday that the state will return to county-by-county restrictions. Local officials could choose to continue stricter rules. The state is also lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The decision comes with improving trends in the rate of infections, hospitalizations, intensive care unit capacity and vaccinations. The lifting of the order is based on projections that the state says show improving ICU conditions. Officials have not yet shared the data behind the forecasts.

New COVID-19 Strain Detected In Nevada
By Olivia Ali

A new strain of the coronavirus has been detected in Nevada by the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

The new B.1.1.7 strain was detected in a symptomatic woman in her 30s with a Las Vegas address.

This variant of the coronavirus first emerged in the U.K. at the end of 2020. Since then, it has been detected in several other countries, including the United States and Canada.

The Nevada State Public Health Lab has been testing positive COVID-19 virus samples for the B.1.1.7 strain since mid-December. The lab also plans to use CARES Act funds to purchase equipment to help identify mutations within all viruses through genetic sequencing.

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Nevada Church's COVID-19 Case
By The Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused a rural Nevada church's request to weigh in on a legal battle over the government's authority to limit the size of religious gatherings. The high court denied Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley's petition Monday, seeking to review the case on its merits. Attorneys general from 19 other states had recently joined in support of the church. They were urging the Supreme Court to rule on the Nevada case to help bring uniformity to various standards that courts across the country have used to balance the interests of public safety and freedom of religion.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Friday, January 22, 2021

4:45 p.m. | January 22, 2021

Nevada’s COVID-19 Death Toll Is Approaching 4,000
By Michelle Billman

In Nevada, the death toll from COVID-19 is at 3,958 and the state’s test positivity rate has ticked down slightly to just under 20%. Nevada’s daily average of new cases is now down to 1,365 reported over the last two-week period.

In Washoe County, health officials are reporting three deaths related to COVID-19 Friday. The deceased all had underlying health conditions and ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s. The death toll in Washoe is just under 580.

At this point, the health district has administered just over 13,000 vaccines, with a small portion of those being second doses.

Official: Nevada's Virus Vaccine Allotment Is ‘Low, Slow’
By The Associated Press

Nevada has administered more than 137,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. But state coronavirus task force chief Caleb Cage said Friday that Nevada's vaccine allocation from the federal government has been “low, slow and weekly” and “is not enough to meet our needs or our capacity.” Cage said the health district in southern Nevada, which includes Las Vegas and where three-quarters of the state's population lives, has the capacity to administer about 92,000 doses a week. But the entire state is only getting about 36,000 doses a week. He says Nevada is doing everything it can to press for more doses.

California Reports Record Daily COVID-19 Death Toll Of 764
By The Associated Press

California is reporting a one-day record of 764 COVID-19 deaths, but the rate of new infections is falling. The deaths reported Friday by the California Department of Public Health top the previous mark of 708 set on Jan. 8. In the last two days, California has recorded 1,335 deaths. Hospitalizations and newly confirmed cases have been falling, however, and health officials are growing more optimistic that the worst of the surge is over. The 23,024 new cases reported Friday are less than half the mid-December peak of nearly 54,000. Hospitalizations have fallen below 20,000, a drop of more than 10% in two weeks.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, January 21, 2021

5:47 p.m. | January 21, 2021

Downward Trend Appears In Nevada’s New COVID Case Count
By Paul Boger

Health officials are "cautiously optimistic" the number of new coronavirus cases in Nevada may be moving in the right direction. 

Nevada's two-week moving average of new COVID-19 daily cases hovered around 1430 on Thursday. That's down sharply from last month. 

State data shows hospitalizations have also steadily declined since late December, and that may soon translate to fewer COVID-19-related deaths. 

“Based on the lesser impact of the holidays than what we anticipated it really is possible we’re at the worst point, right now, and we’ll maybe see some relief in the future,” said Kyra Morgan with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. “It’s a little bit too early to say that with certainty, but that’s my best guess based on the numbers.”

Despite recent spikes, the state's 14-day moving average of COVID-19 deaths has seen an overall decline over the last few weeks.

Nevada's test positivity rate, however, remains high at 20.5%. 

Statewide, more than 266,000 people have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic and 8,457 people have died.

In Washoe County, the health district reported nearly 700 recoveries and 176 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. They also reported three additional deaths, bringing the area's total death count to 576.

More Vaccine Needed To Ramp-Up Inoculation Efforts in Washoe County
By Paul Boger

Washoe County health officials say they’re administering about a thousand COVID-19 vaccinations a day, but more vaccine is needed to ramp-up those efforts.

At the current rate, it could take more than a year to get everyone in Washoe County inoculated from COVID-19. That's why James English, the Regional Operation Chief for COVID Response, is urging residents to have patience. He says it may take weeks before health officials can offer the vaccine to anyone outside the state's current plan.

“We can be anywhere from three to five weeks out before we can really jump into that community support frontline unless the vaccine becomes more available.”

According to English, public and private healthcare providers have, so far, administered more than 12,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in the county.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

6:13 p.m. | January 20, 2021

Nevada Reports Grim Record Of COVID-19 Deaths, Breaking Previous Record Set Saturday
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada reported a grim record of 71 COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday. This breaks Saturday’s previous record of 63 lives lost. There have been a total of over 3,800 COVID-19 deaths since March.

In Nevada, on average, there have been about 1,500 new daily cases over the last two weeks, along with 20 deaths daily during the same time period. 

There are over 1,700 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 statewide and 77% of staffed hospital beds are occupied, according to the Nevada Hospital Association.

The Washoe County Health District reported five additional COVID-19-related deaths Wednesday, bringing the total to 573. The county also reported 68 additional cases.

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

Washoe County Health District Vaccinating Educators And Small Law Enforcement Agencies
By Lucia Starbuck

The Washoe County Health District has administered over 11,000 COVID-19 vaccines. They’ve received over 17,000 doses, meaning they’ve used up nearly 65% of the doses they have on hand.

The health district is currently prioritizing industries such as education, childcare facilities, tutoring centers, small law enforcement agencies and Nevada System of Higher Education staff.

For seniors over the age of 70, Renown HealthSaint Mary’sSmith’s and Walgreens are scheduling appointments for vaccinations. 

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

California Pins Vaccine Hopes On Biden Administration
By The Associated Press

California officials are pinning their hopes on President-elect Joe Biden as they struggle to obtain coronavirus vaccines to curb a surge that has packed hospitals and morgues. Doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been arriving haphazardly as they make their way from the federal government through the state and finally to counties, cities and hospitals. San Francisco's public health department says it's likely to run out of vaccine on Thursday. But Mayor London Breed and others say they're hopeful that Biden will provide more resources for vaccination after he's inaugurated on Wednesday. California this week surpassed 3 million COVID-19 cases.

Audit: More Virus Money Should Have Gone To Small Counties
By The Associated Press

California's auditor says the state should have spent more money helping its smaller counties battle the coronavirus. Auditor Elaine Howle said the state's 16 most populous counties got nearly twice the amount per person than the 42 smaller counties. That's because the state decided to send some of its allocation to those large counties éven though they had already gotten direct funding from the federal government. The Department of Finance said the state Legislature approved the funding strategy. The audit was the first of Howle's reports looking at how the state is spending billions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid.

Get Caught Up:

January 20, 2021 | Regional Updates

  • One In Five People Getting Tested For COVID Are Testing Positive In Nevada
  • Thousands Sign Up For Washoe County’s Vaccine Waitlist
  • COVID-19 Vaccines Become Available At Several Pharmacies
  • Reno Municipal Court Jumps Ahead In Vaccination Line
  • Washoe County Health District Needs Help Administering Vaccine
  • 65% Of Nevadans Say They’re Likely To Get The COVID-19 Vaccine Survey Says

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

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