Coronavirus live updates: River festival cancelled; fake documents claim mask exemption

This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Tuesday, June 30. This story is part of the Reno Gazette Journal’s essential COVID-19 coverage and is being provided for free. Please consider subscribing to the RGJ to support our work.

Reno River Festival cancelled 

The 2020 Reno River Festival has been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 festival, which features competitive kayaking and other activities on the Truckee River, had initially been rescheduled for August, but organizers Tuesday announced that the festival will return to downtown May 8-9, 2021.

“Holding a large festival during such an uncertain time could not only potentially expose people to the virus, but it could also potentially elongate the safety regulations that are hurting so many of our neighbors and small businesses,” the organizers said in a statement on Tuesday.

The festival is, however, still promoting a virtual river run as part of a community fundraiser. More information is available at https://renoriverfestival.com/.

Officials warn of fake documents citing ADA, Justice Department exempting mask use 

Nevada officials are warning against relying on fake flyers and other online postings exempting people from wearing their face masks, according to a news release from the state U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Officials said Tuesday that cards, flyers and postings regarding the use of faces masks and the Americans with Disabilities Act have been circulating online and on social media.

Many of those notices include the use of the U.S. Department of Justice seal and the ADA’s phone number.

A photo showing an example of a fraud card exempting someone from wearing their mask.

In a previous alert, the department announced it was not issuing nor has it endorsed these flyers and postings in any way.

“The public should not rely on the information contained in these posting,” officials said in the news release.

The ADA has also announced it does not provide a blanket of exemption for people with disabilities from complying with safety requirements.

For more information, call the ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or visit the agency’s website at ADA.gov.

562 new cases statewide, hospitalizations hit peak

Tuesday, 8:53 a.m.

The known number of Nevadans who have tested positive for COVID-19 reached 18,456 on Tuesday morning, according to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard. That’s an increase of 507 new cases over what was previously reported on Monday.

Three additional deaths were reported, including one in Washoe County, a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions. That brings the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Nevada to 507.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 rose for the eighth straight day. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases currently in Nevada hospitals has reached 407 cases, the highest mark since the outbreak began. The previous high was 376 cases on March 26, the earliest date for which reporting is available. 

An additional 186 hospitalized patients are suspected of having the coronavirus. The combined total of 593 confirmed and suspected cases is Nevada’s highest since April 21, when 599 patients were confirmed or suspected of infection.

Sixty-five patients are on ventilators, up from 59 yesterday.

The state’s seven-day average positive test rate rose back to 16.0% after dipping slightly yesterday. The rate exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended test rate goal of 5% for economies to reopen.

More coronavirus updates:We’re one-third of the way to a widely available coronavirus vaccine, experts say

56 more cases, 1 death in Washoe County

Monday

Health officials reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County, according to the Regional Information Center. That brings the total of known cases to 2,656 since the first case was identified in the county in March.

The new data shows 913 active cases in Washoe County, a new high. Seventeen COVID-19 patients have recovered within the past day.

Reno ER doc:  Wearing a mask is a sacrifice we all need to take to help end this crisis

One additional death was reported, a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions. The death is Washoe County’s first in the past seven days.

Seventy-eight COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, down from 79 yesterday.

Nevada to stay in Phase 2 through end of July

Gov. Steve Sisolak will sign an emergency directive extending phase two of the state’s COVID recovery plan through the end of July, according to a Monday news release from the governor’s office. 

The move fulfills a promise Sisolak made last week, when he announced a statewide mask-wearing mandate and said “any discussion of entering phase three will be tabled” until further notice.

“Flexibility is one of the core principles in our Roadmap to Recovery, precisely to account for the situation we are in now,” Sisolak said in a statement. “As I’ve said repeatedly, the virus — and our personal actions to help mitigate its spread — drives the timeline.

“As a state, we were able to begin reopening because Nevadans were staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently and maintaining six feet of social distancing. Now, all Nevadans must wear face coverings to help slow the spread as well. We can only stay open if we stay safe.” 

Full story:Nevada to stay in Phase 2 of reopening through end of July

Nevada’s R(t) value at 1.61, tops in the nation

Nevada’s R(t) value — roughly, the number of people who become infected by an infectious person — stands at 1.61, the highest mark in the United States. 

And it’s not close. The gap between Nevada and second-place Florida (1.39) is roughly the same gap between Florida and the No. 15 state, Oregon (1.17).

The calculations are according to rt.live, a website which tracks each state’s COVID-19 data.

Overall, 35 states have R(t) values at or above 1.0, which means the virus’ spread is steady or growing in the state. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia are below the mark, meaning the virus’ presence is shrinking. 

Nevada’s R(t) value fell below 1.0 near the end of March and was third-lowest in the nation on April 22; the Silver State’s 0.71 trailed only New York and New Jersey on that date. The rate rose back over 1.0 on May 14, five days after the state’s Phase 1 reopening began.