Oct. 27, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Regional Information Center is reporting the 900th COVID-19-related death in Washoe County.

This week alone there have been nine COVID-19-related deaths with two of those nine being in their 40s and both were unvaccinated (of the nine, seven were unvaccinated and two were fully vaccinated). It has been 44 days since the 800th COVID-19-related death was reported among Washoe County residents. The first COVID-19-related death was reported March 29, 2020 (577 days ago).

“This is a tragic reminder that COVID-19 is still negatively impacting us in Washoe County,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer. “With the holiday season approaching and COVID-19 not showing signs of letting up, we strongly encourage everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine.”

COVID-19 cases in Washoe County have trended upwards in the past week. The 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases is at 125.1; it was at 102.9 on Oct. 17.

Caution advised for upcoming holiday events and gatherings

The Washoe County Health District is advising caution for residents celebrating Nevada Day, Halloween, Día de los Muertos and more as COVID-19 transmission is still high currently. Residents should continue to practice COVID-19 precautionary measures and refrain from attending or hosting large indoor events.

Per the Governor’s Office, masks are required at indoor public places and crowded outdoor events. Kids who are trick-or-treating are encouraged to wear masks. Those who are susceptible to complications due to COVID-19 should avoid interaction with members outside their household.

More information on safe holiday gatherings can be found here.

Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine boosters are authorized

All three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen-J&J) are now available as boosters in Washoe County. Per the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eligible people can receive any of the three vaccines as a booster regardless of previous vaccine type received, which has been referred to a “mix and match” approach, though the CDC or FDA did not recommend one over another. Residents with health concerns should seek guidance from their doctor.

Those in Washoe County who are eligible should seek out opportunities at area pharmacies by going to www.vaccines.gov.

Per the CDC, those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series are eligible for a single dose booster if they are:

Those who received the Janssen vaccine are eligible for boosters if they are:

  • At least 2 months from completion of previous dose
  • Age 18+

Residents who want a booster can find a provider by clicking on this link, which includes most pharmacy locations in the area. Community Health Alliance is providing Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters at its health centers and already has Pfizer boosters available, which were authorized in September.

Walk-ins for the booster doses of Moderna and Janssen vaccine are allowed at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center but space is limited. Some residents might be turned away if there is no space available. This process will remain until the state’s vaccine schedule tool is updated to accept booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson appointments, which is expected in mid November.

Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center POD Hours

  • Wednesdays & Fridays
  • Hours are 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • Due to Nevada Day, POD is closed Oct. 29-30

Appointments for the Pfizer booster are available now at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. Boosters will be administered at our Community Vaccine Events –  see the schedule here. Please bring your vaccine card.

First and second doses remain available for all residents by using the same sign-up form. You can also call the Washoe County COVID Call Center at 775-328-2427.

Those with questions about their vaccination card should request that information through WebIZ. When you arrive at RSLEC, you will fill out paperwork self-attesting to your eligibility.

Difference between ‘booster’ and ‘third dose’

The third, or additional, dose is for people who are immunocompromised or immunodeficient. It’s likely those in this category did not receive the same amount of protection from the first series of vaccine doses and a third dose is needed to increase antibodies to reach levels similar to those who are not immunocompromised or immunodeficient.

A booster, meanwhile, is for those outlined in the eligibility criteria listed above who need increased antibody levels to maintain proper immune response as the vaccine protection wanes over time.

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.