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CDC approves Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters

CDC approves Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters

Oct. 22, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now authorized for residents of Washoe County after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed it on Thursday night.

All three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, 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, 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.

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+

“The COVID-19 booster adds an extra layer of protection that is recommended for those who are at-risk of serious complications due to COVID-19,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “We encourage those who are eligible to get the booster as soon as they are able.”

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 starting Monday at its health centers and already has Pfizer boosters available, which were authorized in September.

Starting Wednesday walk-in appointments will be available for the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) boosters at Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. The walk-in process will remain until the state’s vaccine schedule tool is updated to accept Moderna and Johnson & Johnson appointments, which is expected in November.

Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center Hours

  • Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • 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.

The FDA provided data from the trials used to make their recommendation for boosters –  see that data and information here. The Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson boosters are the same sized dose as the first or second dose while the Moderna booster is half the size of the first and second dose.

“We have to protect those who are most susceptible to hospitalization or death from COVID-19,” Dick said. “For those who are not eligible for a booster or third dose, that is a good thing because studies are showing that for that portion of the population the COVID-19 vaccine is doing its job to protect you from serious illness from COVID-19.”

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.

CDC approves Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters

Pfizer COVID-19 boosters available for certain Washoe County residents

Sept. 24, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose is now available for residents starting Monday at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a final recommendation late Thursday outlining eligibility for boosters.

Only those who received the Pfizer vaccine (both first and second doses) completed 6 months ago are eligible. Residents must bring their COVID-19 vaccine card they received when getting the first two Pfizer COVID-19 doses. The additional dose will help increase protection from COVID-19.

If you received the Moderna or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine you are NOT eligible at this time.  This is because the FDA and CDC has not yet approved boosters for those vaccines.

Booster doses, per the CDC, can be administered to the following residents:

  • 65 years of age and older
  • Long term care facility residents
  • 50-64 years of age with an underlying health condition
  • 18-49 years of age with an underlying condition are eligible, but should weigh their benefits with risks
  • 18-64 years of age with high exposure occupations

Residents who want to get the booster dose at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center can sign up here and clicking on the “Schedule Additional Dose” button. Residents could experience longer wait times and additional paperwork might be required onsite.

Other vaccine providers in Washoe County also will be administering Pfizer booster doses and those locations can be found here.

To schedule a vaccine appointment with Community Health Alliance, go here.

First and second doses will also be available for all residents by using the same sign-up form. You can also call 775-328-2427. The RSLEC will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but could change based on demand.

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.

Third doses for immunocompromised still available

Residents who are immunocompromised can still receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and it can be either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Those who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible for the third dose at this time.

Read more about additional doses for immunocompromised people here.

COVID-19 testing in Washoe County

The availability of COVID-19 test appointments is limited but there are options.

It’s extremely important for residents who aren’t going to make it to their testing appointments to cancel through the platform from which they signed up.

About 20 percent of all appointments at the RSLEC have been no shows over the last week and those appointments go unused. The appointment slots could have been provided to others who need a test if those who cannot show up canceled through the proper channels. For questions about RSLEC testing, please call 775-328-2427.

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.

800th COVID-19-related death reported in Washoe County

800th COVID-19-related death reported in Washoe County

Sept. 20, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Regional Information Center is reporting the 800th COVID-19-related death in Washoe County.

The most recent 100 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in the last 42 days, and in that same time period there have been 10,644 COVID-19 cases reported.

In comparison, the time period for reporting COVID-19 deaths 601-700 (Jan. 27. 2021 and Aug. 8, 2021) is 193 days.

Of the most recent 100 COVID-19-related deaths reported:

  • 14 residents were younger than 50
  • 84 were not fully vaccinated
  • Of the 16 COVID-19-related deaths who were fully vaccinated, all 16 had an underlying health condition.
  • There have been 43 COVID-19 related deaths reported in September alone.

“Back in June, when we were experiencing much less COVID-19 transmission, we hoped that reporting of large numbers of COVID-19-related deaths was behind us,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “With this latest surge, unfortunately we’re seeing more impact from this deadly virus and we hope residents realize and understand that we’re not done with COVID-19 yet. We still have to be vigilant against this disease and get vaccinated.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and remains the best resource to reduce the chances of contracting, being hospitalized from, or dying from COVID-19. Here are some easy ways to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the NV Health Response COVID-19 Dashboard, 258,060 people have been fully vaccinated in Washoe County, which makes up 63.16% of the population 12 years and older.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Washoe County

The Nevada Hospital Association (NHA) is reporting that 84% of staffed hospital beds in Washoe County are occupied and that 197 patients hospitalized are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

Hospital staffing continues to be a problem according to the NHA. Further exacerbating hospital overcrowding are people going to emergency departments to seek rapid COVID-19 tests to return to work or school. NHA is recommending people to avoid hospitals for COVID-19 testing.

Also, an issue is residents calling 9-1-1 for non-emergency issues. Last month, REMSA Health reported a 200 percent increase in 9-1-1 calls at certain periods of time and many were for non-emergency situations. REMSA is asking the public to consider alternative options to access care for non-emergency situations, like contacting your health system or insurance company’s nurse healthline, telehealth, or visiting your local urgent care. REMSA Health’s dispatchers may transfer non-emergency 9-1-1 calls to a registered nurse to help navigate patients to the most appropriate level of care.

COVID-19 testing in Washoe County

The availability of COVID-19 test appointments is limited but there are options.

It’s extremely important for residents who aren’t going to make it to their testing appointments to cancel through the platform from which they signed up.

About 20 percent of all appointments at the RSLEC have been no shows over the last week and those appointments go unused. The appointment slots could have been provided to others who need a test if those who cannot show up canceled through the proper channels. For questions about RSLEC testing, please call 775-328-2427.

Businesses should setup own testing

Local businesses that have employees who are able, but unwilling to get vaccinated, and choose to get tested weekly instead should make arrangements for testing their employees and not rely on options at pharmacies and the RSLEC.

Community-based testing sites like our pharmacies and at the RSLEC are designed for residents to determine if they have COVID-19 so that we can notify them as soon as possible to decrease the spread of the virus in the community. It is not designed to be an option for obtaining a negative test result in order to go to work or for travel purposes.

Businesses should reach out to independent laboratories and testing providers for setting up testing for employees.

Get a COVID-19 vaccine at our Community Vaccine Sites

The Regional COVID-19 website for Washoe County, www.COVID19Washoe.com has a page dedicated to events where COVID-19 vaccines will be available in the community. To see those events, go here.

Here are some upcoming events:

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021

  • Neil Road Recreation Center, 3925 Neil Rd. Reno, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)

Thursday, September 23

  • Ijji Noodle House & Poke Don, 199 Damonte Ranch Pkwy #8m, Reno, noon-1 p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)

Friday, Sept. 24

  • Street Vibrations, Sands Regency, 345 N Arlington Ave, Reno, 1-4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 25

  • Street Vibrations, Sands Regency, 345 N Arlington Ave, Reno, 1-4 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 26

  • John’s Presbyterian Church, 1070 Plumb Ln, Reno, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 30

  • Hobey’s Casino, 5195 Sun Valley Blvd, Sun Valley, 1-4 p.m.

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.

COVID-19 Testing Continues to Be in High Demand in Washoe County

Sept. 16, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Regional Information Center is reminding residents of all COVID-19 testing options as there is high demand in Washoe County.

With recent federal and state mandates that some employees must receive a COVID-19 vaccine or get a COVID-19 test every week, the availability of test appointments is limited but there are options.

“Testing at Walmart is underutilized and should be sought by those who need to get tested quickly,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “As we’ve stated previously, though, the shorter line at the Livestock Events Center is the vaccine line. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is no longer a need to test out weekly unless you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19 so we highly recommend people get vaccinated.”

Cancel testing appointment if you can’t make it

It’s extremely important for residents who aren’t going to make it to their testing appointments to cancel through the platform from which they signed up.

About 20 percent of all appointments at the RSLEC have been no shows over the last week and those appointments go unused. The appointment slots could have been provided to others who need a test if those who cannot show up canceled through the proper channels. For questions about RSLEC testing, please call 775-328-2427.

Businesses should setup own testing

Local businesses that have a large number of employees who are able, but unwilling to, get vaccinated, and choose to get tested weekly instead should make arrangements for testing their employees and not rely on options at pharmacies and the RSLEC.

Community-based testing sites, like our pharmacies and at the RSLEC, are designed to determine if residents have COVID-19 so that we can notify them as soon as possible to decrease the spread of the virus in the community. It is not designed to be an option for obtaining a negative test result in order to go to work or for travel purposes.

Large businesses should reach out to independent laboratories and testing providers for setting up testing for employees.

Get a COVID-19 vaccine at our Community Vaccine Sites

The Regional COVID-19 website for Washoe County, www.COVID19Washoe.com has a page dedicated to events where COVID-19 vaccines will be available in the community. To see those events, go here.

Here are some upcoming events:

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021

  • Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1201 Valley Rd., Reno, 10 a.m.-2p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)
  • Great Basin Brewing Co., 5525 S Virginia St, Reno, 4-7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 17, 2021

  • University of Nevada, Reno – Joe Crowley Student Union, 1-4 p.m.
  • Reno Aces, Greater Nevada Field, 5:30-8 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021

  • Fiesta on Wells 2021, S Wells Ave, Reno, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021

  • Neil Road Recreations Center, 3925 Neil Rd. Reno, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)

Thursday, September 23

  • Ijji Noodle House & Poke Don, 199 Damonte Ranch Pkwy #8m, Reno, noon-1 p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)

Appointment times for COVID-19 vaccine at Livestock Events Center to change next week

COVID-19 vaccines are available at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Starting next week, Sept. 20, 2021, appointments can be made in the afternoon from 1-4 p.m. and no longer in the mornings.

Schedule an appointment here or call 775-328-2427.

Sign up for the COVID Trace App

COVID Trace is a contact tracing mobile app developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services that uses a technology called the Exposure Notifications System from Google and Apple. The app exchanges anonymous information with other phones in your vicinity and can notify you if you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. See more here.

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.

800th COVID-19-related death reported in Washoe County

COVID-19 at-home testing – what you need to know

Sept. 3, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – With the increasing availability of at-home COVID-19 tests, the Regional Information Center is issuing information to residents to help understand the situations when at-home tests might be useful and their limitations.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of at-home COVID-19 tests as they can be convenient in detecting COVID-19 quickly; however, because they are administered at home and not in a setting with medical personnel present there is no way to verify the test was done correctly and which person the test was collected from. Because of this, positive at-home test results are not counted toward the official COVID-19 case counts in Washoe County and results are not to be used in determining if someone can return to work, school or travel.

If used appropriately, with all directions followed properly, the Washoe County Health District and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommend that those who test positive should isolate immediately. If you tested positive and you had symptoms, isolate for 10 days since your symptoms appeared; if you don’t have symptoms, isolate for 10 days starting from the day you tested positive.

All positive cases should notify close contacts that they were exposed; that goes for anyone who was within 6 feet of you for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

For more about quarantining, visit the CDC website. For more information about self-testing, go here.

Drive-through COVID-19 testing is available at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center on Monday-Friday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. To schedule an appointment, go here.

Walk-ins are welcome but only when space allows. Residents are asked to come at the time of their appointment. Long lines for testing have been reported; however, lines for the vaccine are much shorter. To schedule a vaccine, go here.

Other COVID-19 testing opportunities can be found here.

Masks required when getting a COVID-19 test at Livestock Events Center

Residents who come to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center for COVID-19 testing are required to wear a mask.

Some altercations have been reported at the testing site when persons seeking testing refuse to wear a mask. Those who refuse to wear a mask may be turned away. Masks are available free of charge to those who do not have one.

The test positivity rate in Washoe County, according to the State, is at 18.8%. Last week at the RSLEC, as many as 1 in 4 tests came back positive. Because of the high proportion of people that are testing positive, it’s highly likely that those being tested are contagious at the time of testing and wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus to staff who are directing traffic and assisting those who collect specimen samples, which includes Health District staff, National Guard personnel and volunteers.

You can now make appointments for COVID-19 vaccine additional doses at Livestock Events Center

The COVID-19 vaccine scheduling platform now has the opportunity for immunocompromised residents to schedule an appointment for an additional dose. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, go here.

Washoe County residents who are immunocompromised can receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC) drive-through clinic or Health District Community Vaccine Events if they meet certain criteria outlined by the FDA. Those who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine are not eligible for the third dose, per the FDA.

Click this link for more information about eligibility.

COVID-19 Testing at Walmart can be closed due to smoke

COVID-19 testing at two area Walmarts, for which information was distributed earlier this week, can be closed on short notice if air quality is deemed unsafe for its staff.

The company conducting the testing said residents will get a notification if a test is cancelled.

Community Vaccine Events Schedule

For information on Community COVID-19 Vaccine Events, visit our website. Next week, teams will be at the Boys & Girls Club on Neil Road, Lazy 5 Regional Park and the University of Nevada, Reno, weather permitting. Schedule an appointment here.

Sign up for the COVID Trace App

COVID Trace is a contact tracing mobile app developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services that uses a technology called the Exposure Notifications System from Google and Apple. The app exchanges anonymous information with other phones in your vicinity and can notify you if you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. See more here.

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.

Two Reno Walmart locations to expand COVID-19 testing

Aug. 31, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – Two area Walmart stores are increasing access to COVID-19 testing through late September with appointments now available weekdays and weekends.

Demand for COVID-19 testing in Washoe County has increased and the additional availability will help residents get appointments sooner. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is free to residents.

Locations:

Hours:

  • Weekdays: 4-9 p.m.
  • Weekends: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Additional COVID-19 testing is available at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center on Monday-Friday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. To schedule an appointment, go here.

Walk-ins are welcome but only when space allows. Residents are asked to come at the time of their appointment. Long lines for testing have been reported; however, lines for the vaccine are much shorter. To schedule a vaccine, go here.

Other COVID-19 testing opportunities can be found here.

COVID-19 vaccine third dose still available for immunocompromised residents

Washoe County residents who are immunocompromised can receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC) drive-through clinic or Health District Community Vaccine Events if they meet certain criteria outlined by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).  At this time, only those immunocompromised are eligible for a third dose and residents don’t need an appointment when coming to the RSLEC on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Those who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine are not eligible for the third dose, per the FDA.

Click this link for more information about eligibility.

Sign up for the COVID Trace App

COVID Trace is a contact tracing mobile app developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services that uses a technology called the Exposure Notifications System from Google and Apple. The app exchanges anonymous information with other phones in your vicinity and can notify you if you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. See more here.

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.