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2 more local COVID deaths as hospitalizations rise across Northern Nevada
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2 more local COVID deaths as hospitalizations rise across Northern Nevada

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ELKO – Two more COVID-related deaths were reported Tuesday in Elko County, as health officials warned that hospitals in the northern part of the state were being filled with virus patients.

The latest deaths bring Elko County’s total to five so far this month and 74 since the pandemic began. There have been 15 deaths in the past three months, compared with seven the prior three months.

Elko County hospitalizations rose to 20 on Wednesday. That’s still short of the high of 25 during the pre-vaccine height of the pandemic in December.

According to the Nevada Hospital Association, hospitals in all parts of Nevada have reached “alert” levels on staffing, which means “immediate additional mitigation methods are required to keep the hospital system operational.”

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News 4 and Fox 11 television in Reno reported Tuesday that more than 250 people in Washoe County and Carson City are hospitalized with COVID.

“The summer surge has pushed health care providers to a breaking point. One woman told News 4-FOX 11 that her mom, who needed emergency surgery, died after she couldn’t get into an intensive care unit for nine hours.”

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the hospital association was urging Nevadans to get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid getting a COVID-19 test in an emergency room and to use urgent care or their primary care provider as alternatives to emergency rooms.

Residents should only use emergency departments if they are “critically ill,” association CEO Pat Kelly said.

The number of active COVID cases in Elko County increased to 420 on Tuesday. The high last December was 560.

The county’s test positivity rate stands at 25.3%, compared with a statewide rate of 11.5%.

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