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Douglas sees third coronavirus death

Testing has been one area in which Douglas residents have excelled. Testing returns to Douglas County 2-4 p.m. Tuesday at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center.
Kurt Hildebrand

A third Douglas County death related to the coronavirus outbreak was reported on Saturday evening.

East Fork Fire Marshal Amy Ray reported six new cases and five recoveries in the county.

As of Saturday night, there were 34 active cases and 492 recoveries, according to Carson City Health and Human Services’ web site.

The county peaked for its single day total with 15 active cases on Nov. 19. The daily average of seven new cases a day has only been exceeded once, on Aug. 4 when the average was eight over one day.

Douglas County has joined most of the rest state exceeding two of three criteria, with 620 cases per 100,000 over the last 30 days and a 14-day test positivity of 16.1 percent. Douglas County’s official population is listed at 49,695 people, so the stats are multiplied to provide similar rates.

All but two Nevada counties have the required average number of tests per day, including Douglas with an average of 131 per 100,000, according to the state county tracker.

A community coronavirus testing and flu shot clinic is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Tuesday at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center in Gardnerville.

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday that he’s implementing what he described as a three-week pause.

He ordered restaurants, bars, gaming operations, gyms, fitness facilities and other businesses and activities be limited to 25 percent of applicable fire code capacity, down from 50 percent.  Retail stores – including grocery stores – will remain at 50 percent of capacity, with strict social distancing and additional monitoring requirements. 

Additionally, public gatherings will be limited to no more than 50 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever is less. No large events will be approved during this time frame. 

All three of Douglas County’s neighbors in California have seen increases in their tiers for limitations, including El Dorado County hitting the purple tier. On Friday, Alpine County reported three new coronavirus cases bringing it to nine. Since the beginning of the outbreak, Alpine has seen 42 cases with two hospitalizations. That represents 3.5 percent of the county’s population.

Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson urged residents to take protocols seriously during the next months.

“With all of the legitimate talk about excellent new vaccines, we have lost sight of the fact that the worst of COVID-19 is still ahead of us — not behind us,” he said in a letter to residents. “How bad things get in Alpine County does not depend on the federal, state or local government. It is up to all of us and the crucial decisions each of us makes about our individual behavior that will determine how bad it will get in these winter months.”

Johnson pointed out that Alpine County had only three cases until October, all of which were on in Eastern slope.

He said the Alpine County cases were not about restaurants or businesses.

Johnson asked residents to stay home if they’re sick, to get tested and cooperate with contact trackers. 

“If you he been instructed to isolate or quarantine, please do so,” he said. “It disturbs me when I hear of people that we know have been asked to isolate or quarantine being seen grocery shopping at a box store in Gardnerville,” he said.

He also urged people to avoid gatherings that include people from outside residents’ immediate households.

“Indoor gatherings with more than 12 people from more than three households are especially risky,” he said. 

He urged residents to be compulsive about wearing masks, social distancing and handwashing.

“These small infringements on your rights will buy huge dividends by reducing risk to those you love,” he said.