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Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Feb. 3-9, 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 9, 2021

5:22 p.m. | February 9, 2021

Washoe Reports Lowest New Daily Cases On Tuesday Since Mid-June
By Lucia Starbuck

New daily COVID-19 cases have been declining in Washoe. 

Over the last two weeks, there have been an average of 81 additional cases per day. The number of cases reported on Tuesday was below that average. There were only 13 cases reported, which is the lowest since June 17. 

There were also four additional deaths reported in Washoe on Tuesday.

Statewide, there have been an average of about 700 new daily cases over the last two weeks and 16 deaths daily during that same period.

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.

California Uses ZIP Codes, Outreach To Boost Vaccine Equity
By The Associated Press 

Counties in California and other places in the U.S. are trying to ensure they vaccinate people in largely Black, Latino and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. San Francisco is reserving some vaccines for seniors in the two ZIP codes hit hardest by the pandemic. In Southern California, Riverside County has partnered with an immigrant advocacy group to vaccinate farmworkers. Nationwide, states are struggling to distribute vaccines equitably even as officials try to define what equity means. Officials are debating what risk factors gets someone to the head of the line: those in poverty, communities of color, the work they do or if they have a disability.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, February 8, 2021

4:06 p.m. | February 8, 2021

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Declining In Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 hospitalizations are declining in Nevada.

Last Thursday, the number of people hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 dipped below 1,000 patients for the first time since mid-November, according to the Nevada Hospital Association. And the number of hospitalizations has remained steady.

New daily cases are also declining statewide. An average of more than 700 new daily cases have been reported over the last two weeks. 

Health officials are saying transmission is still high, with the test positivity rate at 15.5% statewide. They want to see that rate below 10% and closer to five. 

In Washoe County, there were 71 cases reported Monday, with no new deaths. 

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 To Begin Vaccinating Community Support Frontline Staff
By Olivia Ali

The Washoe County Health District is beginning COVID-19 vaccinations of community support frontline staff in the coming weeks. According to a spokesman, community frontline staff can receive their vaccines now that the final groups of educators have been vaccinated.

According to the health district, this group includes court staff, social service workers and workers who support food, shelter and other necessities of life for groups and individuals in need.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Sunday, February 7, 2021

5:48 p.m. | February 7, 2021

Nevada Continues Sustained Decline In New Daily Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 cases are on a slow, but steady downward trend in Nevada. Over the last two weeks, on average, there have been nearly 800 additional cases per day. For comparison, there were an average of nearly 1,800 new daily cases in mid-January.

Nevada’s test positivity has been declining as well. It’s dropped nearly 6 percent since mid-January and is now at about 16%. But, health officials say that’s still a high transmission rate.

Statewide, 57 deaths were reported over the weekend, surpassing a total of 4,500 COVID-19-related deaths since March.

Three of those deaths over the weekend were from Washoe County, and 132 additional COVID-19 cases were reported since Friday.

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

California Adds Mass Vaccination Sites Despite Short Supply
By The Associated Press

California is adding more mass vaccination clinics even though short supplies have forced it to ration doses. Santa Clara County and the San Francisco 49ers will open the state's largest vaccination site next week at Levi's Stadium. It will be able to handle 15,000 shots a day. But Los Angeles County says it will limit new COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure second doses are available for those awaiting them. Meanwhile, the state’s worst coronavirus surge continues to abate. The state is seeing about 14,500 new cases daily — down by nearly half from two weeks ago.

California Revises Indoor Church Guidelines After Ruling
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has issued revised guidelines for indoor church services after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the state’s ban on indoor worship during the coronavirus pandemic. The new guidelines limit attendance at indoor services in areas with widespread or substantial virus spread to 25% of a building's capacity. Indoor services in areas with moderate to minimum spread are limited to 50% capacity. In the most significant legal victory against California’s COVID-19 health orders, the high court told California it can't continue with a ban on indoor services during the coronavirus pandemic, but it can limit attendance to 25% of a building's capacity and restrict singing and chanting inside.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Saturday, February 6, 2021

12:18 p.m. | February 6, 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 Monday for our regular updates.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Friday, February 5, 2021

4:20 p.m. | February 5, 2021

Early Reports Indicate More Side Effects For Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose, But They’re Temporary
By Michelle Billman

In Washoe County, health officials are reporting four additional deaths related to COVID-19. The death toll is now 613 people. Nearly 59,000 vaccines have been administered by various organizations in Washoe. <--break->

The health district and CDC say reports indicate that there may be more side effects after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. Those officials say side effects show that your body is building protection from the virus. While unpleasant, they are temporary.

Statewide, the average number of daily new COVID-19 cases is down to 812 and the test positivity rate has ticked down to 16.3 percent.

Governor Sisolak Announces New Initiative To Address Inequitable Vaccine Distribution
By Jayden Perez

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has announced a new Equity and Fairness Initiative designed to ensure that equity is the emphasis on all vaccination efforts.

Vaccine distribution has increased over the past month, but it has not been distributed fairly. According to data released by the Southern Nevada Health District, Clark County has a disparity in who is receiving the vaccine that does not reflect the demographics of that region. 

There are also concerns that the Nevada COVID-19 Vaccination Playbook is not being followed. The playbook serves as Nevada’s plan, statewide and locally, regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, including distribution.

This has resulted in problems such as inequitable allocation of vaccines, confusion among the public, and access to vaccines by ineligible groups or individuals.  

Pentagon Deploys Troops To Fuel Covid-19 Vaccine Drive
By The Associated Press

The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 troops to five vaccination centers, two of which are located in California. This will be the first wave of increased military support for the White House campaign to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. President Joe Biden has called for setting up 100 mass vaccination centers around the country within a month. Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt says military personnel will arrive at those centers in a little over a week. Three additional centers are expected to be announced soon.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, February 4, 2021

6:38 p.m. | February 4, 2021

Nevada Continues To See Sustained COVID-19 Declines
By Paul Boger

Nevada reported fewer than a thousand new COVID-19 cases for the fifth straight day. Health officials also reported 51 deaths on Thursday. 

The two-week rolling average of new daily cases is about 850. That number has been cut roughly in half from early January.

The state's test positivity rate has also dropped to 16.5%. 

However, Nevada's two-week rolling average of COVID-19 deaths has seen a much slower decline. Health officials say they expect that number to come down as more people get vaccinated.

Statewide, more than 281,000 people have, so far, contracted the virus and 4,424 people have died.

In Washoe County, the health district reported four COVID-19-related deaths and 149 new cases of the disease on Thursday. Health officials also reported more than 600 recoveries, bringing the number of active cases to roughly 10,000. Since last March, 610 people in Washoe County have died as a result of COVID-19.

Carson City Health and Human Services reported one death and 20 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Nearly 11,000 cases have been reported in the region surrounding Carson City, with more than 3,200 cases still active. There have been 192 deaths in the area. 

Washoe County To Vaccinate All Public School Teachers By End of Next Week
By Noah Glick

As the Biden administration pushes to re-open schools and get students back in classrooms, local officials are confident they'll have teachers vaccinated by the end of next week.

According to Washoe County COVID-19 Operations Chief James English, the county expects to administer more than 2,600 doses of the vaccine to Washoe County School District staff over the weekend, with one more event scheduled next Saturday.

As of Thursday, English said the county health district has administered more than 16,000 first doses of the vaccine, and nearly 7,800 second doses.

People who receive their second dose may experience common side effects such as irritation or swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, or nausea.

Elko County Creates Fund To Pay COVID-19 Fines For Businesses
By Paul Boger

The Elko County Commission has approved a fund that uses private donations to help pay fines for businesses found in violation of Nevada's COVID-19 restrictions. 

First reported by the Elko Daily Free Press, commissioners created the fund after passing a resolution last month that criticized the state's COVID response.

The resolution also seeks to create a legal challenge to Governor Steve Sisolak's response to the pandemic. 

According to the commission, the fund will run entirely off private donations, and will not include any taxpayer money.

Nevada OSHA has registered 150 COVID-19 complaints, according to the agency’s dashboard.


Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, February 3, 2021

8:30 p.m. | February 3, 2021

Nevada Sees Consistent Downward Trend Of COVID-19 Cases Since Mid-January
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada health officials say the state has seen a consistent downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since mid-January. 

The state’s Biostatistician Kyra Morgan said she’s optimistic.

“This is the first time we’ve seen what I would consider a sustained positive trend, positive being downward, in a long time. So, we’re absolutely hopeful that that continues,” Morgan said.

Nevada is reporting fewer than 800 new daily cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks. For comparison, the state was seeing an average of 1,500 about two weeks ago. 

Cases in Washoe County have declined as well, and the county’s test positivity rate has dropped over 5 percent over the last few weeks according to the head of the Washoe County Health District, Kevin Dick. 

But, he said with the upcoming Super Bowl weekend, this is not the time to relax. 

“While our numbers have decreased, they are still quite high, by all standards,” Dick said.

Washoe reported 95 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths on Wednesday.

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

5 More In Vegas Area Reported With UK Coronavirus Variant
By The Associated Press

Health officials in Las Vegas say five more area residents have been found to have the contagious coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom. The Southern Nevada Health District said Tuesday that all five had close contact with the person whose first-in-the-state case was reported Jan. 25. Officials had said that woman was in her 30s, had no travel history and reported limited contact with people outside her household. Authorities say virus variants recently identified in Britain, South Africa and Brazil spread more quickly between people, and studies are looking at whether they're resistant to vaccines.

Concerns In Nevada Rise Over Possibility Of Vaccine Skeptics
By The Associated Press

Demand for coronavirus vaccines among early priority groups in Nevada has been high, but officials worry that they may encounter resistance among people to get the shots as more become eligible. Nevada has historically ranked among the lowest in the nation for vaccination rates for viruses like influenza. State officials and the non-profit vaccine education group Immunize Nevada are planning public outreach efforts for when the vaccine becomes more widely available. But they are hindered by a lack of data about demographic groups or segments of the workforce resisting vaccination efforts since doses became available in December.

California Coronavirus Hospitalizations Are Plummeting
By The Associated Press

California hospitals, which weeks ago were on the verge of rationing care, are now seeing a rapid decline in new admissions that should cut coronavirus hospitalizations in half in another month. The state's top health officer said Tuesday that intensive care capacity that had hovered at zero is now rebounding across the hardest hit areas. State officials had used plunging ICU capacities to issue stay-home orders for most of California during its worst surge. But California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says capacity is improving, while positivity rates and other indicators are also promising.

California Has Few Specifics On New State Vaccination System
By The Associated Press

California continues to change up its coronavirus vaccine system with its top health officer on Tuesday suggesting revisions to who's next in line for still-scarce doses. California health and human services secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly also had few details on a new state distribution and data collection system that aims to deliver vaccines with speed and equity. The state of nearly 40 million residents has administered more than 3.5 million doses but still lags other U.S. states in delivering doses. Insurer Blue Shield will be responsible for boosting vaccinations and creating a new data platform. Officials did not disclose how much the program will cost or how Blue Shield was picked.

Political Storms Swirl Around California's Newsom Amid Virus
By The Associated Press 

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has gone from a governor in command to one lurching from one political crisis to the next as the coronavirus pandemic enters its second year. He's recently faced questions over his decisions to abruptly lift stay-at-home orders and overhaul the state's vaccine program, and his attempt to get kids back in school is stalled. Amid a Republican-led recall effort, some Democrats are starting to whisper about the need for a backup plan should voters decide to remove him. Newsom's slide points to the pain facing leaders as virus fatigue takes hold, vaccines remain elusive and voters stop laying blame on the Trump.

Get Caught Up:

February 2, 2021 | Regional Updates

  • COVID-19 Cases And Hospitalizations Decline in Nevada
  • Renown Health Allows COVID-19 Patients To Visit With Loved Ones After Letter From Reno Widow
  • UNR Reports First Case Of COVID-19 On Campus Since Start Of Spring Semester
  • Nevada Has Administered 77% Of Its COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Three New MIS-C Cases Reported In Washoe County
  • Washoe Health Officials Respond To UK Variant Entering Nevada
  • Renown Official Expresses Concern About People Not Seeking Routine Care

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.
Noah Glick is a former content director and host 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.
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