Novel Coronavirus

An image of a character in Animal Crossing New Horizons sitting in a field of flowers

Between a global pandemic, the economic downturn and civil unrest across the country, Americans are facing high levels of stress and uncertainty, and many are turning to video games for relief.

This reporter happens to be one of them. But can these virtual experiences help in the real world?

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

As Native American tribes across the country struggle to contain the coronavirus, the White House has pressured the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to remove its COVID-19 checkpoints on highways in South Dakota, according to a recording of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau. 

This post was updated June 29, 2020 to include comments from Alexis Kalergis. 

A Colorado team says their work on a COVID-19 vaccine is progressing. Other vaccines are much further down the testing pipeline, but none have crossed the finish line yet. 

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The White House Coronavirus Task Force renewed calls for vigilance on Friday, acknowledging rising cases across Southern states and in parts of California.

There is a red ball in the forefront, a tricycle and playground house in the middle, and a tan building in the background.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

Washoe County has officially opened the doors to Our Place to Grow, a shelter for unhoused families with children in Sparks. Units for women will be opening soon as well. The county provided $2 million for the facility, which is run by the homelessness advocacy nonprofit called Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality, also known as RISE. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke with the executive director, Benjamin Castro, about what sets Our Place to Grow apart from other shelters.

A man faces forward with a mask hanging on one ear. There's a sign behind him that reads, "NO SHIRT. NO SHOES. NO MASK. NO SERVICE."
Eric Marks / This Is Reno

Nevada has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and a steady increase in hospitalizations for the virus since the state entered phase two of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s reopening plan. In an effort to curb the spread, the governor signed a directive Wednesday that requires people to wear masks while in public, effective Friday. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck covered the governor’s press conference this week for our media partner This Is Reno, and has the details.

Young boys working on reading homework together.
Andrew Ebrahim / Unsplash

Lee en español. 

There are around half a million students enrolled in Nevada public schools, and more than 14 percent of them are considered English-language learners. With schools around the country relying on distance learning to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s unclear how the transition from in-person to online instruction affected those students. 

To help answer that question KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with reporter Natalie Van Hoozer to break it all down. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new survey shows that depression is worsening across the nation and the Mountain West.

New federal data reinforces the stark racial disparities that have appeared with COVID-19: According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Black Americans enrolled in Medicare were hospitalized with the disease at rates nearly four times higher than their white counterparts.

A woman pointing at a monitor while observing interactions between medical students and patients.
Gigi Guizado de Nathan / Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas

Lee en español.

An existing language gap between patients and health care workers has been further exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are working to close communication challenges in the university’s simulation lab.

It has been five months since the novel coronavirus started infecting Americans. Since then, the U.S. has lost more than 120,000 people to the sickness it causes — COVID-19.

So many have been touched by the deaths of family and friends. Here we remember just a few of those who continued working during the pandemic because their jobs called for it and who, ultimately, lost their lives.

Flores está sentado en una mesa y hablando por un micrófono. Lleva una chaqueta, camisa con cuello y gafas. Otro hombre está sentado a su lado.
Daniel Clark / The Nevada Independent

Read in English.

Los trabajadores latinos esenciales siguieron laborando mientras que el COVID-19 se extendía por sus comunidades, un factor contribuyente a las actuales tasas desproporcionadas de contagio por COVID-19 y las muertes que ha causado entre la población de Nevada.

Flores está sentado en una mesa y hablando por un micrófono. Lleva una chaqueta, camisa con cuello y gafas. Otro hombre está sentado a su lado.
Daniel Clark / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Latino essential workers continued to work as COVID-19 spread through their communities, a factor contributing to the current disproportionate rates of infection of COVID-19 and deaths caused by the virus among the population across the state. 

Imagen de video en Zoom con Rossmery Diaz, Oscar Delgado, Ivet Contreras, Alex Woodley y Vanessa Vancour en español sobre el COVID-19 y las reaperturas de la segunda fase en Reno.
Captura de pantalla / Ciudad de Reno en Español vía Facebook Live

Mientras Nevada entra en la segunda fase del proceso de reapertura, los funcionarios de la ciudad de Reno volvieron a Facebook Live una vez más para actualizar a los residentes de habla hispana.

Hotel slowdowns alone could cost states in the Mountain West more than $1.7 billion in tax revenue this year, according to an analysis commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nation has yet to exit the first wave of this pandemic. Cases in the Northeast and Midwest are, in general, trending downward, but the Mountain West continues to experience local surges in COVID-19.

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and United Steelworkers are now demanding emergency guidelines related to COVID-19 for the country's mines whether it's for coal, trona, gold or silver. They say voluntary guidance is not a substitute for mandatory and legally enforceable COVID-19 protocols.

Sign in front of assisted living facility
Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno

Arbors Memory Care is an assisted living center in Sparks for seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia. In the span of about a month, 14 residents at the facility died from COVID-19. KUNR’s Anh Gray and Lucia Starbuck discuss what led to this outbreak.

An NPR survey of state health departments shows that the national coronavirus contact tracing workforce has tripled in the past six weeks, from 11,142 workers to 37,110. Yet given their current case counts, only seven states and the District of Columbia are staffed to the level that public health researchers say is needed to contain outbreaks.

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

7:23 p.m. | June 23, 2020

Nevada Sees Another Record Day Of COVID-19 Cases
By The Associated Press