COVID-19

An older man behind a podium is wearing a blue surgical mask. He is pointing to his mask.
Benjamin Hager / Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada is beginning to see an alarming upward trend of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Gov. Steve Sisolak held a brief press conference to provide an update on the current status of the virus in Nevada.

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

3:57 p.m. | October 20, 2020

Washoe County Reports 143 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County is reporting 143 new COVID-19 cases today and 51 recoveries. There are 1,526 active cases of COVID-19, the highest the county has seen. 

White tile building. A green sign with white letters that say, “Administration Building Washoe County School District.”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Candidates for the open seats on the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees have weighed in on how they would rate the district’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also shared their biggest priorities if elected for KUNR’s 2020 voter guide. KUNR’s Natalie Van Hoozer talked with Lucia Starbuck to break down what the candidates had to say.

Extremism experts say a fast-growing network of far-right activists could threaten the Mountain West and beyond. It’s called the People’s Rights network and, according to a new report, it includes anti-maskers, militia members and conspiracy theorists.


A tight shot of a crowd of about 100 people. Most are wearing red, white and blue and MAGA merch. Only one person is wearing a mask.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold an in-person rally in Carson City on Sunday. 

Urban traffic at night in downtown Boise, Idaho
Alden Skeie / Unsplash

Amid the economic downturn, Idaho and Utah have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

The Tri-County Health Department in Colorado is a marriage between three counties. But after 55 years together, the pandemic has them on the brink of divorce.

The relationship started with a devastating flood. Lora Thomas remembers it vividly.

“I remember sitting on Ruby Hill in Denver watching this wall of water coming down the Platte River,” said Thomas. “There were actually horses in that water that had come from a racetrack.”

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

5:28 p.m. | October 13, 2020

Nevada Reports 487 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 487 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The department reported 10 additional COVID-19-related deaths statewide.

A man in a black shirt and gray shorts stands next to a sign for the Nevada and Washoe County Democratic Party Headquarters as he waits in line to pick up a yard sign supporting Democrats on the ballot in Washoe County.
Paul Boger / KUNR

Campaigning in a normal election year can be difficult even for the most seasoned politicians. But campaigning during a pandemic adds a host of new challenges. The biggest might be how does a candidate connect with voters safely.

A young woman with purple and pink curled hair sitting down outside and looking off screen. There are green leaves and grass behind her.
Avery Thunder / KUNR Youth Media

Washoe County Schools have had to switch to remote learning for all students for more than 10 days this semester due to poor air quality from fires in California. For many local high school students, including Avery Thunder, it's led to a sense of uncertainty. She shares her feelings in an audio diary for KUNR's Youth Media program.

A brick building with five large panels of windows. There are letters on the building that say “E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center.”
Isaac Hoops

Earlier in the week, the University of Nevada, Reno’s new president, former Gov. Brian Sandoval, announced that he would be closing the school’s fitness center. Sandoval defended his decision and said the gym was found to be a COVID-19 hotspot.

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

7:00 p.m. | October 6, 2020

Nevada Reports 479 New Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 479 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The department reported six additional COVID-19-related deaths statewide.

Antigen testing is expected to become a more common way to test for COVID-19. It looks for the virus’ surface coating, rather than pieces of its genetic material. It’s faster and easier to administer than other tests.

A person in a mask sits against a tree and is looking at a laptop. The UNR “N” logo is out of focus in the background.
Isaac Hoops / Nevada Sagebrush

The University of Nevada, Reno has reported 330 cases of COVID-19 in September, as of its most recent online update posted on Sept. 30. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck has the details on how the school's COVID-19 data is reported.

A man in a mask waves to someone off camera. There’s a sign in front of him that says, “Adopt a Polling Place.”
Trevor Bexon

Mail-in ballots will be sent to registered voters in Washoe County starting Monday, Oct. 5. KUNR's Lucia Starbuck has the latest updates from the Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office as this process gets underway.

With President Trump's announcement early Friday that he and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, much of the focus inside the White House will likely turn to contact tracing.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The country was put on edge overnight as President Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning announcement that raises concerns about their health and throws the final stretch of the presidential campaign — already upended by the pandemic — even further into unknown territory.

The couple's 14-year-old son, Barron Trump, has tested negative for the virus, the first lady's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, told NPR.

Winter is coming, and COVID-19 is still here. That means socializing is about to get harder as temperatures drop and activities move indoors.

One potential tactic is to form something called a “social bubble,” also known as a “pandemic pod” or a “quaranteam.” The gist is to join forces with another family, or small group of people, and socialize exclusively with them while maintaining a safe distance from others.

There is a man on a stage with a large American flag behind him hoisted up by a crane on each side. There is a crowd of about 100 people in front of him.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Donald Trump Jr. held an in-person rally in Sparks on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.

For months it appeared that the Mountain West had COVID-19 somewhat under control. But now the positivity rate is skyrocketing in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Utah.

"I feel despair," says Christine Porter, an associate professor of public health at the University of Wyoming.

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