© 2024 KUNR
Illustration of rolling hills with occasional trees and a radio tower.
Serving Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
iPhone users: Having trouble listening live on KUNR.org? Click here to download our app to listen to your favorite shows.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 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, February 2, 2021

7:40 p.m. | February 2, 2021

COVID-19 Cases And Hospitalizations Decline in Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Nevada.

On average, statewide, there have been fewer than 1,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks. For comparison, that average was around 1,500 about a week and a half ago.

But, Nevada’s test positivity remains high. It’s at about 17% and has dropped over 4% since mid-January. State health officials say they want that rate to be below 10%, and really, closer to 5%.

Hospitalizations statewide have dropped as well. According to the Nevada Hospital Association, the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has been declining since the start of January. There are about 1,200 people currently hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

As for deaths, there has been an average of 16 deaths per day over the last two weeks. January was Nevada’s deadliest month in the pandemic. More than 1,100 deaths were reported, accounting for more than a quarter of all COVID-19-related deaths. About 77% of those deaths came from Las Vegas and Clark County, whereas Washoe County saw about half as many deaths in January as it did in December.

COVID-19 cases have been declining in Washoe County as well. There were 41 additional COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday, which is the lowest number of new daily cases reported since Oct. 10. There were three additional deaths in Washoe as well.

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

Renown Health Allows COVID-19 Patients To Visit With Loved Ones After Letter From Reno Widow
By Lucia Starbuck

Starting Wednesday, Renown Health will begin allowing visitors for all of their patients, including those hospitalized for COVID-19. 

Renown cited two reasons for the change in a statement. First, a large percentage of its staff is now vaccinated. Second, there's been a decline in hospitalizations.

The other push for the change came after a widow from Reno sent a letter to the head of Renown. Darlene Randolph thanked the hospital’s staff for taking care of her husband Dave, who lost his life to COVID-19 in mid-December after spending more than two weeks hospitalized. But, she said her only wish was that she had been able to be by his side in person.

Now, people can visit loved ones hospitalized with COVID-19. Patients are allowed to provide the names for two adults who can visit them, but only one at a time will be allowed. Visiting hours were also extended and are now from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m..

See David Randolph's obituary in the Reno Gazette-Journal here.

UNR Reports First Case Of COVID-19 On Campus Since Start Of Spring Semester
By Lucia Starbuck

The University of Nevada, Reno has reported its first case of COVID-19 on campus since the start of the spring semester last week. The individual was last on campus on Jan. 25 and has not been back since. 

A UNR statement said the campus will only be informed if other people have been potentially exposed but did not say exactly where the person was on campus.

In total, there have been 15 cases amongst students and staff on campus during the spring semester, as of Friday. UNR’s dashboard is only updated weekly. 

UNR’s Student Health Center is conducting COVID-19 tests daily, but appointments are needed. Learn more here

Nevada Announces Guidelines To Ramp Up COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada Health Response has released several new guidelines to ramp up vaccination efforts.

Under guidance from the Governor’s Medical Advisory team, all qualified medical service providers can administer the COVID-19 vaccine. That now includes professions such as dentists, veterinarians, and podiatrists. To sign up to begin vaccinating you can apply here

Also, vaccine events are not subject to some of the restrictions currently in place including the 50-person cap on public gatherings and the 25% capacity. But, people are still required to wear masks and social distance.

Nevada Has Administered 77% Of Its COVID-19 Vaccines
By Lucia Starbuck

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that Nevada has received over 324,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has administered nearly 77% of the doses, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency report.

FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also provided 130 personnel to assist with immunization efforts in Clark, Washoe and the Quad-Counties.

Hefty FEMA Reimbursement On The Way To Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

President Joe Biden directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fully reimburse states for the cost of mobilizing National Guard personnel, and other FEMA services costs such as masks, gloves and emergency shelter. Gov. Steve Sisolak applauded the move.

The Nevada National Guard has had a strong presence in Washoe County, helping with COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

Nevada’s Assembly Sergeant at Arms Robin Bates Passes Away Due To COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada lawmakers announced on Tuesday that Robin Bates, the state’s Assembly Sergeant at Arms, passed away on Monday night due to COVID-19. Bates was at his home and surrounded by his wife and two sons. 

Nevada’s Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson paid tribute to Bates during the legislative session on Tuesday. Frierson called Bates a friend, confidant and cheerleader, and said his joyful laugh was recognizable in the legislative hallways. 

Frierson said he will honor Bates during the session when his family members are allowed in the building. 

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

Official: Inmate Transfer Caused Health Disaster At Prison
By The Associated Press

A report by California's inspector general says misguided attempts to protect inmates from the coronavirus at one prison "caused a public health disaster" at another. Outdated tests failed to detect that some of the transferred inmates were already infected, and two of them later died. Corrections officials reiterated Monday that they had the best intentions. The report says the transfer of those inmates from the California Institution for Men east of Los Angeles to San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco at the end of May led to the deaths of 28 inmates and a correctional officer there, while infecting 75% of inmates.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, February 1, 2021

5:42 p.m. | February 1, 2021

Nevada’s Test Positivity Rate Drops About 4% Since Mid-January
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada’s test positivity rate is a little over 17%. That’s down about 4% since mid-January, but that’s still a high transmission rate according to health officials

Statewide, on average over the last two weeks, there have been about 1,000 daily cases reported, along with 16 deaths per day.

Hospitalizations statewide have dipped as well. There are currently over 1,200 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, according to the Nevada Hospital Association. That’s about 500 fewer patients than about a week and a half ago.

Washoe County reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and one additional death. There are a total of 601 COVID-19-related deaths in Washoe. 

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

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

WCHD Administers Highest Number Of Vaccines In A Single Day
By Olivia Ali

The Washoe County Health District administered over 700 vaccinations on Saturday, which is the most administered by the county in a single day so far. The health district will be administering second doses every day this week.

Additionally, the county received 500 more vaccines last week than expected. The surprise shipment allowed them to add an additional first dose pod this Thursday for essential workers.

To date, the Washoe County Health District alone has fully vaccinated nearly 6,000 people with both doses. Private pharmacies are also stepping in to distribute vaccines to eligible members of the general population.

California Governor And Unions Clash Over School Openings
By The Associated Press

An effort to reopen schools in California is foundering, stoking the frustration of parents and the governor of America's most populous state. As the one-year anniversary of distance learning approaches, parents are grappling more than ever with the toll of isolation and intense screen time on their kids' academic and emotional well-being. A $2 billion plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom to reopen schools next month has not been well received. The Legislature shows no sign of fast-tracking its approval. The state's powerful teachers unions and biggest school districts say it is unworkable, raising questions about whether K-12 schools will open at all this academic year.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Sunday, January 31, 2021

1:41 p.m. | January 31, 2021

Washoe County Reported 600th COVID-19 Death Saturday
By Michelle Billman

The death toll from COVID-19 in Washoe County reached 600 over the weekend on Saturday when three new deaths were tallied. District Health Officer Kevin Dick called the grim milestone a “stark reminder” of the devastating impact this virus has had on our community. 

During the month of January, 111 deaths were reported in Washoe. That’s exactly 100 fewer deaths than what officials saw in December. 

Across the state, the average test positivity rate continues to decline and is now at 17.7 percent. At the same time, the average number of daily new cases over the past two weeks is also in decline and currently sits at just over 1,000.

Nevada Governor, AG Denounce Counties Defying Virus Rules
By The Associated Press

Nevada's governor and attorney general are denouncing resolutions approved by five rural counties that attempt to defy state restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 statewide. Gov. Steve Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford said Friday the resolutions passed by Lyon, White Pine, Eureka and Elko Counties have no force of law and cannot override the governor's emergency directives. They said the directives have been issued under state law and upheld in courts several times. The two Democrats say everyone is tired of the pandemic. But every day Nevadans die due to COVID-19 in rural counties as well as urban areas.

As California Virus Cases Fall, More People Than Ever Dying
By The Associated Press

California has reported 40,000 coronavirus deaths as the state's steepest surge of cases begins to taper. Data reported by Johns Hopkins University shows the state passed the milestone Saturday. The grim number comes amid a sharp recent decline in cases and hospitalizations but while deaths surge at a record pace. It took six months for California to record its first 10,000 deaths, then four months to double to 20,000. In just five more weeks the state reached 30,000. It then took only 20 days to get to 40,000. Now only New York has more deaths but at this pace California will eclipse that too.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Saturday, January 30, 2021

5:44 p.m. | January 30, 2021

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, January 29, 2021

6:05 p.m. | January 29, 2021

More Than 40,000 Vaccines Administered In Washoe County
By Michelle Billman

Nevada has surpassed 276,000 cases of COVID-19 and there have been 4,218 deaths related to the virus in the state since the start of the pandemic. The average number of new daily cases over the past two weeks is down to 1,055.

In Washoe County, health officials are reporting two additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the death toll to nearly 600. There are nearly 180 new cases.

More than 40,000 vaccines have been administered in Washoe by various organizations, including the Washoe County Health District and Renown.

For local vaccine information, visit: www.covid19washoevaccine.com, which also has a waiting list that seniors can join. 

Nevada Officials: Jobless Benefits Office Overhaul Complete
By The Associated Press

Officials say Nevada's troubled unemployment benefits program has been overhauled, and a "tsunami" of claims spurred by pandemic layoffs have largely been sorted. The new department head and the outgoing leader of a governor-appointed strike force said Thursday. that unemployment office staffing has more than quadrupled, $8.3 billion in benefits have been paid and some 300,000 families are receiving benefits. Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation chief Elisa Cafferata says the goal now is "getting people an answer and getting eligible claimants paid." The strike force formed in August and led by former Democratic state lawmaker Barbara Buckley is being dissolved.

California Governor Signs Law Extending Eviction Protections
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law that extends eviction protections through the end of June. Newsom signed the law on Friday, one day after it was approved by the state Legislature. Last year, Newsom signed a law that banned evictions for unpaid rent for tenants who paid at least 25% of their rent owed after Sept. 1. The law Newsom signed Friday extends those protections through June 30. The law will also use federal stimulus dollars to pay off 80% of some tenants' unpaid rent, but only if landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20%.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, January 28, 2021

6:08 p.m. | January 28, 2021

Nevada's COVID-19 Response: State Heading In ‘Right Direction.’
Paul Boger

The state's two-week rolling average of new daily cases has seen sharp declines over the last month. In early January, Nevada was averaging nearly 2300 new cases a day. Now, it's seeing fewer than 1,100. 

When coupled with the dropping test positivity rate and decreasing hospitalizations, health officials say the state may officially be turning the corner on this latest wave of the pandemic. 

“This is really the first time we've seen a sustained downward trajectory in this peak,” said Kyra Morgan, a biostatistician with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. “Our numbers are still high, they're still more than what we had seen in our summer wave, but they're significantly less than what we were experiencing in November.”

Despite the improvements, Nevada continues to see spikes in the number of daily deaths. The state reported 47 on Thursday.

Statewide, nearly 275,000 people have, so far, contracted the virus. Almost 4,200 have died.

The Washoe County Health District reported six COVID-19-related deaths and 120 new cases on Thursday. More than 12,000 cases remain active and 595 people have died as a result of COVID-19 since last March.

Carson City Health and Human Services reported no new deaths on Thursday. They also confirmed five times as many recoveries as new cases. 

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, January 27, 29021

6:33 p.m. | January 27, 2021

Nevada’s COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate Continues To Fall
By Paul Boger

Nevada's COVID-19 test positivity rate has declined for the second-straight week. Essentially, it keeps track of how many people in the state, on average, are testing positive for COVID-19 on a daily basis.

That number has fallen over the past couple of weeks, from a high of 21.7% to a new rate of 18.6%. The World Health Organization's goal is to keep that number below 5%.

At the same time, Nevada has seen an overall decline in the two-week rolling average of new daily cases. Health officials still reported 46 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday.

Statewide, Nevada COVID Response confirmed more than a thousand new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday. So far, 273,873 people in Nevada have contracted the virus and more than 4,134 have died.

The Washoe County Health District reported two additional COVID-19 deaths and 138 new cases on Wednesday. They also reported nearly twice as many recoveries. There are 12,468 active cases. COVID-19 has killed 587 people in Washoe County since the start of the pandemic.

In the Quad Counties area, health officials reported two additional deaths due to COVID-19. That brings the area's total death toll to 184. Recoveries, otherwise, outpaced new cases. Roughly 4,000 cases remain active.

Three New MIS-C Cases Reported In Washoe County
By Jayden Perez

Three new pediatric cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C have been reported in Washoe County.

All three cases were younger than 10 years old and have since recovered. MIS-C is a rare disease associated with previous COVID-19 infection. 

The disease inflames the body’s organs and can occur approximately 2-4 weeks after the onset of COVID-19 in children and adolescents under 20 years old.

According to early studies by Centers for Disease Control, approximately two-thirds of these cases did not have pre-existing medical conditions prior to onset of the disease.

Washoe Health Officials Respond To UK Variant Entering Nevada
By Jayden Perez

Earlier this week, it was reported that the COVID-19 UK variant, known as B.1.1.7 entered Nevada through a symptomatic patient with an address in Las Vegas.

In a press conference, Washoe County Health officials said that no local cases of the variant have been reported cases so far.

According to District Health Officer Kevin Dick that doesn’t mean the variant won’t have an impact on the region.

“So, while we have not had any cases reported yet in Washoe County, we anticipate there may very well be this variant in the community already. So, it’s very important that people continue to exercise the mitigation measures of wash our hands, watch our distance, wear our masks, to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dick.

Dick also said that he believes that the COVID-19 vaccine will be effective against the variant. In addition, the variant will not have an impact on vaccine rollout plans. Vaccines will be administered in line with the supply that Washoe County is allotted.

Renown Official Expresses Concern About People Not Seeking Routine Care
By Jayden Perez

Officials from Renown Health have expressed concern over delays with community members seeking routine treatment during the pandemic.

According to physician Dr. Bret Frey, a lack of public confidence in the safety of visiting healthcare facilities has resulted in missed checkups. In more serious cases, some individuals who suffered strokes or heart attacks have also delayed going into the emergency room. 

“Well we’ve seen a number of patients come in on a delayed basis and that’s our chief concern. For folks that come in with delayed stroke symptoms that have progressed, time is brain and muscle, especially with stroke and heart attacks. I think that it’s important that people have a renewed level of confidence in the systems that serve them,” said Frey.

Frey says patients are also missing preventative exams such as mammograms and colonoscopies.

Get Caught Up:

January 27, 2021 | Regional Updates

  • Nevada Records Fewer Than 1,000 New COVID Cases Two Days-In-A-Row
  • More Contagious Coronavirus Strain Found In Nevada
  • Washoe County To Receive Static Vaccine Allocation For Next 2-4 Weeks
  • Nevada’s COVID-19 Death Toll Is Approaching 4,000
  • Downward Trend Appears In Nevada’s New COVID Case Count
  • More Vaccine Needed To Ramp-Up Inoculation Efforts in Washoe County
  • Nevada Reports Grim Record Of COVID-19 Deaths, Breaking Previous Record Set Saturday
  • Washoe County Health District Vaccinating Educators And Small Law Enforcement Agencies

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

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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.
Olivia Ali is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in journalism and minoring in history. She is also the editor-in-chief of The Nevada Sagebrush. Prior to working at KUNR, she interned at the Reno Gazette Journal as a reporting intern and at the Sacramento SPCA as a digital marketing analyst intern through the Dow Jones News Fund. After she graduates, she hopes to work in audience engagement or digital media. Outside of journalism, Olivia loves to travel, learn as much as she can and watch reality television when she gets a spare moment.
Related Content