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County health board opposes proposed changes to reopening plan

By Bob Conrad

The Washoe County District Board of Health is opposing discussed changes to the regional COVID-19 plan mulled last week by the Washoe County Board of Commissioners.

Reno City Council Member Oscar Delgado.
Reno City Council Member Oscar Delgado.

Reno council member Oscar Delgado, chair of the health board, said today the board is opposing those changes.

“The commissioners chose not to accept the recommendations as presented in the local control plan and offered some significant revisions,” he said. “We’re currently working with public health professionals to see if any of those proposed revisions are acceptable from a public health standpoint.”

Delgado said reductions of social distancing and removal of vaccination rates as part of the plan were objectionable.

“The plan that was presented at county commissioners was a holistic plan by many stakeholders across the community,” he added. “So the first pieces of some of the considerations were considered by the group in its entirety, and were rejected by the group.”

District Health Officer Kevin Dick also said he was opposed to the changes discussed by the commissioners.

“We’ll be working with the regional workgroup,” he said. “And we feel that there are some areas that we can make some modifications within the plan and still be able to support it. But I don’t think that we are in a position to be able to fully support all of the recommendations that were made by the … commissioners.”

The board of commissioners is a separate entity from the district health board. Gov. Steve Sisolak in March announced that counties would be responsible for local control of COVID-19 mitigation efforts. 

Plans must receive an endorsement from the local health district, the superintendent for the local school district, the city manager (for counties with cities with a population greater than 100,000) and the Nevada Hospital Association. After a plan gets these endorsements, it will need to be approved by a vote of the board of county commissioners.

The board of commissioners will revisit the issue at a meeting Wednesday.

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