July 16, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is providing a statement from the Washoe County Health District in regard to mask wearing in Washoe County. The Southern Nevada Health District announced today that masks are recommended for unvaccinated and vaccinated people in Clark County when in crowded indoor spaces.

There is not an updated mask recommendation in Washoe County at this time. Per the Governor’s Directive and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidance, if you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places, and in general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.

“COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations in Washoe County are much lower per capita than Clark County, so the Washoe County Health District does not have plans for such an announcement at this time,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “Washoe County, however, has seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases occurring over the past week and rising test positivity, so it is certainly not a bad idea for people who are vaccinated to wear masks for further protection from the spread of COVID-19.

Dick added, “People who are unvaccinated are required to wear masks when they are indoors in public settings under the Governor’s Directive, but this does not appear to be occurring. Disobeying the requirement for unvaccinated individuals to wear masks unnecessarily endangers everyone in our community. People should get vaccinated or continue to wear masks.”

The 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases in Washoe County is at 34.5. That average is expected to rise – three of the last six days 40 or more daily COVID-19 cases have been reported.

According to the Nevada Hospital Association, 64% of licensed hospital beds in Washoe County are occupied. Thirty-four patients who are hospitalized in Washoe County are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.  Comparatively, in Clark County, 96% of licensed beds are occupied and 770 patients are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

The Washoe County test positivity rate, according to the Nevada Health Response Dashboard, is at 5.9% after being at 2.9% on June 13.

The Health District recommends that all residents get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccines have been proven to be effective against the Delta variant and they are the solution for preventing transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended. Sign up for an appointment here.  Vaccinations are free and available to everyone 12 and older regardless of immigration status.

Local pharmacies and grocery stores are offering the vaccine as well. See a full list here.

With the Delta variant circulating, which is twice as contagious as the COVID-19 virus was last July, and nearly half of our population still not fully vaccinated, that population is vulnerable to a rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations as we have seen is currently occurring in Clark County. See more COVID-19 information on our dashboard. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you need to stay home, isolate from others, and get a COVID-19 test preferably with the Health District.

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. While press releases are only sent periodically for significant events, you can always get daily results on our website, https://covid19washoe.com/, our COVID-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID19Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Reno Police Department, Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, University of Nevada, Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Washoe County School District and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the group are the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.