Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick today said Washoe County is not considering a new mask mandate. The announcement was made in the wake of Clark County making a mask “recommendation” as the Las Vegas-area is seeing a surge of new cases.
Clark County is reporting a nearly 12% test positivity rate — accounting for hundreds of new cases each day — while Washoe County recently inched back up above 5%.
“It’s really unfortunate that southern Nevada has seen a significant uptick in cases and the hospitalizations that are occurring, and fortunately Washoe County is not at that point,” Dick said. “We are not making a mask recommendation right now.”
Clark County has more than 750 people hospitalized with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 while Washoe has 34 people in the hospital.
Washoe County reported this week a third death of an unvaccinated person who contracted the Delta variant of the virus.
Dick said the nearly 50% of Washoe County residents who are not immunized need to be wearing masks when around others. People who are vaccinated can still contract COVID-19.
County records show 186 “breakthrough cases” of the coronavirus disease — that is, people who got COVID-19 after being vaccinated.
“The vaccine doesn’t make you bulletproof,” Dick said. “It’s a very effective vaccine. It’s very protective, but it doesn’t guarantee you’re not going to get COVID-19.”
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR.