No updated mask recommendations in Washoe County

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 1:02 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County Health District on Friday made no changes to its mask recommendations, but said it supports the Southern Nevada Health District’s decision to recommend masks for Clark County residents in public settings.

Earlier in the day the Southern Nevada Health District recommended both unvaccinated and vaccinated people in Clark County wear masks in crowded indoor spaces.

The Washoe County Health District said it will continue to follow guidance from Governor Steve Sisolak’s directive and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention that if you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places, and in general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.

“COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations in Washoe County are much lower per capita than Clark County, so the Washoe County Health District does not have plans for such an announcement at this time,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County.

“Washoe County, however, has seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases occurring over the past week and rising test positivity, so it is certainly not a bad idea for people who are vaccinated to wear masks for further protection from the spread of COVID-19.” Dick added, “People who are unvaccinated are required to wear masks when they are indoors in public settings under the Governor’s Directive, but this does not appear to be occurring. Disobeying the requirement for unvaccinated individuals to wear masks unnecessarily endangers everyone in our community. People should get vaccinated or continue to wear masks.”

The 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases in Washoe County is at 34.5. That average is expected to rise – three of the last six days, 40 or more daily COVID-19 cases have been reported.

According to the Nevada Hospital Association, 64% of licensed hospital beds in Washoe County are occupied. Thirty-four patients who are hospitalized in Washoe County are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19. Comparatively, in Clark County, 96% of licensed beds are occupied and 770 patients are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

The Washoe County test positivity rate, according to the Nevada Health Response Dashboard, is at 5.9% after being at 2.9% on June 13.

The Health District recommends that all residents get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to help fight the Delta variant.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Sign up for an appointment here.

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