Nevada county’s active COVID-19 cases up 52% in two weeks

October 28, 2020 GMT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A dramatic surge in confirmed coronavirus cases in the Reno-Sparks area prompted the Nevada coronavirus task force to call an emergency meeting with the Washoe County Health District to address the county’s plan to manage the outbreak.

The number of reported active cases in the northern Nevada county topped 2,000 for the first time on Tuesday, a 52% increase over the past two weeks. Active cases stood at 1,329 on Oct. 13.

Active cases have now reached record highs for six consecutive days, from 1,516 last Thursday to 2,017 on Tuesday, the Washoe Health County Health District reported.

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, was called after Washoe County was flagged for elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission for the fifth consecutive week.

“It is my intent to get to a place where they have a fully thought out mitigation plan, across all jurisdictions, with all of the support in the right places, that if there are barriers that have (been) identified, we’ve addressed those, and that we have a really good action plan going forward,” said Caleb Cage, the state COVID-19 response director.


County health officials reported 592 new cases per 100,000 people in the past 30 days, about 400 cases over the state threshold. The county also reported a 9% positivity rate in the past two weeks, a percentage point higher than the state’s 8% threshold.

The World Health Organization has set a goal of 5%.

District spokesperson Scott Oxarart said it is concerning because it means people are going out into the public, having interactions, not wearing masks, and not practicing social distancing.

The latest numbers released Tuesday show 12,797 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 195 virus-related deaths since tracking began.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.