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Washoe County is looking for volunteers with previous medical training to assist hospital staff with the influx of COVID-19 cases.
Volunteers can help by enrolling through the Medical Reserve Corps, Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick said Wednesday.
More than 5,700 active cases of COVID-19 are in Washoe County and 79 percent of staffed hospital beds are occupied, according to the Regional Information Center.
Dick asked residents to reconsider Thanksgiving gatherings that bring people from more than one household together and said smaller gathering size limitations should be considered.
“I think we’ve got another week ahead of us to see what happens with the rates that we’re experiencing,” Dick said. “And if we’re not seeing any significant trends in reduced spread of disease, then I think (Gov. Steve Sisolak) needs to pursue additional mitigation measures.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Sisolak said he and his staff were continuing to gather data as the state moves into the second week of his “Stay At Home 2.0” initiative.
Last week, Sisolak warned Nevadans that if the increase in cases did not show improvement in the next 14 days, stricter restrictions could be coming.
“To be blunt, our state is surging and continues to surge,” Sisolak said. “I’m incredibly concerned about the severity of COVID-19 in our state as demonstrated in increased numbers that have been experienced. My administration is currently exploring all mitigations options available and get this under control.”
He said guidance on next steps will be coming “very soon.”
Sisolak, who announced his own COVID-19 diagnosis last week, said he has only experienced mild symptoms and is not receiving oxygen.
Nevada is currently reporting a 14 day rolling average of 1,228 cases daily and a 14 day test positivity rate of 15.6 percent, more than 10 percentage points higher than the rate recommended by the World Health Organization of 5 percent.
Hospitals statewide are reporting 81 percent occupancy, with 97 percent of hospitalizations reported in Washoe and Clark counties, according to Nevada COVID-19 Taskforce Director Caleb Cage.
Taylor Avery is a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism and is a Fall 2020 intern reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. You can support her work by contributing to the journalism school’s Dean’s Advisory Council fund.