Washoe County urged to only leave home for essential activities, COVID-19 community risk rated ‘very high’


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Just 24 hours after the Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force emergency meeting about the increasing COVID-19 trends in three jurisdictions, Reno residents are being urged to stay home, except for essential functions.

The Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter was provided as an educational tool for residents, and the guidelines associated with each color, in this case red, is made public as a recommendation only.

An updated announcement from the City of Reno clarifies that the Risk Meter does not affect the current status of the Washoe County School District or any other public education institution — education is classified as an essential function.

The Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter’s shift to red indicates an increase in those seeking a COVID-19 test and an increasing trend in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infections. The current risk level is described as approaching critical.

While the COVID-19 risk remains high, residents are encouraged to only leave home to:

  • Vote
  • Work
  • Visit the doctor
  • Pick up medicine from the pharmacy
  • Grocery shop

Residents are also reminded to wear masks when not at home, to avoid “at-risk” people, and not to let their guard down at small social gatherings with non-family members.

Washoe County partners provided a Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter update during a virtual news conference on Oct. 27, expressing concern over the rise in case numbers with the holidays approaching.

“These numbers are bothersome to me,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve in the Risk Meter meeting regarding the situation in Northern Nevada.

The Regional Information Center reported 248 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 29, with the seven-day moving average for new cases per day in Washoe County at 197.7 — a new record high.

On Thursday, during the the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force meeting, Director Caleb Cage was concerned that plans presented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 did not show much difference from the last plans submitted. After more than three hours of discussion, a motion was unanimously passed for a new “combined” plan for Washoe County to combat COVID-19.

The new restrictions for Washoe County, Reno and Sparks go into effect on Nov. 5.

The new plan will include:

  • Increased enforcement between the three jurisdictions
  • City-level community testing
  • Targeted testing in key ZIP codes
  • Improving testing turnaround
  • Improved communication, which is already funded and soft-launched
  • Events reduced to 50 people or 50% capacity

With a plan for increased safety measures, jurisdictions will now limit the size of gatherings from the current 250 limit to 50 people or fewer while reviewing requests for outside events on a case by case basis, beginning Nov. 5.

For more information on the Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter, please visit covidriskmeter.org.

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