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The number of diagnosed active cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County has more than quadrupled over the past month, according to the latest figures from the county’s Regional Information Center.
The county hit a new high of 5,878 known active cases, more than four times the total of 1,432 reported on Oct. 18.
Health officials reported record highs in both new cases (610) and recoveries (441) Wednesday, but new diagnoses outpaced reported recoveries for the eighth straight day. No coronavirus-related deaths were reported in Washoe County in the past day.
So far, 19,742 Washoe County residents have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since the pandemic began, or about one in every 24 residents; 13,641 have reported recoveries.
Hospitalizations hit new highs
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 hit new highs both in Washoe County and statewide on Wednesday. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,105 hospitalized patients known to have the coronavirus on Wednesday, with an additional 141 suspected cases. Of the known and suspected cases, 264 are in intensive care units, the highest total since Aug. 17.
In Washoe County, 230 known COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with an additional 46 suspected cases. Fifty-three are in intensive care units.
Hospitals again reported mixed news on capacity. The Nevada Hospital Association reported the following percentages Wednesday, which take into account both COVID and non-COVID patients:
- Staffed hospital beds in use: 84%, up 5 percentage points since Tuesday
- ICU beds in use: 38%, down 13 percentage points
- Ventilators in use: 31%, up 4 percentage points
Washoe seeks qualified volunteers to help in hospitals
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.
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.
Where to get tested
County residents in need of testing have several options.
► At-home COVID-19 testing: LabCorp provides at-home testing via FedEx for those who meet screening criteria after filling out a short survey. Further information is available at pixel.labcorp.com/covid-19.
► Carson Tahoe Specialty Medical Center: Carson Tahoe Health has instituted drive-through testing for those experiencing COVID-like symptoms (fever, cough, breathing difficulty, fatigue, aches, sore throat, loss of taste or smell). The drive-through location at 775 Fleischmann Way in Carson City is open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The drive-through program is open only to those with symptoms; asymptomatic individuals may be assessed for testing by calling 775-283-4789 or visiting gethealthycarsoncity.org/novel-coronavirus-2019/.
► CVS Pharmacy: CVS Pharmacy is conducting free drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at eight locations in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Fallon. Patients must register in advance by scheduling an appointment at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
► Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center: The Washoe County Health District conducts COVID-19 testing by appointment only for those who meet screening criteria after taking a brief survey. Appointments can be scheduled online at aca-prod.accela.com/Washoe-Covid19/welcome.aspx or by calling 775-328-2427.
► Saint Mary’s Urgent Care: Coronavirus testing is available by appointment only at four Saint Mary’s Urgent Care facilities in Reno-Sparks. Appointments can be made by visiting carbonhealth.com/coronavirus.
► University of Nevada: Students, faculty and staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 may receive an appointment to be tested by calling 775-784-6598 or by visiting www.unr.edu/coronavirus/health-and-safety/testing.
► Walgreens: Walgreens is conducting no-cost COVID-19 testing for patients who meet testing criteria at its location at 3495 S. Virginia St. near Moana Lane. Appointments are required; visit www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing to learn more.
► Walmart: Two Reno Walmart locations are conducting drive-thru COVID-19 tests by appointment at 5260 W. 7th St. and 155 Damonte Ranch Pkwy. For details, visit MyQuestCOVIDTest.com.
Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown’s urgent care locations and Veterans Affairs Sierra Nevada Health Care System also are performing COVID-19 tests, but require orders from a physician. Contact your general practitioner to discuss options.
Brett McGinness is the engagement editor for the Reno Gazette Journal. He’s also the writer of The Reno Memo — a free newsletter about news in the Biggest Little City. Subscribe to the newsletter right here. Consider supporting the Reno Gazette Journal, too.