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An 800th Washoe County resident has died from COVID-19

By Jeri Chadwell

The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) has reported the 800th death caused by COVID-19 in the county.

In the past month-and-a-half, 100 people have died of the virus and 10,644 new cases have been reported. As a comparison, the previous 100 deaths happened over a much longer timeframe—Jan. 27 to Aug. 8.

Of the most recent 100 COVID-19-related deaths reported:

  • 14 residents were younger than 50
  • 84 were not fully vaccinated
  • Of the 16 COVID-19-related deaths who were fully vaccinated, all 16 had an underlying health condition.
  • There have been 43 COVID-19 related deaths reported in September alone.

“Back in June, when we were experiencing much less COVID-19 transmission, we hoped that reporting of large numbers of COVID-19-related deaths was behind us,” said WCHD’s Kevin Dick. “With this latest surge, unfortunately we’re seeing more impact from this deadly virus, and we hope residents realize and understand that we’re not done with COVID-19 yet. We still have to be vigilant against this disease and get vaccinated.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and remains the best resource to reduce the chances of contracting the virus, being hospitalized with it or dying. Here are some easy ways to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the NV Health Response COVID-19 Dashboard, more than 258,000 people have been fully vaccinated in Washoe County, which makes up 63.16% of the population 12 years and older.

Nearly 200 hospitalizations in Washoe County, most unvaccinated

The Nevada Hospital Association (NHA) is reporting that 84% of staffed hospital beds in Washoe County are occupied, and 197 patients hospitalized are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

Hospital staffing continues to be a problem, according to the NHA. Further exacerbating hospital overcrowding are people going to emergency departments to seek rapid COVID-19 tests to return to work or school. NHA is recommending people to avoid hospitals for COVID-19 testing.

Also, an issue is residents calling 9-1-1 for non-emergency issues. Last month, REMSA Health reported a 200% increase in 9-1-1 calls at certain periods of time, and many were for non-emergency situations. 

REMSA officials are  asking the public to consider alternative options to access care for non-emergency situations, like contacting your health system or insurance company’s nurse healthline, telehealth, or visiting your local urgent care. 

REMSA dispatchers may transfer non-emergency 9-1-1 calls to a registered nurse to help navigate patients to the most appropriate level of care.

COVID-19 testing options in Washoe County

The availability of COVID-19 test appointments is limited, but there are options.

It’s important for residents who aren’t going to make it to their testing appointments to cancel through the platform from which they signed up.

For Call 775-328-2427 for RSLEC testing questions.

Business owners advised to set up their own testing

Local businesses that have employees who are able, but unwilling to get vaccinated, and who choose to get tested weekly instead should make arrangements for testing their employees and not rely on options at pharmacies and the RSLEC.

Businesses should reach out to laboratories and testing providers for setting up testing for employees.

Vaccination events

The COVID-19 website for Washoe County, has a page dedicated to vaccination events. Go here for information.

Upcoming events:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021– Neil Road Recreation Center, 3925 Neil Road, Reno, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 23 – Ijji Noodle House & Poke Don, 199 Damonte Ranch Pkwy #8m, Reno, noon-1 p.m. (Hosted by Reno Fire Dept.)
  • Friday, Sept. 24 – Street Vibrations, Sands Regency, 345 N. Arlington Ave, Reno, 1-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 25 – Street Vibrations, Sands Regency, 345 N. Arlington Ave, Reno, 1-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 26 – St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 1070 Plumb Lane, Reno, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Thursday, Sept. 30 – Hobey’s Casino, 5195 Sun Valley Blvd, Sun Valley, 1-4 p.m.

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