GOLDFIELD, Nev. (KLAS) — Tracking coronavirus cases in Nevada has become a sad scorecard on the expanding pandemic. However, there are some places were COVID-19 is a merely a ghost.
In Goldfield, known as one of Nevada’s ghost towns, residents love to live in the distant past. The mining days, when 20,000 people called the outpost home.
Patty Huber-Beth is one who enjoys dressing in her turn of the century attire on special days, such as the annual “Goldfield Days.”
This year, because of the pandemic, it was canceled.
“There just wasn’t enough time to put anything together,” Huber-Beth said.
Less than 300 people call Goldfield home. In all of Esmeralda County, there are less than 1,000 people and they all have one thing in common. None of them have the coronavirus.
Esmeralda County is the only part of Nevada without one positive test. In fact, it’s one of only 34 counties nationwide with no cases.
“It’s almost like, it’s out there. Is it really real? Because, it’s out there,” William Beltz with Goldfield’s Chamber of Commerce questioned.
As frustrating as it is, Beltz knows Goldfield had to cancel its big day.
“It’s pretty big here. This is not a very rich county. We depend on things that bring people here,” he explained.
But more important is the impact of coronavirus shutdowns on rural towns, where there isn’t much of an economy to lose.
“The shutdown didn’t mean what it does in Vegas. We don’t have a Home Depot. We don’t have a Walmart. What are you shutting us off from?” Beltz asked.
As a former nurse, Huber-Beth tries to remind her neighbors how serious the pandemic could be in a rural town.
“Even some people who in the past may have scoffed at it, they’re being more cautious. Because we are the only county in Nevada that does not have it,” she said.
In Goldfield, it’s hard to find a trace of the virus and all the changes its brought to other parts of the state and country.
Masks are rare to see and bars are open.
Importantly, there are still no cases, and Beltz wants it to stay that way.
Sixty-nine of Esmeralda County’s 974 residents have gotten COVID-19 tests. State officials plan to expand testing in the near future.