Mask mandate returns to Douglas

Members of Douglas County's Citizens Emergency Response Team and a health official wait for the first customers at a March 16 coronavirus testing in Gardnerville.

Members of Douglas County's Citizens Emergency Response Team and a health official wait for the first customers at a March 16 coronavirus testing in Gardnerville.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.


Officials across Douglas County are scrambling to keep up with the new mask mandate issued by the governor based on new guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control.

County buildings are following the mask guidelines and the governor’s directive by requiring employees to wear masks inside public places.

County Manager Patrick Cates said they are asking members of the public to do the same while inside county facilities unless they are otherwise exempted.

“Like any employer, we are subject to inspections from State OSHA, which has been enforcing the Governor’s emergency directives related to COVID-19,” Cates said. “Otherwise the county will not participate in any enforcement activities related to Emergency Directive 047.”

School Board trustees meet 4 p.m. Monday to discuss revising the plan to reopen schools on Aug. 9 given the new mandate.

To participate or watch the meeting go to and click the purple button.

“The district will be bringing forward a plan in alignment with the most recent directive, which the Board of Trustees will consider for approval during a special meeting on Monday,” Lewis said.

The district had already completed and submitted its coronavirus plan required by the state.

Meetings across the county will require participants to wear masks.

Masks will be required at the town meetings of Gardnerville 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, and at Genoa and Minden 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

County commissioner meetings will return to a hybrid format when they meet 1 p.m. Thursday.

Douglas is one of a dozen Nevada counties the state said had an increased rate of spread from the virus.

The Nevada Department of Health reports Douglas County has too low an average number of tests per 100,000 and too high a positivity rate.

There are only around 32 tests being conducted every day, below the 50 required to climb out of the criteria.

Mass testing was suspended after residents stopped turning up for events in May, opting instead for a vaccination. Those mass testing events helped keep Douglas above the threshold of 50 for the county.

Douglas is also posting an 11 percent test positivity rate. On Thursday, Carson City Health and Human Services reported 74 active cases in the county, up from 57 on July 21 and 40 on July 14.

The county is averaging five new cases a day. According to the Nevada Health Response website, there have been no new hospitalizations from the virus. In all, 37 Douglas residents have died as a result of the virus since August 2020.

Slightly more than half of the county’s population over 12 years old has been vaccinated, with 22,572 shots administered.

A walk-in clinic is 4-5:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center in Gardnerville. Vaccinations are free of charge.

The guidance recommends universal masking in schools regardless of vaccination status or level of community transmission.

A group of parents has been consistent in protesting having their children wear masks at Douglas County School Board meetings. When the mask mandate was lifted for those who were vaccinated, the district allowed students 12 and older to stop wearing masks, while those who were 9 and younger were exempt from the requirement.

That left a small group of students who were required to wear masks.

Parents who are concerned about sending their 4th through 12th grade students to school may still sign up for Douglas Nevada Online. A mandatory orientation meeting for students and families is Aug. 3 at ASPIRE Academy High School, 1380 Bently Parkway, Minden. Orientation for 4th-8th-graders is 5:30-6:30 p.m., while 9th-12th graders are 6:45-7:45 p.m. For more information call 775-392-1475 or


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