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Washoe County flagged on state watchlist for eighth consecutive week
Washoe County was flagged by the Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force for the eighth consecutive week for increased risk of transmission, longer than any county in the state. Washoe reported 1,372 cases per 100,000 over the last 30 days and a 14 day test positivity rate of 16.2 percent.
Deputy Administrator of Community Health Services Julia Peak said the state was working with Quest, a third party laboratory company, to expand testing efforts. Recently, the Washoe County Health District began limiting testing to those with COVID-19 symptoms.
Peak said the state would use funds from the CARES Act to support the additional testing efforts.
The state also continues to work on its vaccination distribution plans, which change daily because they receive new information every day, health officials said. However, they said that each county will be responsible for distributing the vaccine.
Overall, the state is planning on coordinating with the National Guard and other resources to distribute the vaccine.
State sets record for hospitalizations
Nevada reported 1,914 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day, with the sharpest increases coming in Clark County (874 new cases), Washoe County (561) and Carson City (351).
Eight coronavirus-related deaths were reported — four in Washoe County, two in Churchill County and two in Nye County.
Hospitalizations in the state set a new record with 984 known cases in Nevada hospitals, breaking the previous record of 972 set on Aug. 3. An additional 173 suspected cases are also hospitalized. Of those cases, 251 are in intensive care units, and 146 are on ventilators.
The state’s test positivity rate increased to 15.4% over the past 14 days, well above the World Health Organization’s target rate of 5%.
Thirteen of Nevada’s 17 counties are on the state’s watch list for elevated disease transmission due to high positive test rates, the number of cases per capita over the past 30 days and/or insufficient testing. The watch list counties include Washoe, Lyon, Douglas and Churchill counties and Carson City.
Washoe now has been on the watchlist for eight consecutive weeks. The task force will hear action plans from Carson City, Clark, Elko, Douglas, Humboldt, Lincoln, Lyon, Nye and Washoe counties on Thursday.
Where to get tested
County residents in need of testing have several options.
► At-home COVID-19 testing: LabCorp provides at-home testing via FedEx for those who meet screening criteria after filling out a short survey. Further information is available at pixel.labcorp.com/covid-19.
► CVS Pharmacy: CVS Pharmacy is conducting free drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at eight locations in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Fallon. Patients must register in advance by scheduling an appointment at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
► Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center: The Washoe County Health District conducts COVID-19 testing by appointment only for those who meet screening criteria after taking a brief survey. Appointments can be scheduled online at aca-prod.accela.com/Washoe-Covid19/welcome.aspx or by calling 775-328-2427.
► Saint Mary’s Urgent Care: Coronavirus testing is available by appointment only at four Saint Mary’s Urgent Care facilities in Reno-Sparks. Appointments can be made by visiting carbonhealth.com/coronavirus.
► University of Nevada: Students, faculty and staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 may receive an appointment to be tested by calling 775-784-6598 or by visiting www.unr.edu/coronavirus/health-and-safety/testing.
► Walgreens: Walgreens is conducting no-cost COVID-19 testing for patients who meet testing criteria at its location at 3495 S. Virginia St. near Moana Lane. Appointments are required; visit www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing to learn more.
► Walmart: Two Reno Walmart locations are conducting drive-thru COVID-19 tests by appointment at 5260 W. 7th St. and 155 Damonte Ranch Pkwy. For details, visit MyQuestCOVIDTest.com.
Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown’s urgent care locations and Veterans Affairs Sierra Nevada Health Care System also are performing COVID-19 tests, but require orders from a physician. Contact your general practitioner to discuss options.
Brett McGinness is the engagement editor for the Reno Gazette Journal. He’s also the writer of The Reno Memo — a free newsletter about news in the Biggest Little City. Subscribe to the newsletter right here. Consider supporting the Reno Gazette Journal, too.