Aug. 9, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – As the new school year begins and the cooler fall season around the corner, the Regional Information Center is reminding residents and business owners that, per Gov. Sisolak’s Directive 47, Washoe County has indoor masking requirements to help our local businesses thrive, and businesses are to require employees and customers to wear masks indoors.

COVID-19 cases in Washoe County are surging, largely due to the Delta variant:

  • The 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases is at 146.3 (up from 22.7 on July 9)
  • The test positivity rate in Washoe County is at 15.4% (up from 5% on July 11)
  • The Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter is at “High”, which indicates elevated risk of community spread
  • According to the Nevada Hospital Association, there are 97 patients hospitalized who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 (up from 25 on July 9)

The  Washoe County’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan states that restrictions may be reinstated when the community hits certain risk benchmarks, such as if the Risk Meter reaches “Very High” and if cases per 100,000 over a 30-day period reach 625 (currently at 545 according to NV Health Response dashboard).

Residents can take several steps to slow the spread and help return the community to the low-risk state it was in earlier this summer:

  • Stay home when ill
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask when indoors at businesses and public places
  • Practice basic hygiene by washing hands frequently
  • Keep a safe distance from others in crowded areas

The COVID-19 vaccine is paramount in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it is highly effective and has been proven to lessen the severity of symptoms if you do get COVID-19. Vaccines are widely available in Washoe County at local pharmacies and grocery stores, as well as at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30-11:30 a.m. You can walk in or sign up for an appointment here.

Those with underlying health conditions are especially encouraged to find a vaccine clinic convenient to them and begin the process of getting fully vaccinated. It is essential that those who receive a two-dose vaccine like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines receive both doses to ensure the maximum protection possible. If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, that does not mean you won’t get the disease again. A study showed that those who were previously infected but did not get vaccinated were 2.34 times more likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 compared with those who were previously infected and did get fully vaccinated.

For more information on COVID-19 in Washoe County, visit the Regional Information Center website.

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. While press releases are only sent periodically for significant events, you can always get daily results on our website, https://covid19washoe.com/, our COVID-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID19Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Reno Police Department, Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, University of Nevada,  Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Washoe County School District and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the group are the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.