District Health Officer Kevin Dick warns against large gatherings on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 6:29 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “We have COVID-19 exploding in our community.”

A powerful statement from Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. With 30 recent deaths in Washoe County because of the Coronavirus, Dick is pushing families to be smart this Thanksgiving.

“With the deaths that we have had in Washoe County, we have over 250 of our residents that are gone,” he said. “Their families are celebrating Thanksgiving without them this year.”

The recent passing of Brent Boynton - a beloved community figure - because of complications with COVID-19, had Dick emotional about the virus and its danger.

“I’m hopeful that our community will learn from (Boynton’s passing) and recognize how serious COVID-19 is and that it can kill any one of us,” Dick said.

Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner, Dr. Laura Knight, also spoke at the press conference. As the number of deaths continues to rise, strain is now put on area funeral homes.

“Many of our funeral homes are approaching their full capacity,” Knight added.

When it comes to the latest seven-day moving average, Dick’s research indicates that number is around 513 new positive cases each day - 3.5 times the number of cases seen in Washoe County a month ago.

This past Sunday, Governor Steve Sisolak issued new restrictions on gatherings. The governor urges families to celebrate Thanksgiving with less than ten people from no more than two households. While the order is intended to slow the spread of the virus, Dick does not think it is enough.

“(Those directives don’t) mean that going out, or having a gathering of ten people in your home, is safe.”

As Black Friday approaches, health officials and Governor Sisolak have asked people to shop online for the best deals, support local businesses financially through the pandemic, and to pick up orders curb-side.

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