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
This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Sunday, May 17. 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.
Washoe County reports 54 new cases of COVID-19, another death
The area reported 54 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday as the total count for COVID-19 infections in Washoe County rose to 1,256, the biggest one day jump so far.
One additional death also was reported, a woman in her 90s with underlying health conditions, bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 47, according to the Washoe County Health District.
The number of active cases increased to 552 on Sunday from the 536 total cases reported during the previous day. The number of people who have recovered is now at 657, which still outpaces the number of active cases.
The county reports that 54 people remain hospitalized from the disease, with 106 being released from the hospital to date.
5th Washoe County Sheriff’s Office employee tests positive for COVID-19
Another deputy with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has tested positive for COVID-19.
The deputy reported that he started feeling symptoms for the novel coronavirus at the end of his shift on Thursday, May 14. The deputy’s test came back positive on Saturday night.
Another deputy who was working with the law enforcement officer was also tested but the results came back negative. Six other personnel who worked around the deputy have also been quarantined out of an abundance of caution, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy is the fifth employee of the sheriff’s office to test positive for COVID-19, according to Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam.
Nevada reports 195 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday
Nevada reported 195 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday as the state saw its total count rise to 6,857.
A total of 80,637 Nevadans have been tested for the novel coronavirus statewide.
The death rate on the Nevada Health Response dashboard remains at 349.
The state reported that 6,500 tests were performed on Saturday, the highest number for a single day in Nevada since the pandemic started.
The cumulative test positivity rate also fell to 8.5% on Saturday. The World Health Organization recommends a rate below 10% for the metric, which is used to determine whether businesses can stay open.
Post-opening spike 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.
Protesters rally in Carson City, 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
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.
48 new cases reported Saturday in Nevada
The state of Nevada is reporting a small daily jump in coronavirus cases with 48 new positive tests Saturday morning. The death toll remains 349.
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.
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