Video of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-May 2020. The airport CEO said passenger traffic was down 95% at time. Reno Gazette Journal
Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Thursday, May 13. 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.
Nevada reports 8 more deaths
The state of Nevada reported 8 new deaths related to the coronavirus on Thursday evening, bringing the statewide death toll to 339.
The number of people who have tested positive also rose to 6,499, up 105 cases from what was reported Wednesday, according to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard.
Storey County reports first COVID-19 case
Storey County has reported its first COVID-19 case, according to the Quad-County Emergency Operations Center.
The center on Thursday reported six new positive cases and one recovery of COVID-19 in the Quad-County region. This brings the total number of cases to 134, with 87 recoveries and two deaths. A total of 45 cases remain active.
The new cases are a Carson City man in his 40s, a Carson City man in his 40s, a Carson City woman in her 40s, a male Carson City resident under the age of 18, a female Carson City resident under the age of 18 and a Storey County man in his 40s.
The Quad-County EOC also released results from community-based testing for residents without symptoms. The tests were administered earlier this month.
Of the 1,798 people tested, 1,379 results are in. Just one test is positive.
Gig workers, independent contractors can apply for new unemployment benefits
Nevada gig workers and independent contractors will be able to apply for new pandemic unemployment benefits on Saturday, the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced Thursday.
The announcement comes one day after a Reno exotic dancer and a Reno massage therapist sued the state over delays in implementing the application system.
Workers will be able to access the new system on Saturday to apply for the benefit. Claims will be paid beginning May 23, DETR Director Heather Korbulic said.
“The department and our vendor have been working around the clock to implement an extraordinarily complex claims system,” Korbulic said. “I am extremely proud of the DETR staff.”
Self-employed individuals traditionally have been ineligible for unemployment benefits. But the coronavirus relief bill created the new benefit for gig workers affected by the pandemic. Those eligible for the new benefit will receive between $181 and $469 a week in state benefits, plus an additional $600 a week in federal benefits depending on income.
Because of the delay in implementing the system, workers will be able to apply for back-dated benefits, Korbulic said.
Korbulic urged eligible workers to become familiar with how to apply for benefits before accessing the state system on Saturday.
“Please do your homework in advance and know what you need so you can self serve,” she said.
Workers will need such documents as 1099s, bank statements, ledgers and invoices, she said.
More information can be found at https://detr.nv.gov/Page/Pandemic_Unemployment_Assistance(PUA).
The system for self-employed workers will be separate from the traditional claims system, Korbulic said.
2 more deaths reported in Washoe County
Officials in Washoe County are reporting two new COVID-19 related deaths, marking a total of 45 deaths in the county.
Those two deaths are both men with underlying health conditions. One was in his 50s and the other in his 70s.
The Regional Information Center is also reporting an additional 22 cases, bringing the total number of cases here to 1,154.
So far, 575 people have recovered from COVID-19 and there are 534 active cases.
Currently, 65 percent of all short-term acute-care beds are occupied, 45 percent of ICU beds are occupied and 19 percent of ventilators are in use.
Officials are also reporting that two staff members are Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center have tested positive for COVID-19. No children at the facility have tested positive.
Those in danger of losing homes can apply for financial assistance
Reno residents in danger of losing their homes can now apply for financial assistance from the city under a recently expanded program to help those hit hardest during the coronavirus pandemic.
Reno recently received nearly $2 million in federal funding to expand a program that once served only those who were already unsheltered.
The program is geared toward low-income families. To qualify for help with rent payments, a four-member household can’t make more than $63,680 a year, which is 80 percent of the area’s median income. Part of the funding is reserved for those making less than 30 percent of the median income or less than $23,800 a year for a four-person household.
Applicants will be asked to show documents such as proof of income and their rental agreements, said acting Assistant City Manager Arlo Stockham.
“It’s a pretty decent pool of money,” Stockham said. “Right now, it’s first come, first serve to qualifying individuals.”
For more information or to submit an application contact Jamie Peek at email@example.com or 775-530-9050 or Jessica Hillman Hillmanj@reno.gov 775-657-4619.
County to reopen shooting facility
Washoe County said that it will open its Regional Shooting Facility on Friday, with some modified regulations.
The county said that visitors and staff must wear face coverings in the office area, and that members of the public should remain in vehicles until directed to approach the office. Also, the classroom area will remain closed.
The range will operate 50 percent capacity, with every other shooting bench open.
Shooting benches will be disinfected between uses.
Members of the public must provide their own ear and eye protection; rentals will not be available.
105-case increase, but lower rate of positive tests
Thursday, 9:47 a.m.
The known number of COVID-19 cases in Nevada increased to 6,499 on Thursday, a 105-case increase over what was previously reported on Wednesday.
The number of deaths in the state has not yet been updated and remains at 331.
The state’s positivity rate — the percentage of people on a given day who test positive — also continued to trend in a downward direction, meaning even though Nevada is expanding testing, fewer people are testing positive.
Global coronavirus updates: WHO warns ‘virus may never go away’; Wisconsin stay-at-home order struck down
Reno council looking at spending $2M in federal funds to help low-income renters
The Reno City Council is beginning to plan for ways to spend federal assistance money to help the city rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, including establishing a rental assistance fund.
At its meeting Wednesday, the council heard updates from staff about various recovery programs the city hopes to update under an umbrella called Reignite Reno.
One proposal is to use nearly $2 million in federal funds to offer deposit and rent payment assistance to low-income people who are in danger of becoming homeless because of the pandemic.
“It sounds awesome to me and I want to shout it from the rooftops if it’s as awesome as I think it is,” Councilman Devon Reese said upon learning of the rental assistance money.
Details on how renters could apply for the money and when it would be available weren’t immediately available.
The city also is considering a program to pay artists to paint murals on boarded-up businesses and running an open streets initiative to close down certain roads for recreation on Sundays.
The council also is looking at ways to help businesses through the re-opening period, including allowing temporary drive-thru operations for retail stores or restaurants, outdoor dining and retail sales and modifying the hours indoor construction activities can take place.
Hear from the owners of local Reno businesses who have been able to open their doors to customers as the state loosens its COVID-19 restrictions. Reno Gazette Journal
3 deaths reported Wednesday in Washoe County
Washoe County health officials reported another death related to the coronavirus on Wednesday.
The recent death was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, according to a news release from the county Regional Information Center.
Two other deaths were also reported earlier Wednesday. Both victims were men in their 70s. One had underlying health conditions, and the health district was still investigating if the other did also.
Sixteen new cases were also reported on Wednesday. In total, there have been 1,132 cases and 43 deaths.
Of those cases, 562 people have recovered and 527 still have the virus, according to the county’s dashboard.
“We’ve reached that point where we have more people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 in Washoe County than people who still have the disease,” Washoe County Health Officer Kevin Dick said.
New cases reported in Lyon County
Quad-County Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday reported one new positive case and two recoveries of COVID-19 in the Quad-County region. This brings the total number of cases to 128, with 86 recoveries and two deaths. A total of 40 cases remain active.
The new case is a Lyon County man in his 60s.
83 new cases reported Wednesday in Nevada
The state of Nevada reported 83 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total case count to 6,394.
The number of deaths reached 331, according to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard.
In Southern Nevada, officials are reporting a sizeable jump in COVID-19 cases for Clark County, which reported a 176-case increase on Wednesday, bringing the total to 5,045 cases.
Deaths there also increased by 8, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 275, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
The difference between what is reported statewide and what is reported by Clark County is due to how positive cases are reported from labs to the state and then the county.
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