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Fourth Washoe resident tests positive for COVID-19; county cancels non-essential meetings (updated)

By Carla O'Day
Published: Last Updated on

Feature Image: Trevor Bexon

The Washoe County Health District announced today, Satruday, a fourth person locally has tested positive for novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The case is a male in his 20s who had no travel history outside of Washoe County. His condition is stable and he is self-isolating at home.

“We expected to begin to see community transmission of COVID-19 so this is not a surprise,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer of the Washoe County Health District. “This should heighten our attention to the importance of using precautionary measures and practicing social distancing to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of any respiratory or communicable disease, including COVID-19, in Washoe County.”

On Friday, a third patient was announced.

The subject is a female in her 20s who had recent travel to Germany and France. Her condition is stable and she is self-isolating at home, according to the health district.

Additionally, the health district is working to identify close contacts the subject has had with others to prevent community spread of the disease.

Tests have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

Due to medical privacy requirements, no further information about the case was released.

The first two coronavirus cases in Washoe County were a man in his 50s who tested positive last week after returning home from a cruise. The second was a man in his 30s who tested positive last weekend after returning home from a trip to Santa Clara, Calif.

coronavirus restrictions sign at renown
Renown Medical Center has erected a temporary tent outside the emergency department to triage patients with respiratory symptoms. Image: Trevor Bexon

Health district officer Kevin Dick said 49 Nevadans aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship were scheduled to fly home from Oakland today on two federally-operated charter flights that will land at non-public airports in Northern and Southern Nevada. They’ll be escorted to their homes to begin a 14-day coronavirus quarantine. Dick said all are asymptomatic but will be tested and monitored. Twenty-one people aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19.

Also on Friday, County Commission Chairman Bob Lucey suspended all non-essential Washoe County public meetings.

“In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, strong actions of avoiding public gatherings short term should hopefully help us avoid larger, more critical situations,” Lucey said.

Lucey encouraged people to be mindful of the elderly, who are most prone to health problems associated with coronavirus.

With local schools on spring vacation the next two weeks, Lucey encouraged people to be vigilant, evaluate preparedness at home, avoid public gatherings and consider travel plans carefully.

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fever and coughing. It has sickened and killed thousands worldwide.

Residents concerned they might have COVID-19 can contact their healthcare provider or telemedicine provider, or call the health district at 775-328-2427 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends or 3-1-1 after hours. 

People with symptoms are asked to avoid the emergency room and to avoid calling 9-1-1.

More information on COVID-19 can be found at www.washoecounty.us/covid19 or by calling Washoe 311 (dial 3-1-1).

This Is Reno’s COVID-19 news coverage

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