Washoe County, Reno area reports 350 new confirmed coronavirus cases, largest single-day COVID-19 spike

Washoe County, home to Reno, reported 350 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday — the largest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

County officials have reported 12,304 confirmed cases and 190 deaths from COVID-19. The vast majority of the state’s cases have been in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, however, amid a fall surge, Washoe County has reported more cases per capita than Clark County over the past 30 days.

Unlike Clark County, Washoe County School District opened its schools in August. The University of Nevada, Reno also welcomed students back for the semester before later announcing it would send the vast majority of students home off-campus after Thanksgiving Break.

There are currently 406 active cases among residents age 20-29, more than any other age group.

Nevada health officials reported 813 new coronavirus cases statewide on Friday. The state evaluates trends using a new dashboard that emphasizes 14-day rolling averages based on a week prior to account for reporting lags and irregularities. Under the new methods, the average number of new daily cases rate in Nevada declined through the week but the statewide test positivity rate, a measure of community spread, continued to climb to its highest level since the beginning of September, health officials said Friday.

The 14-day rolling average for new cases dropped to 519 on Thursday, down from 596 on Monday — the highest it had been since 597 on Aug. 21. The peak average in Nevada since the first case was confirmed in March was 1,250 in mid-July.

The positivity rate of 9.6% on Wednesday and Thursday was the highest it has been since 9.8% on Sept. 2. It had dipped as low as 6.5% in mid-September, but has been on the rise ever since.

The World Health Organization recommends a rate of 5% or below.

Nevada now has a cumulative total of 93,666 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,738 deaths, Nevada COVID-19 Director Caleb Cage said Friday.

He said there were 439 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection as of Thursday but that “hospital infrastructure in Nevada remains in good condition.”

Although the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 remains lower than its summer peak, about 75% of Nevada’s hospital beds are currently occupied due to competing demands. Officials reported 63% of the state’s ICU beds and 25% of all ventilators are currently in use.

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Source: Associated Press – SCOTT SONNER and SAM METZ