This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Friday, July 10. 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.
Two Veterans Home residents die of COVID-19; 13 residents currently positive
5 a.m. Friday
Two residents of the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks have died of COVID-19 related complications, the nursing home announced Thursday evening.
A 90-year-old male resident died at the Reno VA hospital from cardiopulmonary arrest brought on by COVID-19, and a 95-year-old female resident died while she was being treated at Renown Regional Medical Center, according to a news release.
The man was a Navy veteran and the woman was the spouse of a deceased Korean War veteran.
Since an outbreak of the disease erupted at the nursing home in late June, three residents have died.
Thirteen NNSVH residents are currently positive for COVID-19. Two residents have recovered, the facility said, and residents and staff are being tested approximately every three days.
According to administrator Mike Ball, the veterans home is partnering with Renown and Charles River Labs to expedite test results.
“Faster test results will help us with early detection of staff contracting the disease in the community, and limit exposure within the Home,” said Ball.
On July 1, the nursing home announced eight residents and 14 staff members had tested positive. The staff were self-quarantining at home and residents were being treated in a COVID-19 unit with an ICU-level of care at the Reno VA Hospital, according to the facility.
The Thursday release did not include information on the number of staff members that are currently positive.
Amid spiking cases, Sisolak closing bars, limiting restaurants to parties of 6 or fewer
Gov. Steve Sisolak said bars in some Nevada counties, including Washoe and Clark, will return to Phase 1 restrictions on Friday to fight a spike in COVID-19 cases.
That means they will have to close up shop when the new directive goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Also under Sisolak’s directive, restaurants can no longer serve parties larger than six people and must close their bar areas. He also encouraged restaurants to have people eat outside.
Sisolak said details on the other counties affected will be released Friday.
He said the decision came after a Thursday call with representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who advised him that Nevada needed to take swift action to avoid overwhelming its hospital facilities with COVID-19 patients.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE:Sisolak says bars in Washoe, Clark must close Friday to fight COVID-19 spike
Washoe sees upsurge in cases tied to gatherings; 4 deaths reported Thursday
Four more people have died from the coronavirus in Washoe County — tying for the highest number of deaths reported in one day, according to the Regional Information Center.
The latest victims include three women between the ages of 70 and 100, all of whom had underlying health conditions, and a man in his 70s. Health officials said they are still investigating whether he was suffering from any underlying conditions.
Health officials also reported 131 new cases, the second highest number of daily cases reported in the county since July 3.
The uptick in cases stems from contacts exposed during social gatherings, domestic travel and a lack of social distancing, health officials said in a news release on Thursday.
“Several of the recently reported cases indicated that they attended gatherings on the (Fourth of July),” officials said in the news release.
Currently, 78 people have recovered, and 49 more cases were added to the active case count.
In total, 3,459 people have tested positive, 89 have died and 2,248 have recovered within the county.
Health officials said there are still 82 people who are hospitalized, and 256 people who have been discharged.
The county has conducted 59,906 COVID-19 tests.
According to the Nevada Hospital Association, 78 percent of staffed short-term acute-care hospital beds are occupied. Additionally, 50 percent of all intensive care unit beds are occupied, and 20 percent of all ventilators are in use.
603 new cases, 18 deaths statewide
The known number of Nevadans who have tested positive for COVID-19 reached 24,904 on Thursday morning, according to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard. That’s an increase of 603 new cases over what was previously reported on Wednesday morning. The new cases were discovered through 11,979 tests administered Wednesday.
Officials have identified 18 more deaths due to COVID-19 — four in Washoe County and 14 in Clark County — bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Nevada to 571. Not all of the 18 coronavirus-related deaths occurred in the past 24 hours; most were cases identified from fatalities in previous days. Three of the Washoe County deaths were identified Wednesday afternoon as two men in their 90s and a man in his 80s, all three with underlying health conditions. The total number of deaths in Washoe County is now 86.
Hospitalizations were up Wednesday with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 632, an increase of 25 hospitalizations from Tuesday’s data. An additional 303 hospitalized patients are suspected of having the coronavirus. The combined total of 935 confirmed and suspected cases in Nevada hospitals is an all-time high since the outbreak began. Of those, 237 are in intensive care units and 112 are on ventilators, both up from the previous day.
The seven-day rolling average for positive tests fell for the second straight day to 11.6%, the lowest since June 23 but still well above the World Health Organization’s goal of 5%.
Nevada’s effective reproduction number has dropped to 1.12 — roughly speaking, each person with coronavirus in Nevada goes on to infect 1.12 other people. Nevada now has the 27th-highest effective reproduction number in the U.S., a marked improvement from earlier this month when it was higher than every other state.