ELKO – Elko County reported two coronavirus deaths over the weekend and 47 new cases through Monday.
The deaths were a Spring Creek resident in his 70s who was hospitalized at the time of his passing and an Elko resident in her 70s who was not hospitalized.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends, and the community,” stated the county.
The number of deaths in the county now stands at 14, with nine of them occurring since the beginning of September.
There were 47 new cases and 62 recoveries over the weekend and Monday, bringing the number of active cases down to 185. That level is still higher than the highest surge in active cases over the summer.
Seven patients are currently hospitalized.
The new cases are mostly residents of Elko (23) and Spring Creek (10). Five are tribal, four are from West Wendover, three institutional, one from Carlin and one under investigation. Most are symptomatic.
Medallus Urgent Care is providing free COVID-19 testing to anyone who would like to test. Those who are encouraged to test include individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and those who have been a close contact of a confirmed case. Walk-ins are welcome. Individuals may also call 775-400-1510 or visit the telemedicine portal at www.medalluselko.com to schedule an appointment.
Elko County remained in the “red zone” for elevated disease transmission along with Clark, Washoe, Lincoln and Lyon counties due to high case rates per 100,000 over the past 30 days and high test positivity over a 14-day period with a seven-day lag.
As of Monday, Nevada had logged 96,178 cases of coronavirus. The statewide test positivity rate over the last 14 days is 9.8%, while Elko County’s stood at 10.3%.
Statewide hospital occupancy rates are at 72%, and the ICU occupancy rate is at 60%. Ventilator use is at 25% statewide, for all patients.
Elko was named Monday as one of three sites in Nevada where ultra-cold freezers could be used to store vaccine shipping containers once they arrive in the state.
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines the state receives will go toward frontline medical workers and individuals at high risk of exposure, The Associated Press reported.
Sisolak said he is confident in the Federal Drug Administration’s approval process and the state’s capacity to distribute a vaccine, despite fears about the possible politicization of the vaccine and uncertainty about when it will be made available.
“There’s a lot of speculation, but there’s no definitive timeline for when one may be approved,” he said.
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a BBC interview on Sunday that “We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December.”
Nevada hopes to inoculate 80% of its residents against COVID-19 once a vaccine is available, the AP reported.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that Nevada will be receiving 920,000 COVID-19 rapid tests from the federal government for use in schools, jails, nursing homes and tribes.
“They will be distributed at the discretion of Gov. Steve Sisolak to support testing K-12 students, teachers, nursing home patients and staff, higher education, critical infrastructure, first responders, and other priorities as he deems fit,” the department said.
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