Coronavirus live updates: What we know Saturday in Reno-Sparks

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Renown CEO Tony Slonim talks about supplies, testing in a press conference with media on March 24, 2020 Reno Gazette Journal

Garbage pickup to be done entirely by mechanical arm on trucks

Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. 

Waste Management won’t be picking up extra garbage to avoid having employees come into contact with waste. 

Garbage pickup will be done entirely with the mechanical arm on trucks starting Monday. This includes garbage with extra waste stickers. 

Waste Management said items can be left with stickers in trash cans or carts but would not guarantee that items would not be damaged or dropped by the collection vehicle using the automated loader. 

86 new cases identified Friday across Nevada 

Saturday, March 28, 6 a.m.

In Nevada, 86 more people tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, according to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard. 

The number of known COVID-19 cases in Nevada is now 621. The statewide dashboard does not break down numbers by county but earlier on Friday Washoe County said there were eight more cases for a total of 75. 

So far 8,522 people have been tested across the state and 10 people have died. 

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Washoe loses 2,800 jobs in wake of shutdown 

Nearly 2,800 people in Reno filed for unemployment last week as the country continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic, according to new numbers released by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The spike in statewide claims is unprecedented, reaching a level more than 10 times the level seen during the Great Recession.

Statewide, more than 92,000 people sought unemployment benefits last week. That number includes 4,449 claims in Washoe County.

The job losses follow an order by Gov. Steve Sisolak that required casinos and all other non-essential businesses to close in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

The flood of unemployed Nevadans has overwhelmed the state’s unemployment benefits website and phone lines. Those seeking benefits have complained of waiting for hours on hold and being unable to access their benefits online.

On Friday, the department announced it would expand its security help desk hours to help those who must call in to verify their identity before receiving benefits.

Coronavirus layoffs: How to file for unemployment insurance benefits if you’ve lost your job

Official: Tesla slashing workforce at Gigafactory

Tesla is planning to slash workforce at the company’s Nevada Gigafactory in coming days, according to Storey County.

“Tesla has informed us that the Gigafactory in Storey County is reducing on-site staff by roughly 75% in the coming days,” Storey County manager Austin Osborne wrote on the county website.

Tesla partner Panasonic, which uses its portion of the factory to manufacture cells Tesla assembles into battery packs, announced last week it would temporarily suspend operations. Combined, the two companies employ several thousand workers.

Tesla’s press team did not immediately respond to the Storey County statement. The company has not officially released information about the status of its factory in Nevada nor whether it would compensate workers for lost time.

Tesla has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the Nevada Gigafactory, which was built in part with public subsidies worth an estimated $1.3 billion over 20 years.

More: Panasonic to suspend operations at Nevada Gigafactory, no word from Tesla

Forest Service to restrict group sizes 

People who head into the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest will need to do so in groups of fewer than 10, according to forest service officials.

Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger said the decision is in response to an order from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for businesses and the public to take drastic social distancing measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

He said the order lasts through June but could be shortened if the pandemic recedes.

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The Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest is among the largest in the U.S. Forest Service system, with large swaths of terrain in southern Nevada near Las Vegas, western Nevada and eastern California just outside the Lake Tahoe Basin and islands of mountainous land throughout central and northeastern Nevada.

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