Aug. 16, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Regional Information Center is reporting two unfortunate COVID-19 milestones from over the weekend: 700 COVID-19-related deaths and 50,000 COVID-19 cases in Washoe County.

The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in Washoe County is at 706 and COVID-19 cases reported are 50,167.

COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations are rising rapidly in Washoe County and residents are reminded to take mask wearing seriously as it is required per Governor Sisolak’s Directive 47 and to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s a summary of data showing the high transmission:

  • 15 – COVID-19-related deaths reported in August so far. In both June and July, six were reported, respectively.
  • 136 – Residents hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 according to the Nevada Hospital Association. On Aug. 1, it was 50.
  • 80% – Percentage of staff hospital beds occupied reported on Aug. 15. On Aug. 1, it was 61%. On Aug. 13, it was 83%.
  • 3 – 7-day moving average for new cases per day in Washoe County. On Aug. 1, it was 105.3.
  • 4% – Positivity rate in Washoe County, per NV Health Response dashboard. On Aug. 1, it was 11.7%.

“The impact COVID-19 and the Delta variant are having on everyone in Washoe County, in particular hospitals, is reaching a breaking point,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “Our healthcare system and public health systems are facing the same labor shortages as retail and service industry and likely cannot support another surge at the same level we faced in the winter.

“If you are still waiting for more time to pass by to get the COVID-19 vaccine or refuse to wear a mask in public, be aware of the inherent risks of failing to do so. Vaccines are over 90% effective at keeping you out of the hospital or dying from COVID-19, and masks block respiratory droplets to reduce disease transmission. Please do your part.”

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, Fridays from 8:30-11:30 a.m. You can walk in or sign up for an appointment here. Vaccines cannot be administered if you are sick or have COVID-19 currently.

Several Community Vaccine Sites are planned this week, including the Boys & Girls Club locations on Neil Road, in Lemmon Valley and on 9th Street, and at the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada  – see the list here.

Other important reminders are:

  • Wear a mask when in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings
  • Stay home when you don’t feel well
  • Socially distance
  • Check the Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter on our COVID-19 Dashboard (Look for “Risk Meter” tab) if you’re wondering how the risk level is increasing or decreasing. The meter is currently at “Very High”

The COVID-19 dashboard has more information regarding COVID-19 in Washoe County. Please note that only 701 COVID-19-related deaths are reported on the dashboard today but we received notification of five more (706 total) that will show up tomorrow on the dashboard. Three of the 706 deaths were vaccinated.

COVID-19 third dose update

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely should receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.

The third dose will be available this week at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. More information will be distributed once details are finalized. Check COVID19Washoe.com and our COVID19Washoe Twitter page for updated information as it is released.

Some refer to this dose as a “booster,” which is technically incorrect. An additional dose is given to people who may not have had a strong enough immune response after receiving the initial vaccine series. A booster dose is a supplemental dose given to groups whose immune response has weakened over time. No booster doses are recommended at this time. This may change as more information becomes available.

The additional dose would need to be administered 28 days after a two-dose regimen of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Those who have received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine are not eligible for an additional dose at this time, per the CDC and Food & Drug Administration.

Updates to disease investigations in Washoe County

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Washoe County Health District is prioritizing disease investigation and contact tracing for pediatric cases aged 5-11 due to the fact they are ineligible to be vaccinated and the rise in cases at local schools.

Those who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 are asked to reach out on their own to close contacts who’ve been closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour timeframe to notify them. CDC guidance says those who are fully vaccinated (two weeks since second Pfizer/Moderna shot or two weeks since one-dose Janssen shot) do not need to quarantine unless they are showing symptoms. Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine per CDC guidance after being exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Those who are confirmed to have COVID-19 will be sent a text notifying them that a Washoe County disease investigator will contact them by phone soon. Disease investigators will also leave a voicemail with a call-back number if you are unavailable. In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it’s imperative that you cooperate with disease investigators and ensure that your voice mailbox is not full.

COVID-19 Testing at Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center and results

COVID-19 testing at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC) has expanded to five days a week, Monday-Friday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. To sign up, go here (en Espanol). Previously, testing was done Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at RSLEC, but due to increased demand the availability increased. Vaccines remain available only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and you can schedule an appointment here (en Espanol).

COVID-19 test samples are sent to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and results usually take between 24-36 hours. The Washoe County COVID-19 Incident Management Team is working with area labs to reduce the amount of time it takes to get a test result back.

Pregnancy, fertility and COVID-19

According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. More information can be found here.

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

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