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Coronavirus testing returns to Douglas County

Community coronavirus testing was quiet in Sunridge on Thursday morning. Testing returns to Douglas High School in Minden on Oct. 3.
Kurt Hildebrand

On Tuesday, it was all “vanilla, mint chocolate chip or caramel?” at a free ice cream drive-through event at the Douglas County Senior Center in Gardnerville.

On Thursday, it was “tilt your head back” for a nasal swab for coronavirus community testing in Sunridge.

On Wednesday, Lyon County Public Health Officer and Assemblywoman Robin Titus said there hasn’t been an increase in coronavirus cases after the Sept. 12 rally for President Trump.

“Yes, COVID is a reality,” she said. “Yes, it’s something we need to deal with. But we’re so bogged down in COVID, which didn’t have to happen. Sensible minds need to come together on this.”

She said that typically there’s a surge of cases within 10 days of exposure, which would have been Tuesday.

“I’ve been watching the numbers very closely,” she said.

Titus and Sen. James Settelmeyer spoke at the Business Council of Douglas County’s Critical Issues Conference on Wednesday.

Settelmeyer said that estimates of the crowd count for the president’s visit range from 26,000 to 30,000 people.

“It dwarfed the rally in Las Vegas,” he said. “I called my friends down there and said that maybe sometime they could have a real rally.”

Carson City Health and Human Services will be conducting testing at East Fork Station 12 from 8-11 a.m. today.

Community testing is designed to discover if there are hidden cases of the virus running through the population. Testing is free and open for any resident of Douglas, Carson, Lyon and Storey.

The community testing only shows whether a person has the coronavirus at the time of the test.

Fire agencies across the four counties are participating in a research study with the Carson health agency and state health officials to determine if first-responders have coronavirus antibodies.

Deputy Emergency Manager Dave Fogerson said the antibody test, which can show if someone has had the virus, is limited to public health studies.

Fogerson said East Fork personnel had a serious bout of the flu in January and February, and he’s looking forward to finding out if it was an early instance of the coronavirus.

“We are key, since we could be spreaders coming into hospitals, senior living facilities, your home, and the vegetable aisle at Raley’s,” he said.

On Monday, the Douglas County School District revealed three more cases of coronavirus associated with Douglas High School and Carson Valley Middle School. Superintendent Keith Lewis said the cases affected a small number of people at the two schools and there is no evidence any of the cases were contracted in the schools.

That brings the number of cases to 12 in the month since school started in August.

As of Tuesday evening, Douglas has 29 active cases of coronavirus, up from 15 cases on Sept. 15.