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

6:50 p.m. | January 19, 2021

One In Five People Getting Tested For COVID Are Testing Positive In Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

The test positivity rate in Nevada continues to be high. The rate has been hovering at around 20% since early December. This means, about one in five people getting tested are testing positive.

Giving and full of light. That's how family and friends described May Bunjes. The 71-year-old community advocate died of COVID-19 in November. Now her family is using her death as a rallying cry.

In Weld County, Colorado – where officials have dismissed state health orders meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 – she was a court-appointed special advocate for abused children for more than 20 years.

Eager to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors, more people than ever are hitting the slopes on skis and snowboards.

"Oh, yeah. I mean, we sold probably a thousand more season passes this year than we ever had," says John DeVivo, the General Manager of Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. "We were up about 20% in pass sales."

A love of apocalyptic horror films may have actually helped people mentally prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. At least, that's according to research published this month in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

A closeup of a pharmacist filling a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Health officials say that a majority of Nevadans would need the COVID-19 vaccine for the population to receive herd immunity. That’s when enough people are immunized to slow the spread of infection. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck has this explainer.

Updated 5:06 p.m. ET

On Friday afternoon, President-Elect Joe Biden shared a detailed plan to tackle the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, promising to fight the pandemic with "the full strength of the federal government."

In a speech in Delaware, Biden laid out his five-part plan for how to speed up the vaccination campaign: Open up vaccine eligibility to more people; create more vaccination sites; increase vaccine supply; hire a vaccination workforce; and launch a large-scale public education campaign.

Updated at 8:37 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.


State lawmakers across the Mountain West are convening for legislative sessions that will focus largely on the fallout of the pandemic. But without significant precautions, statehouses could become hotbeds for COVID-19 spread.

Legislative sessions typically bring together hundreds of lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists, journalists, and members of the public. They travel to and from every corner of a given state and gather indoors, sometimes in cramped meeting spaces.

Bret Frey is a man who is wearing a face mask and sitting in his car. Through the window, a health worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine into his arm.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

There was an air of excitement and a small round of applause as some of the first health care workers with Renown Health received their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday. This will ultimately provide them about 95% protection from the virus,  which has taken the lives of over 540 Washoe County residents as of Tuesday.

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

5:39 p.m. | January 12, 2021

Nevada Surpasses 250,000 COVID-19 Cases
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada hit a milestone in the pandemic. The state surpassed a quarter of a million COVID-19 cases since March. The state’s death toll is more than 3,500. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but health officials say that even after you get vaccinated against COVID-19, you still need to practice the usual pandemic precautions, at least for a while. That means steering clear of crowds, continuing to wear a good mask in public, maintaining 6 feet or more of distance from people outside your household and frequently washing your hands. We talked to infectious disease specialists to get a better understanding of why.

Why do I have to continue with precautions after I've been vaccinated?

About a third of Americans living in rural areas say they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A closeup of a pharmacist filling a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference Monday to update Nevadans on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

A pharmacist prepares a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

As the COVID-19 vaccination process continues in Nevada, the Washoe County School District started administering the first dose to select employees over the weekend.

A close up of a man getting a shot in his right arm by a woman in blue scrubs. The image is taken on the other side of plexiglass so there is a slight reflection.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

It’s been nearly a month since the COVID-19 vaccine first arrived in Nevada. KUNR’s Anh Gray and Lucia Starbuck discuss how the rollout has been going so far.

A color coded US map highlighting different rural areas that do not have pharmacies designated to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
Screenshot / RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis

When the COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will partner with retail pharmacies such as Costco and Walgreen to help distribute them. But a new analysis of rural counties finds that as many as 750 counties don't have one of those pharmacies.

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

6:12 p.m. | January 5, 2021

Washoe County Reports 24 COVID-19-Related Deaths Since Start Of New Year
By Lucia Starbuck

There have been two dozen COVID-19 deaths in Washoe County in just the first five days of the new year so far. More than 500 lives have been lost since the start of the pandemic in Washoe County, and more than 3,200 statewide.

A team of fast-acting health care workers saved the day — and potentially hundreds of lives — on Monday after a freezer malfunction nearly destroyed 830 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Somewhere around 2 a.m. the compressor of the freezer holding vials of the medicine at the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Mendocino County, Calif., failed, President Judson Howe told NPR.

That started a ticking clock on the shelf life of the vaccines, which can only be used for 12 hours once they're removed from refrigeration of 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Illustration of a series of people in rows. Each person is wearing a face mask.
Angelina Bambina / Adobe Stock

COVID-19 upended just about everything in 2020. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talks to Brian Labus, an epidemiologist with Nevada’s COVID-19 medical advisory team, to learn more about the past 10 months in Nevada and what is expected for the start of the new year.

Navigating Romance In The Time Of COVID-19

Jan 3, 2021
Hand sanitizer, face mask, condom, cell phone and keys on desktop.
Catherine Schofield

Before we begin, a note of warning: the topics we are about to explore may not be suitable for our young listeners.

The pandemic has limited in-person social interactions for college students. Classes have gone online and many typical school activities have been canceled. For some, in-person dating also presents a new set of challenges. Student contributors Alina Croft and Catherine Schofield explore how some are navigating romance these days.