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Nevada governor, COVID-19 response leaders update state's current situation

Posted at 3:43 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 20:47:25-04

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.

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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%.

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.

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%.

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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.

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.

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: