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Coronavirus spike could bring new shutdown

by Geoff Dornan and Kurt Hildebrand
Nevada News Group

The line for a combined drive-through flu clinic and coronavirus testing event on Tuesday stretched around the parking lot of the Douglas County Community & Senior Center and extended across Waterloo to Lampe Park.

“We had a great turn out for testing,” Douglas County Emergency Manager Tod Carlini said. “It is estimated that over 400 people were tested.”

On Tuesday, Carlini reported three new coronavirus cases and five recoveries, bringing the county to 33 active cases and 428 recoveries. On Tuesday, Carson City cracked 1,000 total cases, with 201 active.

A similar spike statewide prompted Gov. Steve Sisolak to call on residents to help officials get the spread of the coronavirus back under control or he will have to impose restrictions.

The state is seeing a 14-day rolling average of four deaths a day, with 963 average new cases daily.

Three out of every four beds statewide are occupied due to COVID-19 and other causes. The Nevada Hospital Association reported 891 beds were occupied by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients — the highest number since mid-August.

“If we don’t come together at this moment, I will be forced to take action in 14 days,” he said. “I don’t want to take enforcement. I want to lift restrictions.”

Sisolak urged everyone who can to stay home for the next two weeks, work from home and avoid contact with people who aren’t in their household.

He said he is trying to keep the state open and not impose restrictions again but that people have to wear masks properly — over both the mouth and nose — stay home if they can, avoid hosting meetings and avoid close contact with people even if they are wearing masks.

Sisolak said he has doctors and scientists tell him Nevada is on the verge of being overwhelmed by the virus but he said Nevadans can change that.

Sisolak concluded that out of state visitors are still welcome but that they must adhere to the guidelines including wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands. Failure of businesses to comply, he said, will result in citations and fines. He said he has urged local governments to step up enforcement to get the situation under control.

Nevada “continues the upward trajectory of COVID-19 cases as the population appears to have disengaged from mitigation steps such as social distancing and remote working,” the The Nevada Hospital Association said.