Coronavirus updates: 40 new cases reported Friday in Washoe County


A birthday drive-by for Bob Mansfield, 86, a Navy veteran who has long supported the Reno Elks Lodge, Reno Rodeo Association and Reno Fire Department. Reno Gazette Journal

 This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Friday, May 22. 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.

40 new cases reported in Washoe County

2:50 p.m.

Washoe County is reporting 40 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total here to 1,356 cases.

The number of Washoe County residents who’ve died of the virus remains at 48.

So far, 764 people have recovered and 544 are still considered active cases.

Washoe to randomly test housholds for COVID-19 antibodies

Note: This item was updated after the Washoe County Health District sent updated information that only one adult member of a household that receives a letter will be tested for antibodies. 

Washoe County announced Friday it would conduct COVID-19 antibody testing for 1,181 random households in the county as part of a study on how coronavirus has spread, according to a press release.

Letters are being sent out randomly, and one adult member of the household will be tested for antibodies. The remaining members of the household will receive a COVID-19 test

Residents are being urged to check their mailboxes and respond no later than Tuesday, May 26 to participate. Instructions are included in the letter. 

UNR, TMCC look at staff furloughs amid budget shortfalls stemming from COVID-19

The Nevada System of Higher Education will talk about implementing furloughs for the Fiscal Year 2021 at a special meeting next week.

The governing body over the state’s public colleges including the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College will vote to change administrative codes to allow furloughs to be  quickly implemented in response to expected budget cuts because of the financial hit to the state from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The furloughs could start as soon as July for academic and administrative faculty.

In April, the Board of Regents approved budget cuts including the possibility of a half furlough day per month or full furlough day per month as an across-the-board emergency saving measure.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday

Unemployment soars to 28.2%

Unemployment in Nevada has reached 28.2 percent, according to the April economic report released by Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

It’s the first monthly report released by DETR that covers the period affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns of nonessential businesses.

In total, the state is down 244,800 jobs over the month.

Read more.

Nevada cases increase by 146

Update, 7:56 a.m.

There are now 7,401 known cases of COVID-19 in Nevada, 146 cases more than what had previously been reported on Thursday, according to new numbers from the Nevada Health Alliance.

Those 146 positive cases came from 6,283 people tested on Thursday, the third day Nevada has tested more than 6,000 people.

That makes for a growth rate of 2 percent on Thursday.

Nevada’s test positivity rate continues to fall, reaching a new low of 7.4 percent. This is a good thing, says state biostatistician Kyra Morgan — it tells researchers there are not a large number of cases that have gone undetected.

The state’s number of deaths has not yet been updated on Friday, and remains at 381.

Washoe reports the largest single-day increase in recoveries


Washoe County reported 47 COVID-19 recoveries on Thursday, its largest single-day increase in recoveries so far, according to the Regional Information Center.

There were also 11 more confirmed positive cases reported, bringing the Washoe County total to 1,316. The death toll remains at 48, and 521 cases remain active.

There have been 18,023 tests performed in Washoe County, up by more than 1,000 since Monday.

To get tested for COVID-19, fill out this form, or call 775-328-2427. 

WCSD task force works on reopening plans for more than 100 schools


The Washoe County School District announced on Thursday it has formed a recovery task force of parents, teachers, staff and public health officials to guide the district as it reopens schools.

The district has said it is planning on an Aug. 10 start date for the 2020-21 school year but what that looks like depends on guidance from health officials and Gov. Steve Sisolak.

WCSD: Future ceremonies for class of 2020 would be decided by each school

There is currently not a plan in place for what that what reopening will look like, including if distance learning will be a big part of the school day. The district will issue updates at school board meetings and make announcements on its website.  

The district said it is considering things such as social distancing, protective equipment, screening and testing, transportation and the learning loss with schools closed since March.


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Reno easing certain business regulations 


The city of Reno on Thursday announced it is easing certain regulations to help businesses operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those regulations include the temporary allowance of drive-thru operations, curbside pickup and outdoor operations without a permit, among other things.

“We recognize the current challenges facing businesses as they adapt to these new health and safety standards,” Arlo Stockham, Acting Assistant City Manager for the City of Reno, wrote in a press release. “The Reno City Council has made it clear they want to find ways to assist our business community during the recovery phase of the pandemic while ensuring public health continues to be of the highest priority.”

The eased regulations will also allow businesses to operate on public rights-of-way, including sidewalks, by obtaining a temporary revocable occupancy permit from the city. The fee for that permit will be waived.

More details on the eased regulations can be found at under the “business information” section.

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