The surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations happening around the country reflect the challenge that President Donald Trump or Joe Biden will face in the coming months. (Nov. 6)
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The Reno-Carson area opened October in an unenviable position, topping Nevada for the highest case rate in the state in the last month.
Washoe County’s COVID-19 case rate in the last 30 days stood at 985 cases per 100,000 people as of Sunday, according to Nevada’s COVID-19 dashboard. Washoe’s case rate for COVID-19, however, was only the second-highest overall in the state. The highest rate was posted by Carson City, which passed the 1,000 mark on Friday. The state capital led Nevada with a case rate of 1,153 per 100,000 in the last 30 days.
Here is a roundup of key COVID numbers and trends from the last week.
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A November surprise
November has started on the wrong foot for Washoe County, which reported a single-day high of 377 new cases on Wednesday. This was followed by 333 new cases reported on Thursday, the second-highest number seen on a single day. Total confirmed cases just surpassed the 15,000 mark late last week, with Washoe County reporting a total of 15,880 cases as of Monday.
The numbers continued an upward trend for Washoe County in the last few months. Washoe started seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections in September, including a spike in cases involving students. The average for new cases in September was about 79 new cases per day, according to an analysis of county numbers by the Reno Gazette Journal. By the time October ended, Washoe averaged 130 daily cases for the month, a 65% increase over September.
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Residents between the ages of 20 to 29 continued to account for the highest number of new cases in the last week. The age group saw 375 new cases in the week leading up to Nov. 5, an increase of 8% from the previous seven-day period. The largest percentage increase in new cases, meanwhile, was seen in people ages 60 to 69. One positive development last week was a downward trend in new cases for kids age 19 and younger.
Here is a breakdown of new COVID-19 cases by age group in the week leading up to Nov. 5:
- Age 9 and younger: 51, down 18%.
- Age 10-19: 131, down 7%.
- Age 20-29: 375, up 8%.
- Age 30-39: 288, relatively flat.
- Age 40-49: 219, up 19%.
- Age 50-59: 212, up 13%.
- Age 60-69: 118, up 24%
- Age 70-79: 70, up 15%
- Age 80-89: 20, relatively flat.
- Age 90-99: 5, up from 3.
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COVID-19 in schools
As of Nov. 8, the Washoe County School District is seeing a spike in new cases among students and staff.
Here are the latest numbers from the district as of Sunday:
- Twelve new students and 18 new staff members were infected.
- Active cases included 26 students and 26 staff members at 33 schools.
- To date, 115 students and 79 staff members have been infected at 64 schools since the pandemic began.
At the University of Nevada, Reno, total active cases are down during the week of Oct. 24-30. Here are the latest numbers from the university:
- 32 new student cases, which is relatively flat from the week prior.
- 5 new faculty cases, which is up by 1 from the week prior.
- As of Oct. 23, the campus had a total of 17 active cases, which is down by 9 from the previous week.
The positivity rate is an indicator of how many tests return a positive result. A rate of 10%, for example, means that 1 in 10 COVID-19 tests showed a positive hit for the virus.
The World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate of less than 5 percent for 14 straight days before businesses and schools should reopen. Washoe County’s 14-day positivity rate steadily increased throughout last week, closing at 12.7%. Nevada’s positivity rate also jumped up to 13.2%, according to state numbers posted on Sunday.
Deaths and hospitalizations
The number of coronavirus deaths in Washoe County ticked down to seven last week, compared to eight the week before. More than 200 people have died in Washoe County from COVID-19 since the pandemic started.
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The state’s death rate rose to an average of five a day in the past two weeks compared to four a day from the previous period. The number remains down from the average of nearly eight deaths per day for the month of September. Deaths tend to lag spikes in new infections.
Washoe ended last week with increases across the board in occupied beds and ventilators in use from the previous week.
As of Nov. 8, Washoe County had 120 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19. Capacity numbers, which include all patients, not just those with COVID-19, were:
- Staffed hospital beds: 83%
- Occupied licensed hospital beds: 69%
- Occupied intensive care beds: 61%
- Ventilators in use: 22%
Jason Hidalgo covers business and technology for the Reno Gazette Journal, and also reviews the latest video games. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. Like this content? Support local journalism with an RGJ digital subscription.
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