While concerns about mask mandates and mandatory vaccination are ramping up, the coronavirus outbreak seems to be going the other direction.
According to the Nevada Health Response, Douglas County continues to have five new confirmed cases a day, less than a quarter of the surge from early September that saw 22 cases a day at its peak Sept. 9.
A combined flu and coronavirus vaccinations clinic is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Douglas High School.
Carson City Health and Human Services reported that 24,393 Douglas residents have been vaccinated against the virus, so far, representing 55.4 percent of the population.
According to the state, 53 Douglas County residents have succumbed to the virus, up 1 from last week’s report. Only one person was in intensive care as of Monday with a half dozen hospitalizations.
According to the state dashboard, the test positivity rate is down to 9.3 percent in the county and is trending down toward the 8 percent threshold in that category that flags the county for elevated transmission.
The average tests per day is the only of three categories where Douglas is currently below the threshold with 172 a day. The case rate of 594 per 100,000 people over the last 30 days is still nearly triple the threshold of 200. Douglas County has half that population, so the actual number of cases is just under 300. As the county puts more distance from the early September surge, that case rate should decrease if trends continue.
An outbreak at Douglas High and Pau-Wa-Lu Middle schools was declared over Sept. 29 and the number of active cases in Douglas County schools decreased significantly over the past month, Superintendent Keith Lewis said Tuesday.
With the outbreak over, students are no longer required to wear masks in class, though they are still required on the bus. Staff and district employees are required to wear masks until Douglas’ elevated status is reduced.
On Tuesday, Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley said he met with business owners regarding mask enforcement.
Most regulations regarding businesses in Douglas County are enforced by the state of Nevada through agencies like the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Gaming Control Board.
“I personally support the autonomy of local business owners and believe the decision to wear a mask inside a business should be the decision of the business owner and the individual who enters the business,” Coverley said. “The state of Nevada takes a different approach. The sheriff’s office is here to support all of our businesses by keeping the community safe from crime but has no role in the enforcement of state-imposed mask requirements.”
The statement reflects the sheriff’s position on coronavirus mandates since the outbreak began in March 2020.