CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference on Wednesday to provide an update on Nevada’s current COVID-19 situation.
Gov. Sisolak was joined by COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage and Julia Peek, Deputy Administrator in the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
The governor began Wednesday's press conference with sharing a national update about the 7-day average of new cases in the U.S. exceeding 70,000 for the first time with more than half the states reporting case numbers at new records. And in the last month, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. climbed 45%.
First, a national update: The 7-day average of new cases in the U.S. exceeded 70,000 for the first time & more than half the states are reporting case numbers at new records. In the last month, the number of COVID hospitalizations in the U.S. climbed 45%. pic.twitter.com/gZbXri0UEe— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) October 28, 2020
Nevada was in the red zone, according to the White House's latest report when it comes to coronavirus cases.
With the Silver State ranking the 22nd highest state with reporting more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents and 71% of counties having moderate or high levels of community transition with 24% of the counties in the red zone.
In this week’s White House report, NV, is in the Red Zone. We’re the 22nd highest state reporting more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents. 71 percent of counties have moderator or high levels of community transition & 24 percent of counties are in the Red Zone. pic.twitter.com/qkgYqLKEKq— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) October 28, 2020
The White House's "red zone” is based on the number of known cases and high test-positivity rates. That suggests there may be more cases than currently estimated or found through testing and contact tracing, which means there is community spread, according to Nevada officials.
The number of new cases of COVID-19 began to increase at the end of September in Nevada. Officials report they are seeing an infection rate above 1, which means it will continue to spread unless there are changes in behavior, with the 14-day test positivity rate climbing to 10%.
Officials said Wednesday after cases surges come hospitalizations and then, unfortunately, deaths can occur. After cases and hospitalizations increased over the summer, the state saw a corresponding increase in deaths.
And as we’ve seen in Nevada and across the country, an increase in cases almost always leads to an increase in hospitalization two to three weeks later. We saw an uptick in cases in July and you can see hospitalizations climb in the State in August. pic.twitter.com/9pvJvvdPB7— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) October 28, 2020
Gov. Sisolak says the state doesn't want to end up like other states who are on the brink of implementing crisis standards of care, which is when hospitals evaluate which patients have a better chance of survival. And that Nevada is not actively implementing crisis standards of care but leaders want to keep it that way.
As of Monday, eight of 17 counties have an elevated risk. Washoe has seen an elevated risk of transmission for five weeks along with Lyon County for three weeks in a row., according to the governor. Clark, Elko, and Lincoln have seen an elevated rise for the last two weeks. And this week, Carson City, Humboldt and Nye counties were added.
As of Monday, 8 of 17 counties have an elevated risk. Washoe has seen an elevated risk of transmission for 5 weeks. Lyon County for 3 weeks in a row. Clark, Elko, & Lincoln for 2 weeks in a row. This week, Carson City, Humboldt & Nye were added. pic.twitter.com/i1q3limKKW— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) October 28, 2020
Gov. Sisolak says trends are indicating that new cases are being driven by relatively small gatherings of families and friends where people are more likely to let their guards down. And that everyone should overcome COVID-19 fatigue.
Nevada COVID-19 response team is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting at 1 p.m. on Thursday regarding this recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Nevada counties, including Washoe.
Watch Wednesday's entire press conference below: