Outbreak at Douglas High and Pau-Wa-Lu officially over

A tester from the Nevada Air Guard talks to a participant in coronavirus testing in December 2020.

A tester from the Nevada Air Guard talks to a participant in coronavirus testing in December 2020.


School officials received the all-clear Friday to permit students at Douglas High and Pau-Wa-Lu Middle schools to stop wearing face coverings in school starting Monday.

An outbreak over two weeks at the beginning of the school year resulted in a requirement that students at the two schools wear masks for 28 calendar days.

District and health officials met on Friday and decided to lift the requirement.

“We continue to request that families screen their children before they leave for school and to keep their children home if they are showing any symptoms of illness,” Superintendent Keith Lewis said in a Friday afternoon statement. “Douglas County School District and Carson City Health and Human Services both highly recommend face covering use among students at all school sites.”

School district staff are required to wear masks indoors and everyone has to wear a mask on the bus.

On Thursday, Carson City Health and Human Services reported three Douglas County residents succumbed to the virus, bringing the toll to 47 since the first death in August 2020.

Earlier in the day, 58 residents turned out at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center for testing, while 63 were vaccinated.

Carson City provides public health services to Douglas, Storey and Lyon counties as well as the capital.

On Thursday, Douglas was reported to have 119 new coronavirus cases and 27 recoveries. The county has 943 active cases and 3,325. A quarter of the county’s coronavirus cases have been reported in the last month.

The average of new cases per day has dropped to 15 in Douglas compared to 19 last week, perhaps offering some hope the surge is slowing down.

Carson City reported five deaths and 188 new cases. Lyon had four deaths and 301 new cases. Storey County only had 11 new cases.

All four counties remain at an elevated level for disease transmission.

On Tuesday, neighboring Alpine County reported infections among its workers in six different departments. Much of the county’s workforce lives in Douglas County.

“Our worker pool is not deep, with limited ability to replace workers not able to work during these times,” Public Health Officer Richard Johnson said.

In response, the county Board of Supervisors directed Johnson to issue an order requiring Alpine County employees to be vaccinated.

“Be assured that we are doing everything we can to protect the health of our staff and our community,” he said.


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