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Health officer ‘cautiously optimistic’ about declining COVID cases

By Bob Conrad

Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick today said he is cautiously optimistic about the declining COVID-19 cases.

Health officials in the region are seeing a 100-fold decrease in new cases from earlier this year.

“I think that does cause a huge relief for us,” Dick said. “I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll continue to watch what happens. I expect we will have some different surges that occur down the road but I’m hoping that the worst is behind us.”

He added, however, that COVID is “full of surprises” and it’s possible new variants could re-emerge.

The health district has also removed the previously used Truckee Meadows Risk Meter from its COVID-19 dashboard. Officials are instead using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ratings, which shows the Reno area in the low range of COVID risk in the community.

“We’ve taken [the risk meter] down for now as that the risk meter was showing high risk, and the new CDC community levels are showing low risk, which we think is confusing,” Dick said. “The team that developed the risk meter is now assessing that meter and determining whether they want to adjust the metrics on the meter to better reflect the current state of affairs with COVID-19.”

The health district is also only updating its COVID reports to weekly. Its COVID-19 dashboard shows today only 18 new cases.

Deaths from the coronavirus disease are also on the decline, and the test positivity rate is still slightly above the World Health Organization’s 5% threshold. The Truckee Meadows, as of March 10, is at 7%.

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