A group of protesters gathered at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City in favor of reopening Nevada’s economy on May 16, 2020. Reno Gazette Journal
Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Saturday, May 16. 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.
Demonstrators at Governor’s Mansion protest shutdown, call for Sisolak’s removal
About 150 demonstrators have returned to the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City to protest his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some bear signs calling for Gov. Steve Sisolak to be recalled. Others are carrying signs supporting President Donald Trump’s re-election. Some protesters are armed.
Few appear to be wearing masks, which health experts say are critical to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Capitol police and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers are on scene, where protesters are chanting and shouting but remaining peaceful.
With 12 new cases Saturday, Washoe’s total hits 1,202; hospitalizations jump
Washoe County health officials are reporting 12 new coronavirus cases Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 1,202.
Active cases continue to be fewer than those who have recovered, with 536 people still sick and 620 people who have recovered. Forty-six people from Washoe County have died of the virus.
The number of people hospitalized, however, continues to climb. On Saturday, 61 people were hospitalized with the virus, up from 55 people on Friday. Local hospitals continue to have plenty of capacity.
Nevada unemployment website down from 1-7 p.m. today for upgrades
The website for filing unemployment claims will be offline Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m., the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced.
DETR said the site, ui.nv.gov, will be down to improve performance and increase accessibility for those filing claims.
The state jobless office has been overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who have been thrown out of work in the business shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, and people have reported trying to call the DETR help line hundreds of times without being able to get through.
Filers are encouraged to visit the website after 7 p.m. Saturday.
Post-opening spike in COVID-19 cases could take weeks to show up
Washoe County epidemiologists say it could take up to three weeks to determine whether Phase 1 of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s reopening plan will lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases locally.
Heather Kerwin, epidemiology manager for the Washoe County Health District, said warm weather and holiday celebrations such as Easter have already led some people to take a more relaxed approach to the stay-at-home order. Easter, in particular, led to a spike in cases in Washoe County.
But the data tends to lag behind any activity that could create a spike in cases, Kerwin said. Symptoms may not appear for up to two weeks after a person has been exposed. Even then, some people wait to be tested.
“That first week is sometimes fairly mild and they may not realize until seven days after they develop symptoms that this is more than seasonal allergies or a little head cold,” Kerwin said.
“So, we see a pretty big delay. It could be anywhere from 10 or so days or 20 before we see the true impact of the lifting of any stay-at-home orders.”
Kerwin re-emphasized the importance of wearing masks when in public and continuing to be diligent about washing hands as the state returns to business.
“That virus is definitely still out there,” she said.
48 new cases reported Saturday in Nevada
9:15 a.m. Saturday
The state of Nevada is reporting a small daily jump in coronavirus cases with 48 new positive tests Saturday morning.
According to the Nevada Health Response dashboard, the total number of cases statewide is now 6,662.
The total number of Nevadans tested now stands at 73,664. The cumulative test positivity rate, a key metric in determining whether businesses can stay open, remains at 9.2 percent. The World Health Organization recommends a rate below 10 percent for re-opening.
3 new cases in Carson City, Lyon County
Quad-County Emergency Operations Center on Friday reported three new positive cases and three recoveries of COVID-19 in the region.
This brings the total number of cases to 137, with 90 recoveries and two deaths. A total of 45 cases remain active.
The new cases are a Carson City woman and man, both in their 20s, and a Lyon County woman in her 30s.
Current cases by municipality are:
Carson City: 65 total cases, 19 active, 44 recovered, two deaths
Douglas County: 24 total cases, 4 active, 20 recovered
Lyon County: 47 total cases, 21 active, 26 recovered
Storey County: 1 case
Three Quad-County residents are hospitalized for the virus. Of the 1,798 Quad-County individuals who participated in community-based testing for those without symptoms, 1,699 results are back. Just one is positive.
4 children in foster care shelter and 4 staff members test positive
Four children at Washoe County’s foster care shelter have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health district.
One child from the Kids Kottage shelter is hospitalized in stable condition because of an underlying medical issue. The other three children are quarantined at the shelter.
Four staff members who work at the shelter also have tested positive. The staff members are at home and won’t return to work until they are medically cleared.
Highway Patrol: Drivers hitting triple-digit speeds, making for more severe accidents
With fewer cars on roadways in the age of COVID-19, the Nevada Highway Patrol has seen a rash of triple-digit speeding and reckless driving.
“I’m receiving pictures from troopers with triple-digit radar speeds,” Trooper Hannah DeGoey said during Friday’s update from the Washoe County COVID-19 Regional Information Center. “We have 108 in front of the Nugget; 112 just north of Bowers (Mansion); 115 in the North Valleys. As a trooper myself, I still make traffic stops for the same high speeds, and really no one has a good excuse.”
With fewer cars, NHP is seeing fewer traffic accidents. But even in those accidents, DeGoey said the elevated speeds are evident.
“The crashes we are seeing are more severe and more violent due to the increased speed,” she said.
Washoe County reports 46th death from coronavirus
Washoe County is reporting another additional death related to COVID-19, according to the county’s epidemiology manager Heather Kerwin.
The most recent death was a woman in her 60s with underlying health conditions. There are currently 46 coronavirus related deaths in the county.
In total, there have been 1,190 cases. Of that total, 562 cases remained active.
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According to the Washoe County COVID-19 Impact Dashboard, 582 people have recovered, 103 have been released from the hospital, and 55 are currently hospitalized.
Statewide, there have been 6,614 positive cases and 345 deaths as of Friday evening.
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