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Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Mar. 10-16, 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, March 16, 2021

7:25 p.m. | March 16, 2021

Nevada Approaches 300,000 Total COVID-19 Cases Since Pandemic Began
By Michelle Billman

Nevada is nearing a total of 300,000 cases of COVID-19 reported since the start of the pandemic and 5,135 Nevadans have died from the virus. The average of new cases per day over the past two weeks is now just above 220 while nearly 11% of the state’s population has now been fully vaccinated. 

Washoe County health officials are reporting two additional COVID-19 deaths Tuesday and just under 50 new cases. For St. Patrick’s Day, local officials are asking residents to celebrate the holiday safely to continue preventing the spread of the virus. 

At this time, public gatherings are limited to 250 people or 50% of the fire code capacity, whichever is less. Indoor dining and beverage establishments are limited to 50% capacity. Gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 

You can view the current mitigation measures in Nevada here

DETR Waiting On Department of Labor Before Extending Benefits
By Jayden Perez

Under the federal American Rescue Plan Act, unemployment benefits will eventually be extended in Nevada.

According to KTVN, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) must receive direction from the Department of Labor on how to enact the new legislation.

DETR is in charge of distributing benefits to unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants.

Newest Nevada Vaccine Group Can Self-report Health Condition
By The Associated Press

Nevada health officials say people age 55 and older can self-report to their pharmacists any underlying health conditions that make them eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. A state statistics official said Tuesday that as eligibility broadened this week in the statewide coronavirus inoculation process, deaths from COVID-19 have fallen to an average of about four per day. That number peaked at 40 per day in mid-January. Officials widened efforts to vaccinate to people with underlying conditions, disabilities and the homeless at retail pharmacies, including at supermarkets. It's being called a step toward getting more shots in more arms statewide.

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Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Monday, March 15, 2021

5:36 p.m. | March 15, 2021

Nearly 11 Percent of Nevadans Fully Vaccinated For COVID-19
By Michelle Billman

Nevada health officials are reporting 5,121 cumulative deaths tied to COVID-19 and the state’s case total since the start of the pandemic is approaching 300,000. At the same time, nearly 11 percent of Nevadans have been fully vaccinated.

In Washoe County, there have been 48 cases reported over the past days along with more than 230 recoveries. Monday, the health district sent emails inviting more than 8,000 people aged 65 and older on its waitlist to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

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Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Friday, March 12, 2021

4:46 p.m. | March 12, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccinations Up, Test Positivity Down in Nevada
By Paul Boger

Nevada’s COVID-19 test positivity rate continues to decline even as the number of fully vaccinated people in the state increases. 

The latest numbers from the state Department of Health and Human Services show that nearly 324,000 Nevadans are fully vaccinated. That represents a little more than 10% of the state’s entire population.

In Washoe County, that number is closer to 12%, and in Carson City nearly a third of the residents are vaccinated.

At the same time, the state’s test positivity rate continues to decline, dropping to 5.8 percent — the lowest it’s been since last summer. 

State health officials reported 858 news cases of the coronavirus in Nevada Friday. Nearly half of those cases were unreported from previous days.  Health officials also reported 17 additional coronavirus deaths. Statewide, 5,097 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

In Washoe County, the health district reported 59 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths Friday. About 2,700 cases remain active. 

Currently, seniors 65 years and older in Washoe County are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Others who are eligible include healthcare workers, NSHE and K-12 education and childcare workers, grocery store employees, as well as agricultural workers and food processors.

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California Hits Equity Mark: 2M Doses To Vulnerable Areas
By The Associated Press

California on Friday announced it has administered 2 million vaccine doses to people in vulnerable, low-income ZIP codes. This will allow counties to more quickly reopen activities such as indoor dining and indoor gyms at reduced capacity. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he would set aside 40% of vaccine for residents of some 400 ZIP codes the state deems most vulnerable. The point is to tie reopening standards to ensuring that the people most impacted by the pandemic are protected against the virus. By hitting the 2 million mark, the state will reassess counties and allow them to move to the red tier within 48 hours instead of waiting until Tuesday.

California Still Losing Jobs, But Recovery Likely Coming
By The Associated Press

California lost close to 70,000 jobs in January. But new numbers released Friday by the state's Employment Development Department show the unemployment rate declined slightly, to 9%. That's mostly because the state's labor force continues to shrink as more people stop looking for work. The biggest losses were for restaurant and hotels that have been the hit hardest by public health orders. But the numbers released Friday were based on surveys taken the week of Jan. 12. The number of new COVID-19 cases has declined since then and the state is beginning to lift restrictions. That could improve the jobs numbers.
Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Thursday, March 11, 2021

5:50 p.m. | March 11, 2021

Nevada Sees Largest Daily Increase In New Cases In Nearly A Month
By Paul Boger

Nevada health officials reported the single largest increase in new daily cases of COVID-19 in nearly a month on Thursday. 

Since the start of the pandemic, 297,765 people in Nevada have contracted COVID-19. That represents an increase of 618 cases over the previous day. 

While the newest spike pales in comparison to daily case counts from earlier this year, it does represent the highest number of new daily cases Nevada has seen since mid-February.

Despite the higher-than-average number of new daily cases, the state’s positivity rate remained unchanged at 6%.

State data also shows fewer than 350 people are currently hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Nevada COVID Response also recorded 13 additional coronavirus deaths Thursday. Thus far into the pandemic, 5,080 Nevadans have died.

The Washoe County Health District reported zero deaths and just 23 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Fewer than 2,800 cases remain active, countywide. 

Carson City Health and Human Services reported 25 new cases and 57 recoveries in the Quad Counties Thursday while 1,603 cases remain active. 

California To Get $150 Billion In Federal COVID-19 Relief Money
By The Associated Press

California Governor Gavin Newsom's administration says the massive new federal coronavirus relief bill will pump more than $150 billion into the state's economy. Nearly half of that money will go directly to Californians in the form of $14-hundred checks and expanded unemployment benefits. Another $42 billion will go to state, county and local governments. Legislative leaders say they're interested in using the money to help people and small businesses. Newsom says he will announce his plans for the money in mid-May.

Vice President Harris To Visit Las Vegas
By The Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to visit Las Vegas next week, to tout the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The White House did not release any additional details of the vice president’s Monday visit to Las Vegas. The relief package is expected to deliver more than $4.5 to Nevada for state and local governments, schools and transportation.

Novel Coronavirus In Nevada: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

5:00 p.m. | March 10, 2021

Washoe County’s COVID Test-Positivity Rate Falls To 5%
By Paul Boger

Washoe County’s COVID-19 test-positivity rate fell to 5% Wednesday. It’s a key metric for determining whether businesses, governments and schools can fully reopen.

The World Health Organization recommends a test positivity rate of 5% or less for 14 days before communities consider lifting COVID restrictions. 

This is the first time Washoe County has reached the goal since last June.

Statewide, test-positivity is at 6% — a steep decline from mid-January when more than 21% of all COVID tests were coming back positive. 

The two-week rolling average of new daily cases continues to fall as well, with the state averaging 237 new cases a day.

According to the latest data, about 9.5% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated. 

State health officials reported 325 new coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths Wednesday. More than 297,000 Nevadans have contracted the virus since last March and 5,067 people have died.

There were 47 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths in Washoe County Wednesday. There are 2,858 active cases, countywide and  651 people in Washoe County have died from COVID-19.

Washoe County reaches 140,000 vaccines
By Olivia Ali

Health officials estimate that as much as 18% of Washoe County’s residents are now fully vaccinated. 

According to Washoe County Health Officer Kevin Dick, the county has put more than 140,000 shots into arms as of this week.

Currently, health officials are working to vaccinate people 65 and older. 

But he says the county has been able to expand vaccinations to some essential workers such as grocery store, agricultural, food processing, delivery and manufacturing employees. 

The county has also seen a decline in demand for tests. Last week, the county averaged around a thousand tests per day.

That’s down about 300 tests a day from the previous week.

Northern Nevada Medical Center Discharges Last Covid-19 Patients
By Olivia Ali

The Northern Nevada Medical Center discharged their last two COVID-19 patients this week. 

It’s the first time in nearly a year the center has had no hospitalized coronavirus patients. 

Due to the recent discharges, the hospital has been able to loosen visitation restrictions. 

Patients are now allowed one visitor between 2 and 6 p.m.

Get Caught Up:

March 9, 2021 | Regional Updates

  • Sen. Cortez Masto Touts Healthcare Protections In New COVID Relief Bill
  • Nevada Nears WHO Test-Positivity Goal
  • New CDC Guidelines For Fully Vaccinated People
  • More Than 8 Percent Of Nevadans Have Completed Their COVID-19 Vaccinations
  • New Legislation To Support Health Care Workers’ Mental Health During Covid-19
  • Janssen Vaccine May Bolster Vaccination Efforts In Washoe County

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

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