This is a breaking news story that will be updated throughout the day on Thursday, April 2.
UNR, TMCC, UNLV to stay online for summer courses
The Nevada System of Higher Education said the state’s public colleges will continue remote instruction through the summer term. The message came from Chancellor Thom Reilly. The University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College started remote instruction following spring break last month.
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“As the situation continues to evolve with the COVID-19 pandemic, I am asking all institutions to plan for continuation of remote instruction through at least June 30, 2020,” Riley said. “Institutions that have summer terms that extend beyond June 30th, should continue remote instruction through the end of the term for the sake of continuity in instruction.”
Mayor calls for all to wear masks, says businesses to be fined for flouting closure order
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve is asking everyone in the city to begin wearing a mask to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“I want to see the entire city wearing masks,” Schieve said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “I’m told I can’t mandate that. I would if I could.”
Schieve clarified that N95 masks should be donated to health care workers, but that the general public should cover the faces with cloth masks or bandannas when at the grocery store or other essential business.
“I feel really really strongly about this,” she said. “Now is not the time to be vain. I want everyone to make this your new fashion accessory.”
She also asked people to stop congregating in groups on golf courses and basketball courts and warned nonessential businesses they will soon be fined if they remain open.
“If you are not an essential business, we will find out,” she said. “There are some people that are pushing limits. We will fine you for this activity.”
She also issued a request for donated trailers.
“I know this is a big ask, but if any of you have trailers, we have health care workers who don’t want to go home and infect their families,” she said.
As city finances continue to reel from the business shutdown, Schieve said they are hoping to avoid layoffs.
“We will probably ask for pay cuts,” she said.
The Reno City Council is expected to discuss potential budget cuts at its meeting Wednesday.
Washoe COVID19 case count ticks upward,
two more sheriff’s employees infected
The Washoe County Health District reported 21 new identified cases of the COVID-19 virus on Thursday, bringing the Washoe total to 184.
The new cases include two employees of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, according to an update from the Regional Information Center.
The Washoe death toll remains at four and the number of people who have recovered increased by eight to 26.
Although the actual number of cases is thought to be higher than official numbers because testing in Nevada, and throughout the U.S., remains severely limited.
According to the Regional Information Center update, the two sheriff’s cases include a deputy and a civilian employee.
The deputy has been out of the office since March 11, the update stated, but the sheriff’s office only became aware of the positive test today.
The civilian employee had been on vacation until March 18, worked three days, then was sent home when the health district issued guidelines related to travel. The update also stated the employee had no interaction with the public as part of her job. The sheriff’s office only learned today of the positive test result, the update stated.
“Information about all persons who may have come into contact with these employees is being provided to the Health District,” the update stated.
Also on Thursday, Washoe County, Reno and Sparks announced they would suspend sewer late fees for people affected by the pandemic.
Two more deaths reported in Nevada
Two more people have died from the coronavirus, bringing the total to 38, according to the Nevada Health Response dashboard Thursday. The statewide total of COVID-19 cases is at 1,458.
Reno mayor holding press conference
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve is scheduled to answer questions from the media during a virtual press conference at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Watch live here.
“These are unprecedented and uncertain times. Our neighbors need to be assured that city leadership is working tirelessly to combat this pandemic and keep us safe,” said Schieve.
“Transparency and accountability don’t take a backseat even in the middle of a crisis. We know times have changed. But we want to be as creative as we can be with technology and accessibility.”
WCSD: No, students won’t have to repeat a grade
The Washoe County School District sent voice messages and emails Thursday morning to parents to debunk an April Fool’s joke: Nevada students won’t be forced to repeat the school year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A viral message circulating on Wednesday, April 1 displayed an image of a mocked-up news headline: “Sisolak: All Nevada Students Will Repeat School Year.” The image’s link redirected to a website noting that it was an April Fool’s joke.
WCSD Interim Superindendent Kristen McNeill sent out messages shortly after 11 a.m. to debunk the rumor.
Carson has one new case, first COVID-19 recovery
Carson City Health and Human Services reported one new case of COVID-19 in its coverage area, as well as the first recovery from the virus.
The new case is a Carson City man in his 80s, who is self-isolating at home and in stable condition. The patient who has recovered lives in Carson City; no further details were provided.
The totals now stand at 16 active cases and one recovery for the area under the purview of CCHS, which oversees Carson City and Lyon, Douglas and Storey counties.
1,458 cases of COVID-19 in Nevada
The number of known COVID-19 cases in Nevada increased by 179 cases, bringing the statewide total to 1,458, according to the Nevada Health Response dashboard.
Yesterday, the total stood at 1,279. Thirty-six fatalities have been reported.
The Southern Nevada Health District reported an increase of 164 cases in Clark County.
Of the 14,046 people tested so far, 12,588 have tested negative. It’s likely the true number of people with coronavirus is much higher than what is reported by health officials due to a national testing shortage.
11 southern Nevada VA employees test positive for COVID-19
LAS VEGAS – Eleven employees of the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System have tested positive for COVID-19.
All staff who tested positive were placed in isolations. Nine are getting medical attention under quarantine at home, while two are hospitalized.
Due to privacy concerns, officials said, further details about the patients will not be released.
Employees who tested positive will not return to work until they are cleared by Employee Occupational Health. They must meet the following requirements:
- Any fever must be resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications
- Must show improvement in any respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
- Must test negative on two consecutive test results for COVID 19 collected a minimum of 24 hours apart.
Any staff potentially exposed to COVID-19 by a positive individual have been notified and – if asymptomatic – allowed to continue to work while wearing a facemask at all times.
The health care system has community has required universal masking for staff within several facilities.
Catholic churches closed until further notice
April 2, 6 a.m.
The Diocese of Reno has closed all churches and chapels starting Thursday and until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Diocese of Reno oversees 28 Catholic churches in Reno, Sparks, Incline, Yerington, Carlin, Zephry Cove, Dayton, Hawthorne, Eureka, Gardnerville, Battle Mountain, Elko, Lovelock, Virginia City, Fallon, Winnemucca, Fernley, Wells and Austin.
On the Catholic organization’s website its says all masses and buildings are closed. Until Thursday, many Catholic churches in Northern Nevada were still allowing people to pray individually, but canceled large services. On Tuesday, the Diocese of Las Vegas closed its buildings until April 30.
Nevada National Guard activated
Gov. Steve Sisolak has activated the Nevada National Guard to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
Sisolak announced the move during a Wednesday press conference in Carson City, where he said the guard’s soldiers would help meet fast-growing transportation and logistics needs stemming from the pandemic.
Sisolak’s latest press briefing comes hours after he issued a stay-at-home order that extended a statewide shutdown of schools, casinos and other nonessential businesses through April 30.
The first-term Democrat on Wednesday also announced he was seeking White House approval for a major disaster declaration that would funnel more federal aid into the state’s fight against the deadly respiratory disease.
Coronavirus in Nevada: Health officer refused to brief officials after ‘worst case scenario’ details made public
Coronavirus in Nevada: Rural residents’ access to hospitals is already a problem. Coronavirus could make it worse
Washoe County reports 4th death, 20 more cases
Washoe County health officials reported identifying 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with another death of someone infected with the virus.
The new cases bring the county’s total to 163 and the local death toll to four. The person who died was identified only as a man in his 40s with an underlying health condition.
A total of 18 people with the virus have recovered, leaving 141 active cases.
However, the total number of cases is thought to exceed the official count because testing for COVID-19 remains in short supply.
Workers set up quarantine trailers to temporarily house people with COVID-19 on March 31, 2020. Reno Gazette Journal
Public health employee in Southern Nevada tests positive
LAS VEGAS – An employee of the public health agency monitoring COVID-19 spread in Southern Nevada has tested positive for the contagious respiratory illness.
The Southern Nevada Health District worker developed symptoms over the weekend and has not returned to work since, according to officials.
This is the first confirmed case of the virus at the Southern Nevada Health District.
The employee is self-isolating. The employee had limited interaction with patients in a clinical setting, and those patients are being notified of that potential exposure.
“As essential public health workers our staff members are on the front lines of this response,” the district said in a news release Wednesday. “Precautions for both staff and our clients have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak as we continue to provide vital services to the public.”
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