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

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

4:50 p.m. | March 9, 2021

Higher Than Average Number Of New Daily Cases Reported In Nevada
By Paul Boger

Nevada health officials reported a higher-than-average number of new daily coronavirus cases Tuesday.

The two-week rolling average of new daily cases has greatly declined since last January to just 245 per day. But health officials reported more than 400 news cases Tuesday, the highest number of daily cases since mid-February.

At the same time, the state’s test positivity dropped to 6.2%, another step closer to the World Health Organization’s goal of a 5% positivity-rate which it recommends for governments to fully reopen.

Fewer than 400 people in Nevada are currently hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. State officials estimate roughly 9% of the state’s total population is fully vaccinated.

Health officials also reported 14 additional COVID-19 deaths Tuesday. In all, 5,054 Nevadans have died. Nearly 297,000 Nevadans have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic last year. 

In Washoe County, the health district reported 38 news cases and zero deaths while 3,057 cases remain active, countywide. Thus far, 649 Washoe County residents have died from COVID-19.

Sen. Cortez Masto Touts Healthcare Protections In New COVID Relief Bill
By Isaac Hoops

Nevada’s senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, says the new federal coronavirus relief bill will include money to protect the health benefits of unemployed workers. 

Current estimates project Nevada could get as much as $4.1 billion under the American Rescue Plan currently before Congress. 

While the measure still needs final approval from the House, the legislation includes subsidies for COBRA premiums, which will allow unemployed or furloughed workers to continue to receive health care benefits.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the House vote, Senator Cortez Masto says the relief package will help protect some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

“Help is on the way. I am proud that the Senate has passed the American rescue plan because it contains so much support for Nevada's hardest-hit communities, from stimulus checks to more money for vaccines to support families with children, and funding to safely reopen our schools.”

Nevada’s sole Republican in Washington D.C, Representative Mark Amodei, is, so far, the only member of the state’s Congressional delegation to vote against the relief bill. 

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, March 8, 2021

6:00 p.m. | March 8, 2021

Nevada Nears WHO Test-Positivity Goal
By Paul Boger

Nevada’s COVID-19 test positivity rate is nearing the World Health Organization’s 5% goal. 

The state’s two-week test-positivity rate dropped to 6.5% over the weekend. That’s the closest Nevada has gotten the World Health Organization’s goal since September 2020. 

Roughly 296,000 residents have tested positive for the virus, so far. That’s about one in ten people.

The two-week rolling average of new daily deaths has also dropped to six per day. Since the start of the pandemic, 5,040 Nevadans have died, a vast majority of whom were 70 or older.

Statewide, public health officials in Nevada reported 203 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths Monday. That was lower than the state's two-week rolling average of 263 new daily cases. 

In Washoe County, the health district confirmed 47 new cases of the virus, but no additional deaths. There are currently fewer than 32,00 active cases, countywide.

New CDC Guidelines For Fully Vaccinated People
By Isaac Hoops

Public health officials in Nevada are reviewing the Center for Disease Control’s new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for the fully vaccinated. 

These guidelines allow for unmasked visits with other fully vaccinated people or those who are low-risk.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. 

Masks and physical distancing are still recommended when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.

Nevada Governor Bets On Safety As Others Lift Virus Rules
By The Associated Press

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is looking to use the state’s safety protocols as a selling point to draw tourists. Sisolak discussed his work to balance the state's tourism industry while also containing the coronavirus in an interview with the Associated Press. Nearly 300,000 Nevadans have tested positive for the virus, including Sisolak. He went on to say he hopes vaccines will prevent future loss, contain the virus, and balance the economy to pre-pandemic levels.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Friday, March 5, 2021

5:06 p.m. | March 5, 2021

More Than 8 Percent Of Nevadans Have Completed Their COVID-19 Vaccinations
By Michelle Billman

Nevada has reached 5,020 deaths related to COVID-19 and more than 295,000 cases since the start of the pandemic one year ago. More than 15% of the state’s population has had an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while more than 8% are fully vaccinated.

In Washoe County, health officials are reporting three additional deaths, bringing the total of deaths related to the virus there up to nearly 650.

New Legislation To Support Health Care Workers’ Mental Health During Covid-19
By Jayden Perez

A proposed piece of legislation is aimed at reducing and preventing mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals.

Senator Jacky Rosen announced her co-sponsorship of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act on Friday. The bill is named in honor of Dr. Lorna Breen, a physician who died by suicide while serving on the frontlines of the pandemic.

California Governor Signs Law Aimed At Putting Kids In Class
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law aimed at returning public school students to classrooms. Newsom signed the law on Friday, a day after it passed the state Legislature by a wide margin. The law offers $2 billion to school districts that provide in-person instruction by the end of March. It also offers another $4.6 billion for all schools to help students catch up on what they have missed. At least 85% of that money must be spent on in-person learning. Critics say the bill doesn't go far enough while some teachers still resist returning to the classroom.

California To Let Major League Baseball, Disneyland Reopen
By The Associated Press

California is allowing people to attend Major League Baseball games and other sports, go to Disneyland and watch live performances in limited capacities starting April 1. The rules announced Friday coincide with baseball's opening day. The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics all have home games scheduled for April 1. California divides its counties into four color-coded tiers based on the spread of the coronavirus. Attendance limits are based on what tier a county is in. Theme parks can open at 15% capacity in the tier that's the second-highest risk level and only people who live in California can buy tickets. Sports in areas with the most spread will be limited to 100 people.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, March 4, 2021

6:54 p.m. | March 4, 2021

Nevada Marks 5,000 Dead From COVID On Eve Of Anniversary
By Paul Boger

Health officials in Nevada reported 385 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional COVID-19 deaths Thursday.

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Nevada. Since then, more than 295,000 people in the state have contracted the virus.

And while the state has seen three distinct waves of infection, current COVID metrics seem to be on a continual downward trajectory. 

Nevada's two-week test-positivity rate and the rolling average of new daily cases at their lowest levels since last summer. Hospitalizations are at their lowest levels since last October. 

Nevada also marked a grim milestone Thursday, as the state surpassed more than 5,000 COVID-19 deaths. 

The news comes just one day shy of the anniversary of the state's first confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

In a video, Governor Steve Sisolak called the milestone a historic and significant loss for the state but says hope is on the horizon.

“We are carrying out the largest vaccination rollout in our history, and we continue to get shots in arms of thousands of Nevadans each and every day. And as we vaccinate Nevadans, we must remain vigilant by social distancing ourselves, wearing masks and getting the vaccine when you are eligible.”

Sisolak has ordered flags across the state to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Friday.

Overall, Nevada's COVID-19 mortality rate appears to be holding steady at 1.7%, which is in-line with the national average. In total, 5005 people have died from the coronavirus, statewide.

Health officials in Washoe County reported zero deaths and just 48 new cases of COVID-19, while 3,555 cases remain active, countywide. In the first year of the pandemic, 646 Washoe County residents have died.

Janssen Vaccine May Bolster Vaccination Efforts In Washoe County
By Paul Boger

Health Officials in Washoe County say they expect to see the percentage of fully vaccinated people increase dramatically in the coming weeks.

According to the latest estimates from the Washoe County Health District, roughly one-in-ten county residents are fully vaccinated. The number is closer to 8%, statewide. 

But with the state's allotment of the new, single-shot, Jannsen vaccine already going into arms, health officials expect that number to increase rapidly.

“The actual number of medical providers that have gone through the initial process to be approved to receive the COVID vaccine far exceeds the number of providers actually receiving the vaccine,” said James English, Washoe County's COVID-19 Response Regional Operations Chief. “With these additional allotments and the Janssen vaccine, we're able to provide additional providers vaccine which we weren't before.”

Washoe County received 3,600 doses in its first shipment of the vaccine, last week. Health officials say they don't expect another shipment until mid-month. 

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

8:00 p.m. | March 3, 2021

About 16% Of Washoe Residents Have Received First COVID-19 Shot
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada has administered more than 694,000 COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, slightly more than 14% of the population has received their first shot and nearly 8% have gotten both doses.

This comes as the state is reporting an average of fewer than 300 daily cases, along with seven deaths per day over the last two weeks.

Washoe County officials also reported one COVID-19-related death Wednesday, bringing the total to 646 lives lost.

About 16% of Washoe County residents have received their first COVID-19 shot and more than 9% have gotten both doses.

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 Clinics: More Vaccines Going To Rich Than At-Risk
By The Associated Press

California's governor says a commitment to equity is driving his administration's centralized approach to vaccinating residents. But community health centers say they've watched as initial shipments of the coronavirus vaccine went to larger hospitals, leaving their high-risk patients to wait. Community health centers in California care for the more than 7 million largely low-income people whom Gov. Gavin Newsom and others say they want to reach. The centers are in areas with higher concentrations of poverty and fewer providers who take Medicaid. Dr. Efrain Talamantes is chief operating officer for AltaMed Health Services, in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He says his patients and staff are often an afterthought despite the emphasis on equity.

Get Caught Up:

March 2, 2021 | Regional Updates

  • Washoe Reports 3 Additional COVID-19-Related Deaths
  • Reno Resident Makes Remarkable Recovery After Suffering From COVID-19
  • As Virus-era Attacks On Asians Rise, Past Victims Look Back

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.
Isaac Hoops is a former student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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