COVID-19

A vaccine against the virus behind COVID-19 offers the only certain return to normalcy. Even so, misinformation and conspiracy theories abound – and a vaccine hasn’t even been developed yet. It’s an issue people have been trying to combat for other vaccines that do exist. Colorado researchers are taking an interesting approach to bridge the gap.

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

6:38 p.m. | August 4, 2020

Nevada National Guard Extended
By Noah Glick

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday that hundreds of Nevada National Guardsmen will remain on duty through the rest of the year to help deal with the effects of COVID-19.

Yale School of Public Health researchers created a simulation: a hypothetical campus of 5,000 students where 10 are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. They found the safest way to reopen a campus like that was to enforce strict guidelines like distancing and mask-wearing. But that wasn't enough.


A man in a tan suit and mask is cleaning a hand rest on a podium with a wipe.
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced that Nevada is entering a long-term COVID-19 mitigation strategy, instead of a phased approach. It will allow for individual counties to assess high-risk businesses and come up with a plan to address outbreaks.

Three visitors and two concessions employees at Yellowstone National Park have tested positive for COVID-19, the park reported on Tuesday.

"Some of these visitor cases had symptoms prior to entering the park," Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement. "If you have symptoms as your visit is approaching, do the responsible thing and don't come to the park. You end up putting our employees, health care providers, and other visitors at risk."

 


Tami Peay's husband is incarcerated in a Utah state prison for an illegal drugs conviction, and she hasn't seen him in more than four months. She used to see him at least once a week. But that was before visitations were nixed due to COVID-19.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A physician based in Missoula, Mont., has a message for libertarian-minded skeptics of the pandemic – cowboy up and mask up.

 


This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Fake news and misinformation about the pandemic run rampant these days. One of the culprits is the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns more than a dozen popular television stations across the Mountain West.

 


This story is part of a collaboration between the Mountain West News Bureau and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Read about how a U.S. border town is responding to the shutdown here.

Paul Samycia started his fly fishing company two decades ago and has grown it into the largest in Fernie, British Columbia. But these days, Samycia's Elk River Guiding Company is adrift. 

Traditionally more than two-thirds of the company's clients are Americans, and with the border closed, Samycia says the season is almost a write-off.

Tracking the coronavirus pandemic could soon be a bit easier because of one simple fact: everyone poops.

Around the world , wastewater plants have become unlikely sentinels in the fight against the virus, allowing scientists to track the disease's spread at the community level. The practice of testing sewage samples is spreading across Western U.S. states as well, with programs currently running in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California.

School board members meeting on a Zoom call.
Screenshot / Washoe County School District Via Zoom

A looming decision on whether or not the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees would honor their plans to return to in-person learning in the fall was determined late Tuesday night. Students, teachers and supporting staff will be going back to school in person this fall.

Meatpacking plants across the Mountain West and the country are under intense scrutiny as they continue to face COVID-19 outbreaks.


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

8:06 p.m. | July 28, 2020

Nevada Reports More Than 1,000 Additional Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,105 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. The department reported 20 additional COVID-19-related deaths statewide. There are now nearly 759 COVID-19-related deaths in Nevada, and there have been nearly 586,000 tests performed in the state.

A Utah-based company called Domo is showing public health agencies in the Mountain West where their COVID-19 transmission risk is coming from. Among other things, the service uses cell phone location data to identify which counties and states visitors are coming from, and pairs it with data about how bad the local COVID-19 outbreak is there. Public health officials in Southwest Colorado say the tool has shown that at the moment, the most active people in the area are people normally based in Texas, followed by people usually based in Arizona. 

Nevada's governor speaks into a microphone during a press conference.
Screenshot / Nevada State Press Conference Via YouTube

During Monday's press conference, Governor Steve Sisolak lifted bar restrictions for three Nevada counties but said he's shifting from educating Nevadans about COVID-19 protocols to enforcing them.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

The U.S.-Canada border crossing north of Eureka, Mont., is quiet these days. No buses or vans packed with mountain bikes and vacationing families. Just a single logging truck. 

"No traffic hardly at all," says David Clarke, owner of the First & Last Chance Bar and Duty Free Store.

COVID-19 cases are still increasing around the Mountain West, and wait times to get test results are getting longer for many.


Una familia recoge alimentos en el sitio de distribución.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Read in English.

El 14 de julio el Comité de Finanzas Provisionales de la Legislatura aprobó por unanimidad más de $800,000 dólares en fondos de emergencia para un programa federal que podría dar casi $300 en asistencia alimenticia a cada niño de Nevada quien dejó de recibir sus almuerzos gratuitos o a precio reducido como resultado del cierre de las escuelas.

A family picking up plastic bags filled with food from a distribution site.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved more than $800,000 of emergency funding on July 14 for a federal program that could provide nearly $300 in meal assistance to each Nevada child who missed out on their free and reduced priced lunches as a result of school closures.

A woman unpacks a crate of cherry tomatoes for a distribution of fresh produce.
Food Bank of Northern Nevada

Lee en español. 

Several months into the pandemic, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada is seeing record numbers of people using their food assistance services. With many food pantries housed in schools, food availability over the summer is different than during the rest of the year.   

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