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More than 700 dead from COVID-19 in Washoe County as cases again on the rise


County officials reported today 706 people in Washoe County have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020. 

Three who recently died were fully vaccinated – two contracted the Delta variant, the other is under investigation to determine if it’s the Delta variant. Five of the seven who died from the Delta variant were unvaccinated.

The Health District Public Information Officer, Scott Oxarart, said that “for the Delta cases and deaths, those are just confirmed. Not every positive COVID-19 case is sequenced to determine if it’s Delta.”

Fifteen people have died in August so far while June and July both saw six dead from the coronavirus disease.

Hospital beds are at 80% capacity, up from 61% on Aug. 1. These numbers show an across-the-board increase in new deaths, new cases and an increase in the risk of transmission for getting COVID-19.

The region’s risk meter is now back in the “very high” range, where it was most of last winter as COVID-19 cases were spreading throughout the community and hospitals were filled with new cases.

“The impact COVID-19 and the Delta variant are having on everyone in Washoe County, in particular hospitals, is reaching a breaking point,” said Kevin Dick, Washoe County health officer. “Our healthcare system and public health systems are facing the same labor shortages as retail and service industry and likely cannot support another surge at the same level we faced in the winter.”

Officials continue to urge citizens to get vaccinated and businesses are now back to implementing mask requirements for people inside buildings.

Health experts are unequivocal that wearing masks and getting vaccinated are the two best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. Nearly 60% of the county, age 12 and over, is fully vaccinated.

“If you are still waiting for more time to pass by to get the COVID-19 vaccine or refuse to wear a mask in public, be aware of the inherent risks of failing to do so,” Dick added. “Vaccines are over 90% effective at keeping you out of the hospital or dying from COVID-19, and masks block respiratory droplets to reduce disease transmission. Please do your part.”

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that those with moderately compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.

The third dose will be available this week at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. More information will be distributed once details are finalized. Visit COVID19Washoe.com for information.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
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 and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.