Coronavirus updates: State sees uptick in positive cases, hospitalizations

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Frontline workers celebrate patient Austin Meegan’s recovery from COVID-19 May 25, 2020. Reno Gazette Journal

This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Tuesday, June 9. 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.

Second Lyon County resident dies of COVID-19

A second Lyon County resident has died of COVID-19, Carson City Health and Human Services reported on Tuesday.

The victim was a woman in her 70s; it is unknown if she had underlying conditions.

Seven people in the four-county area managed by Carson City Health and Human Services have died of the coronavirus, five in Carson City and now two in Lyon County.

CCHHS also reported five new positive cases and eight additional recoveries of COVID-19 in the Carson-Lyon-Storey-Douglas region. This brings the total number of cases to 242, with 170 recoveries and seven deaths; 65 cases remain active.

The new cases are a Carson City resident under the age of 18 with connection to a previous case, a Carson City resident in her 20s with connection to a previous case, a Carson City resident in his 40s with no connection to a previous case, a Lyon County resident in her 30s with no connection to a previous case and a Lyon County resident in her 70s with connection to a previous case.

Four Quad-County residents are hospitalized with the virus.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations up in Nevada

There is an uptick in hospitalizations and positive COVID-19 cases in Nevada.

Data from the Nevada Health Response shows that there is an above-average increase throughout the state.

Nevada Health Response, a COVID-19 group created by Gov. Steve Sisolak with members of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, said in release some of the increase is because of an increase in testing availability.

But the numbers are up even with that as a factor.

The positivity rate measures how many positive tests are doing against the total number of tests increased Tuesday from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent. The cumulative test positivity rate also increased slightly on different days in late April and in early May during the current period of overall decline.  

The state said the latest uptick is not enough to break the state’s overall declining trend.

The Nevada Hospital Association is also reporting the fourth consecutive daily increase of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in Nevada, but hospital capacity remains available and hospitals are not reporting surges.  

Hospitals are reporting that 68 percent of total beds are occupied, 66 percent of ICU beds are occupied and 27 percent of ventilators are in use. 

The state did not draw a correlation between the recent reopening of businesses and increase in public gatherings, but the news release on Tuesday reminded Nevadans of precautionary measures that can be taken to minimize the spread of the virus.  

“When we began reopening Nevada and substantially increasing testing, we anticipated we would see an increase in new cases diagnosed. Nevada has flattened the curve, but the virus is still among us. That’s why it is important Nevadans continue to safeguard their health by staying home when possible, washing their hands frequently, wearing a face covering in public and staying at least six feet from other people if possible,” said  State Epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock. 

The state has reported 444 deaths as of Tuesday and more than 10,000 confirmed cases.

The Washoe County Health District has not immediately returned a request for comment about if Northern Nevada is seeing similar trends. 

Athletic fields can reopen, but no spectators allowed

School athletic fields and facilities can re-open, per a directive from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday.

And while games are OK to be played, the public is still not allowed to watch those games until restrictions are further eased.

School districts and governing entities of charter and private schools control athletic fields and facilities and will make the final determination on when they can re-open.

The directive issued by Sisolak allows but does not mandate the opening of school athletic fields and facilities.

Schools to open for summer learning, activities

2:25 p.m.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a directive on Tuesday allowing school districts, charter schools, and private schools to immediately reopen for summer learning and activities and directs schools to develop reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year.  

The plans for reopening for the fall semester needs to be submitted by schools 20 days prior to the start of the new school year.

The guidance from the Nevada Department of Education will allow for schools to do in person instruction, have meetings and open facilities using social distancing protocols.

Guidance means keeping students and staff apart and to prioritize students who may need in person instruction including those who have achievement gaps and students with disabilities.

There are some strict guidelines under the proposal including all instruction must be done where students and staff can remain at least six feet apart. Desks need to be six feet apart. There can be no group or pairs working and when possible students should gather outside.

Read More: Nevada says schools can reopen for summer school, activities including in-person instruction

Washoe reports 66th death

1:13 p.m.

A man in his 70s has died from COVID-19 in Washoe County, according to the Regional Information Center.

Health officials said the man had underlying health conditions. The recent death has brought the total death toll to 66 in the county.

Additionally, there have been 16 new cases and 17 recoveries.

In total, there have been 1,788 cases and 1,155 recoveries reported in Washoe County. A total of 567 cases remain active and 72 individuals are currently hospitalized.

A total of 136 people have been discharged from the hospital.

Nevada’s positive cases crest 10,000

10:20 a.m.

The number of Nevadans who have tested positive for COVID-19 crested past the 10,000 mark with 10,030 known infections, as reported on the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard Tuesday morning.

On Sunday, there were 9,786 known cases. 

The state reported 444 deaths from COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning. There have been 211,157 tests performed statewide.

In Washoe County, there have been 36,065 tests with 1,772 confirmed cases and 65 deaths.

In Clark County, there have been 147,87 tests performed with 7,804 confirmed cases and 365 deaths. 

DMV to reopen June 15

Monday

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will be reopening its offices in a phased approach starting on June 15.

According to DMV director Julie Butler, the department will be serving those with the most urgent needs firsts. That includes drivers who need a driver’s license or to register their car.

“There’s no need to rush on down on day one,” Butler said in a virtual news conference held on Monday.

The DMV will also take in elderly individuals or those with disabilities or special needs as part of the category of customers with the most urgent needs. That also includes military members who are preparing for deployment.

“For everybody else, that means we’re going to ask you to delay your visit for the first 30 days or so,” Butler said.

“Please don’t rush in if you can wait for things like converting your identification or a standard ID to a real ID, or if you just want to order specialized license plates,” she said. “Those are the types of transactions that can wait.”

Read the full story here: DMV to reopen on June 15 in phased approach 

Butler said staff has also processed a backlog of 22,000 transactions during the closure. She said the department will be back to full services in mid or late July.

Staff will be required to wear masks, gloves, and a face shield. They will be working in staggered shifts and will be helping customers as they wait outside.

“We will not be allowing people to wait in our lobbies,” Butler said. “In fact, the chairs have been removed from our lobbies in most cases.”

Customers will be seen through appointments. They are also encouraged to use the DMV website or kiosks.

29 more cases reported in Washoe County, state death toll rises

Monday

Washoe County reported 29 more cases of the coronavirus Monday, according to the regional information center dashboard. There were also 20 more recoveries reported.

The death toll remains at 65, and 569 cases are active. There have been 1,772 cases total confirmed cases in Washoe County, and 136 people have been released from the hospital.

The state’s death toll rose to 442 Monday, up to four from the day before, according to new data posted to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard.

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