coronavirus

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Thursday

The White House's pandemic task force convened another briefing on Wednesday afternoon amid a tense denouement for legislation aimed at helping an economy poleaxed by the disaster.

Last-minute objections on Wednesday delayed the Senate vote until late in the evening, when it passed on a vote of 96 to 0.

Exterior of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno, Nevada.
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

COVID-19 testing shortages nationwide have been a significant issue. Nevada is now one of several states that have notified the Food and Drug Administration that it’s making modifications to the test in an effort to mitigate shortages statewide.

Dr. Mark Pandori heads the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory. He talked with KUNR’s Anh Gray to break down the process involved in the development of the modified test.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

A microscopic picture of coronavirus
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Senate is negotiating how a House novel coronavirus relief package will be distributed to the public. KUNR's Bree Zender spoke with Nevada's 2nd District Congressman Mark Amodei about this pending legislation and what economic hurdles Nevada is now facing due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 fears have forced a lot of bars and restaurants to close across the Mountain West. That leaves workers in a tough spot. But some communities have found a creative way for would-be customers to chip in.


Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

In his Tuesday afternoon briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump couched earlier comments about the need to reopen the U.S. economy within weeks, emphasizing that the decision would ultimately be data driven and made in consultation with public health experts.

The president said he still wants Americans working again by Easter Sunday, something he first said during a virtual town hall with Fox News earlier in the day. But he was much more circumspect over whether that would be possible from a medical standpoint.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
People lining up along the outside of the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
Brian Bahouth / The Sierra Nevada Ally

Over the weekend, the Reno area’s largest homeless shelters closed in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The City of Reno opened the downtown Reno Events Center for more spacious, emergency housing. While many took advantage of the new lodging, some are afraid of the close confines of mass shelters, no matter the size.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a national shortage of personal protection equipment for medical personnel such as face masks and gowns, and crafters are lending a hand.

 


Los proveedores de salud en St. Mary's se paran juntos con carteles de papel que dicen, "quédense en casa, nos quedaremos en el trabajo por ustedes, gracias por quedarse en casa por nosotros, siempre abierto"
Anh Gray / KUNR

El gobernador Steve Sisolak anunció el cierre de escuelas, casinos y empresas no esenciales en todo el estado para frenar la propagación de coronavirus. La medida es para salvar vidas y evitar que el sistema de salud se inunde. Pero como informa Anh Gray de KUNR, la falta de recursos cruciales, incluyendo máscaras protectoras e incluso proveedores, ya está presionando al sistema.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

On Monday evening, President Trump stressed what he called the need to reopen America for business even as he said the government also would continue tackling the spiraling coronavirus pandemic.

The White House's team will make an assessment after next week as to how effective social distancing and other mitigation measures have been in stifling the spread of the virus, said Vice President Pence.

San Miguel County in Colorado announced this week it plans to test everyone in the county for COVID-19. And they’ll be using a blood test rather than the usual nose-and-throat swabs. 

The test typically being used at this point involves a method called PCR, which looks for pieces of the virus’ RNA in a person’s nose and throat. It only shows if someone is actively fighting and shedding the virus.

Andrew Mendez

El gobernador de Nevada Steve Sisolak firmó el viernes 20 de Marzo una directiva de emergencia que ordenó el cierre bajo la ley de todos los negocios no esenciales del estado a partir de la medianoche del viernes.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In a wide-ranging, digressive news conference Sunday evening, President Trump said he has activated the National Guard to assist New York, California and Washington, states that so far have been hit hardest by the coronavirus.

A microscopic picture of coronavirus
NIAID / Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

As many Nevadans face hardships ahead due to restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, some are looking to the government for relief. Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has been involved in some of the decision-making regarding these federal relief packages. She spoke Friday with KUNR's Bree Zender.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Congress of American Indians warned reporters in a press conference Friday that COVID-19 is a “recipe for a disaster” for tribal nations. 

An image of customers checking out at a grocery store.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Walk into many grocery stores these days, and you’ll see two things: crowds and empty shelves. You may also notice narrow aisles and checkout lines that make it hard to practice the social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While many businesses are shutting down to help stop the spread of COVID-19, grocery stores don’t have that luxury. And grocery workers like cashiers don’t make that much - at most, around $15 an hour. But like health care workers, they’re considered essential.

Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have both tested negative for COVID-19, his office announced on Saturday.

"Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, said in a tweet.

Exterior of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Alexa Ard

The University of Nevada, Reno said it will issue partial refunds to all students who are being asked to move out of the residence halls. Friday's announcement comes after the university ordered all students to stay home, amid concerns over the novel coronavirus.

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