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Health District: COVID-19 cases on the rise but still low

By Bob Conrad

Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick today said the new omicron variant is creating an increase in COVID-19 cases. 

“Our seven day moving average went from 36.71 last week to 54.57. this week,” he said.  “That’s … about a 50% increase, week to week, in the COVID cases.”

He also said the testing at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center is seeing an increased demand. 

“Our testing demand has been up about 20% over the past week,” he added. “We’re also aware that there’s a lot of other testing that we’re not capturing that’s occurring with the at-home test kits that are widely available that people are using. So these are all indications that we’re seeing increases in transmission that are occurring locally.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations, however, remain low, and community-wide, COVID-19 cases remain in the low range, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have 19 patients that are reported as confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 the seven-day average the Hospital Association is reporting for COVID confirmed patients in Washoe County stands at 12,” Dick said. 

He continued to recommend getting vaccinated, and if you are over the age of 50, to get both boosters that are now widely available. 

Statewide cases also remain low but health officials continue to recommend people be cautious of indoor gatherings and to wear a mask if you are immunocompromised or are in a high-risk age group.

“As we move into spring and a time for many gatherings and celebrations we encourage all Nevadans to consider their health and the health of others as we know COVID-19 is present in Nevada communities,” State Epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock said. 

Pre-exposure medication or oral antivirals and monoclonal antibody treatments are available to those that are eligible soon after infection occurs, officials said. 

Statewide, as of May 9, the 14-day moving average of cases, confirmed and probable, has increased from 267 to 354, or 33% from the same time last week.

The statewide seven-day moving average of hospitalizations has also increased to 21%. 

“While we do see our case numbers increasing, it is not unexpected and our health care infrastructure is in good shape,” State Biostatistician Kyra Morgan said. 

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