Humboldt county report | JANUARY 18, 2021

"Ask Me Anything About COVID-19"

REMINDER Dr. Stringham will present "Ask Me Anything About COVID-19" during a live podcast beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, January 18. Read more here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Recorded Information Line

REMINDER Humboldt County has established a COVID-19 vaccine recorded information line. Call (775) 375-3200 to hear the latest about vaccine allocations, local distribution opportunities and changes as they occur. The line will be updated with new information every Monday and Thursday, or as needed, so call frequently to stay up to date.

Latest Humboldt County Vaccine Information

NEW Many local residents have reached out, asking about vaccination opportunities. The vaccines are coming, but we won't have specific information until we receive notification from the state about allocations. Thank you for your patience. Read more here.

Updated Vaccine Prioritization

Monday, January 11, Governor Steve Sisolak was joined by experts from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to announce updates to ​​Nevada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook for Statewide Operations​. Please see Nevada’s updated vaccine distribution structure below, which takes into account Nevada’s mortality data, to include prioritization for people 70 years and older with frontline/essential workers, along with those 65-69 years, people with underlying health conditions, individuals with disabilities, Nevada's homeless population, healthy adults ages 16-64, and NDOC inmates.

Vaccine Survey

REMINDER Researchers from the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine, in partnership with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and Immunize NV, are conducting a survey to learn about the public's knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccines. The survey is completely anonymous. There are two separate links – one for community members and one for healthcare providers. The survey is available here in English and here in Spanish. Please take the time to participate.

PPE Now Available to Local Businesses

REMINDER Disposable facial masks and hand sanitizer are available to small businesses in Humboldt County for use by both employees and patrons . Please contact the Humboldt County Comptroller's Office at (775) 623-6467 to request PPE supplies. Local businesses are encouraged to take advantage of this offer to continue to stay safe and to stay open.

COVID-19 in Humboldt County

COUNTY CASES Humboldt County has 982 cumulative cases. Read more here. As of Monday, January 18, two people are hospitalized locally and 11 people have died. Please remember to stay at least six feet away from others, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask in public—at all times.

COVID-19 GRAPHS Winnemucca City Manager Alicia Heiser has updated our graphs to reflect our latest case, testing and demographic information. Alicia has added a new graph on page 7 that shows the number of confirmed cases in the last 7, 14, and 30 days, as well as the number of cases that are older than 30 days.

COVID-19 TESTING COVID-19 testing locations in Humboldt County include:

  • Humboldt General Hospital Screening Clinic - Offers drive-thru screening for asymptomatic persons from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch), and by-appointment screening with a provider for symptomatic persons from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch; call 775-623-5222, ext. 1379 to schedule an appointment). Located at 51 E. Haskell Street, across from Humboldt General Hospital.
  • Golden Valley Medical Center - Private clinic owned by Nevada Gold offers screening for asymptomatic and symptomatic persons. Call (775) 625-4653 for an appointment.
  • Ridley's Pharmacy - Offers in-vehicle, self-administered asymptomatic and symptomatic testing. Go here and follow the prompts to schedule an appointment.
  • HGH Emergency Department - Those who experience severe COVID-like symptoms should go directly to the HGH Emergency Department, which is open 24 hours a day, or call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.

FORT MCDERMITT CASES Fort McDermitt is reporting 193 cases of COVID-19. Fort McDermitt has completed 2,763 tests, 186 people have recovered, one person has died, and the tribe has six active cases.

COVID-19 FAQs Humboldt County has created a list of frequently asked questions about COVID-19. If you have a question that you would like added to the list, please email COVID19@humboldtcountynv.gov.

COVID-19 HOTLINE Humboldt County has joined the COVID-19 Hotline, which is available to direct residents with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough and shortness of breath) and to answer questions. Local residents may call (775) 777-2507 from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (please note the change in hours), or text or email questions to COVID19@elkocountynv.net. Se habla español.

COVID-19 in Nevada

STATE DASHBOARD The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services has updated its data dashboard tool to help Nevadans keep track of statewide COVID-19 numbers. View the latest statewide testing and patient data here.

VACCINATION DASHBOARD The State of Nevada has debuted an influenza (flu) vaccination data dashboard designed to provide updates weekly on influenza vaccination coverage rates by county, age and gender across the state throughout the 2020-2021 influenza season; the dashboard also compares rates to the two previous flu seasons. The new tool will help Nevada’s fight against influenza, a critical step in the fight against COVID-19. For more information about the dashboard, go here. To view the dashboard, go here.

Humboldt General Hospital

The HGH Walk-In Clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointments are necessary. To access the clinic, please use the main entrance to Humboldt General Hospital.

The main entrance to the hospital is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the Emergency Department entrance is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Until further notice, the parking garage is closed. After hours, all persons entering the hospital should use the ED entrance. Regardless of entry point, all persons will continue to be screened for fever, respiratory or influenza-like illness, and COVID-19 exposure.

The Humboldt General Hospital Screening Clinic offers drive-thru screening for asymptomatic persons from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch), and by-appointment screening with a provider for symptomatic persons from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch; call 775-623-5222, ext. 1379 to schedule an appointment). Located at 51 E. Haskell Street, across from Humboldt General Hospital. Those who are experiencing severe COVID-like symptoms should go directly to the HGH Emergency Department.

Due to an increase in the number of COVID cases in the community, and in adherence to CDC guidelines, Humboldt General Hospital has restricted all patient visitation effective immediately; outpatient services remain open. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Visitors are still restricted from the Harmony Manor and Quail Corner Long Term Care facilities. For more information, go here.

Humboldt County Emergency Management

REMINDER The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Management Division, is in the process of completing the Tri-County Hazard Mitigation Plan. The goal of this plan is to address hazards in our community and maintain eligibility for recovery funding in the event of a disaster. If you are a resident of Humboldt County, please take a few minutes to complete this survey to assist with the completion of the plan. Thank you!

The combined state and local leadership that oversaw May's community-based testing at the Winnemucca Event Center included (from l-r): Staff Sergeant Josh Killinger, Second Lieutenant Kim Garback, Captain Patrick Silvaroli, Sheriff Mike Allen, Lieutenant Colonel Karston Hall, Undersheriff Kevin Malone, Captain Sean Wilkin, RN-Community Health Nurse II Marsha Foreman, and AA Susy Esquivel.

Humboldt County Emergency Management has shared results from the May 14-18 community-based testing at the Winnemucca Event Center. Read more here.

Humboldt County Emergency Management has announced that Humboldt General Hospital has demobilized the 40-bed field hospital inside the Winnemucca Event Center. Humboldt County Emergency Manager Captain Sean Wilkin said if Humboldt County experiences a surge in COVID-19 patients, hospitals in Reno are prepared to accept patients.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Management Division, has procured 500 rapid test kits for Humboldt General Hospital. Captain Sean Wilkin has delivered a total of 175 of those tests.

Following an Emergency Declaration on March 19 by the Humboldt County Board of Commissioners, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen, along with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Command Staff and Emergency Management Division, have been consistently working with the Nevada Department of Emergency Management, local county government, Humboldt General Hospital, and community partners on the issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the impact on our community.

Winnemucca Police Department / Humboldt County Sheriff's Office

The Winnemucca Police Department has resumed fingerprinting services. However, citizens should call ahead at (775) 623-6396 to schedule an appointment. All visitors are required to wear a face mask and to comply with all CDC and Humboldt County Health Board recommendations.

Travelers entering or returning to Nevada are urged to self-quarantine and monitor their health for 14 days (or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter). Travelers should not visit any public places or come into contact with those who are not members of their household. Employees of essential industries--including healthcare, public health, public safety, transportation and food supply--are exempt from this request. Visit nvhealthresponse.nv.gov for more information.

The Winnemucca Police Department front lobby is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Only one person is permitted in the front lobby area at one time for the well-being of citizens and employees. The WPD asks that visitors wait outside of the lobby area or in the care until their turn. Face masks are strongly encouraged; the public is also urged to do business by phone whenever possible. Regarding services, please note:

  • The issuance of dog licenses will resume, but only one member of the public should be in the WPD lobby area at one time.
  • Sex offenders who need to re-register should continue to contact the police department ahead of time to schedule an appointment at (775) 623-6396.

The Winnemucca Police Department has advised they have received requests from HGH patients for transportation home following treatment. The WPD (and other law enforcement agencies) will not offer this service.

Humboldt County School District

REMINDER The Nevada Department of Education has teamed up with school districts and charter schools throughout the state to launch a Nevada School Wellbeing Survey. There are three separate surveys, one for students, one for school staff/educators, and one for families and caregivers. All three can be taken in both English and Spanish and include links to a variety of resources. The information you share in the survey will help your school, district, charter academy, and the state get a better idea of what you need and how to plan for a successful second half of the school year. You may access the surveys here.

The Humboldt County School District releases its COVID-19 update weekly. See the latest information below.

REMINDER The Humboldt County School District will be offering free breakfast and lunch to all students through the entire school year. Read more here.

The Humboldt County School District offers a tech hot line to support distance learning for both parents and students. For more information, go here.

The Humboldt County School District has received a $1.7 million ESSER grant. A total of 69 applications were submitted competing for a pot of $11 million dollars. For the three categories of funds: HCSD was 1 of 12 awards for Professional Development; 1 of 6 awards for Digital Instructional Materials; and 1 of 13 awards for Wraparound Services. As a district that serves 1/2 a percent of Nevada's students, the HCSD was awarded 15 percent of total funds available!

The Humboldt County School District is now able to offer free breakfast and/or lunch for all students and children ages 0-18 through December 31. Please call Nutrition Services at (775) 623-8109 if you have questions about ordering or pick-up times and locations.

The Humboldt County School District has provided a screening tool for families and staff to use in determining if there are any COVID-related concerns. View the tool here.

The Humboldt County School District made a video welcoming students back to school. Check it out here.

The Humboldt County School District was recently featured in a Fox News article entitled, "Nevada schools reopen with virtual, in-person classes amid coronavirus pandemic."

Humboldt County School District Superintendent Dave Jensen has shared a brief update regarding the HCSD's mask-wearing requirement per Governor Steve Sisolak's Directive 028. For more information, go here.

The Humboldt County School District's IDEA staff is receiving and processing all applications and getting organized for the upcoming school year. They will be reaching out to families in the next week to schedule an orientation meeting. Please make sure your email is correct in Infinite Campus.

Governor Steve Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 028 includes several key aspects for the 2020-2021 school year including:

  • Face coverings are mandatory for all K-12 students and all school staff. Exemptions may be approved by school building leaders if medical conditions are documented by a medical professional.
  • Face coverings are mandatory, without exceptions, for all other adults in school settings, including parents, vendors, volunteers, visitors, and others.
  • Students and staff are required to follow quarantine and isolation protocols and guidelines when a positive COVID-19 case, presumptive case, or contact with a presumptive case occurs.

The Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association has provided an update on sports for the coming year.

The Nevada Department of Education has released guidance for the 2020-21 school year. Read more here.

Humboldt County

NEW The Humboldt County Health Board will meet next at 9 a.m. Thursday, January 21, 2021. We will share the agenda including teleconference and video conference information, when it becomes available.

Dr. Chet Stringham's "Ask My Anything About COVID" presentation from Monday, December 14, is available on the Humboldt County YouTube channel here.

UPDATE Humboldt County has been flagged for the 10th week in a row due to elevated disease transmission. However, because the state is in “Pause” status, no self-assessment and action plans from counties with elevated disease transmission are due this week. See the updated "County Tracker" below.

Thursday, November 19, Humboldt County presented its updated jurisdictional assessment and action plan to the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force. The task force specifically asked the county to elaborate on enforcement efforts, which the county included for this week's review; the task force unanimously agreed to accept the plan as presented. To read this week's plan, go here.

Thursday, November 12, Humboldt County presented its updated jurisdictional assessment and action plan to the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force. The task force agreed to accept the plan as presented but asked that Humboldt return next week, on Thursday, November 19, to elaborate on COVID-19 enforcement. To read this week's plan, go here; to read the task force's press release, go here.

The COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force has adjusted the thresholds used to identify counties having an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission. Humboldt County, which was flagged Monday, October 5, is still flagged under the new criteria. If the county is flagged again on Monday, October 12, county officials will need to provide an updated assessment for the Task Force. Read more here.

Humboldt County offices are open for business. To ensure the safety of employee and citizens alike, each office will have protocols in place. At the County Courthouse, there is a single point of entry at the Sheriff’s office ramp. Individuals wishing to do business with any county office will be subject to a digital temperature check and will be asked to wear a mask while in the courthouse. The county offices are open from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily, except for holidays. For full details, go here.

Humboldt County is encouraging local residents to continue to wear masks in the wake of Governor Steve Sisolak's new face covering policy. Read more here.

Humboldt County is inviting local businesses to demonstrate their "COVID Compliance" by hanging a poster indicating their willingness to adhere to three precautionary measures (as shown above). Read more here.

Nevada Health Response has named Humboldt County Health Officer Charles Stringham, MD, as its "Nevada Hero of the Day." Dr. Stringham has worked as a private practice physician in Winnemucca for more than 25 years. As the head of Humboldt County's COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Stringham has worked to educate the public regarding the importance of social distancing and facial coverings. He also began the county’s contact tracing program and has reached out to Humboldt County citizens with respiratory or underlying health conditions to make sure their needs are met as they isolate at home. Thank you and congratulations to Dr. Stringham!

To watch/listen to the Humboldt County Health Board's weekly meetings beginning with Thursday, April 2, please visit here.

Humboldt County Health Officer Charles Stringham, MD, has launched a COVID-19 Facebook page @StopHumboldtCoronavirus. Local information also is available on the Humboldt County Facebook page @HumboldtCountyNV.

The Humboldt County Health Board has launched a Humboldt COVID-19 information page in Spanish: Humboldt Covid-19 Espanol. If you have friends, family or associates who would feel more comfortable receiving virus-related information in Spanish, please share this Facebook link with them or go to @CovidEspanol. Thank you.

All press releases, documents and videos related to COVID-19 are available on the Humboldt County website. The county also has been translating COVID-19 press releases and other important information into Spanish. All press releases confirming COVID-19 cases in Winnemucca since April 1 are available in Spanish. We want to send a big thank you to Assistant County Manager Abel del Real-Nava for his help in making this happen!

Juvenile Services continue to operate. The front door is now open to the public. Any visitor will be screened and required to wear a mask.

  • All individuals, including personnel, who enter the Juvenile Services building are screened for fever and must complete a screening form every time they enter the building. Youth and family members will be required to wear a mask at all times. One will be provided if needed.
  • Only two individuals are allowed in the lobby area at one time and must practice 6 feet of social distancing and wear a mask.
  • Families are asked to call Juvenile Services to address issues over the phone when possible.
  • With regard to adult drug testing, only two individuals may enter the building at one time.
  • Youth drug testing has not changed. However, employees and youth will follow all CDC recommendations.
  • Home visits may occur if deemed appropriate.
  • Family visitations in Leighton Hall are canceled at this time. Youth will be allowed extra phone time, when appropriate, to speak with parent/guardian.
  • Employees, youth, and families who traveled to a known area of high cases or have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case will not be allowed to work or visit Juvenile Services for fourteen days of return.

For Humboldt County-maintained wastewater/sewer systems, please note: With the supply of toilet paper being unpredictable at local stores, Humboldt County would like to remind residents in McDermitt and Paradise Valley to “Watch what you flush." The county's wastewater systems are designed for human waste and toilet paper only. Items such as paper towels, tissues, rags and wet wipes/baby wipes -- even if they say “flushable” -- can cause issues in the wastewater system as well as homeowners' portions of the system. These items do not break down like toilet paper and can cause slower flows and backups within the system.

The Pleasant Senior Center will remain closed until at least Phase 3. The center is working with Nevada's Aging and Disabilities Services Division to ensure seniors get services they need virtually before then. The home delivered meal program continues. Any congregate clients who are sheltering in place and want to be added to the home delivered program may call the center at (775) 623-6211. In addition:

  • SHIP representative, Cookie Richardson is available by telephone Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 623-6211 to make an appointment.
  • CareLaw representative Lora Myles is making appointments for virtual contact. Please call 623-6211 to make a virtual appointment, or contact Lora at (775) 687-4680 or at Lora@Carelaw.org.
  • Seniors should contact their group leader for information or other group meetings/events usually held at the Senior Center.
  • Public transportation has re-opened on a very limited medical necessity basis. Please call 623-6211 to request rides.
  • As always, clients are strongly urged to continue to follow social distancing measures. Stay safe! Please stay home! When it is necessary to go out, stay at least 6 feet from other people. Wash your hands often and well. Use soap! Wear a mask when out in public spaces for any reason. Sit in the sun for a few minutes each day.

City of Winnemucca

The Bode Howard Memorial Pool is closed until further notice.

The City of Winnemucca has launched an early detection system for COVID-19 that relies on wastewater from homes and businesses to help identify disease clusters before they spread. Over the course of the coming weeks, residents may receive a notification—either by mail or as a hand bill on their door—that notifies them of a possible upward trend in their vicinity and encourages them to be tested at the first sign of symptoms. Read more here.

The City of Winnemucca has implemented a wastewater tracking program to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community. Read more here.

The splash pad is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; maximum capacity is 50 people. People should maintain 6 feet of distance from non-household members.

All City parks are open. Please maintain 6 feet of distance from non-household members and wear masks as much as practicable.

The City of Winnemucca continues to operate as usual. City offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For residents' convenience, water and sewer payments may be completed by phone (775-623-6340; 775-623-6338); online at xpressbillpay.com; or by dropping payment in the dropbox at the front door to City Hall, 90 W. 4th Street.

With the supply of toilet paper being unpredictable at local stores, the City of Winnemucca would like to remind its residents to "Watch what you flush." The city's wastewater system is designed for human waste and toilet paper only. Items such as paper towels, tissues, rags and wet wipes/baby wipes (even if they say “flushable”) can cause issues in the wastewater system as well as the homeowner’s portion of the system. These items do not break down like toilet paper and can cause slower flows and back ups of the system.

State of Nevada

REMINDER Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has announced that because community spread remains high and hospitals are strained, the current statewide pause will be extended for 30 days. This means businesses will continue to operate at 25 percent capacity and/or the protocols that have been laid out for their industry. According to state health officials, Nevada is just now starting to see the impact of holiday gatherings; the impact of gatherings on New Year’s Eve likely won’t be seen for another two weeks. A full list of the current mitigation measures can be found here.

Monday, January 11, the Governor’s Office for New Americans addressed concerns with data privacy protections for undocumented immigrants during the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Read more here.

REMINDER Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has announced his second State of the State address will air at 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Read more here.

Nevada Health Response has announced the launch of an updated COVID-19 Dashboard to better serve Nevadans through the State’s COVID-19 response. Furthermore, a new COVID-19 vaccination website has been added and will help direct Nevadans to the most up-to-date information on the status of the vaccine campaign.

Nevada officials have announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available free of charge to all state residents. Read more here.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has completed its review of the federal process and has concluded the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious for use in the Western States. Read more here.

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services has provided an update regarding the state’s second allocation of the December COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Nevada's churches will now be allowed to operate at 25 percent of their building capacity, like casinos and other businesses. Read the state's updated guidance here.

Monday, December 14, the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Nevada. Doses will be distributed to acute care hospitals statewide, including Humboldt General Hospital, and to Nevada’s pharmacy partners who will vaccinate residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities later this month. Read more here.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed a concurrent and thorough review of the Pfizer Vaccine and has confirmed it is safe and efficacious for public use. The Workgroup provided their confirmation to the governors of Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington Monday, December 14. Read more here. Read the group's findings here.

REMINDER Nevada residents are invited to take a COVID-19 vaccine survey. The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine; University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences; Nevada Department of Health and Human Services; and Immunize Nevada have joined forces to obtain information from the public and healthcare providers on their knowledge, attitudes and utilization of COVID-19 vaccines, which are on the cusp of being available (mainly for providers at first). The group has designed a study that will collect anonymous information that will be used and shared with key stakeholders to help inform targeted communication and messaging strategies aimed at increasing vaccine awareness and uptake in Nevada. The survey takes just a few minutes, but your input will help to inform consistent communication around the COVID-19 vaccine throughout our state when a vaccine is approved for distribution. Please take only one survey: public/citizen survey or healthcare provider/trainee survey.

Friday, December 4, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services provided an update on the first allocation of COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.

Nevada has received notice of its first COVID-19 vaccine allocation.The state is set to receive more than 164,000 doses throughout the month of December, which will be used for hospital staff, skilled nursing facility staff and residents, and other Tier One individuals as outlined in Nevada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook. This initial allocation should cover the majority of the Tier One individuals as outlined in the playbook. Read more here.

The Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force heard presentations from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and the Nevada State Immunization Program; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and the Nevada Department of Education during its weekly meeting Thursday, December 3. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak held at press conference on Wednesday, December 2, to provide an update on Nevada’s COVID-19 vaccination planning process. The governor was joined by Candice McDaniel, Health Bureau Chief, Bureau of Child, Family, and Community Wellness, Division of Public and Behavioral Health, and Shannon Bennett, Immunization Program Manager, Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Read more here.

On Friday, November 13, Governor Steve Sisolak announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Read more here. On Monday, November 16, the governor provided an update on his confirmed diagnosis and condition. Read more here.

Nevada hospitals and other medical services, including those in Winnemucca, have received $809 million in federal assistance to date to cope with the challenges of the pandemic and providers have until Nov. 6 to apply for additional funds. Read more here.

A member of Governor Steve Sisolak’s staff based in the Capitol Office in Carson City has received a positive result for COVID-19 through a rapid test after developing symptoms over the weekend. The staff member was last in the office on Thursday, October 29, 2020, and was not symptomatic at that time. Read more here.

Saturday, October 31, Governor Steve Sisolak issued a statement after the state surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Read more here.

Wednesday, October 28, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak provided an update on the COVID-19 situation in Nevada and trends across the state. Read more here. To view the press slides, go here.

Tuesday, October 27, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that Nevada, Washington and Oregon have joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution. Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the panel made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health. Read more here.

Monday, October 28, Governor Steve Sisolak joined experts from the Nevada Department of Health & Human Services to provide an update on Nevada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook for Statewide Operations. The Playbook is a draft, working document that the Nevada State Immunization Program will use and update as more information becomes available from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to the release of a COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.

Wednesday, October 21, Governor Steve Sisolak, the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Economic of Development announced an additional infusion of $20 million in to the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) grant program, which opened for applicants on Monday. In addition to providing more money for the program, the application deadline has been moved to 5 p.m. Thursday, October 22, 2020, so that applications can be reviewed, processed and money can be sent out to businesses and organizations in need. Read more here.

Tuesday, October 20, Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference to update the state on Nevada’s COVID-19 response efforts. The governor acknowledged that Nevada is seeing a fall surge of the virus. However, he admonished Nevadans not to succumb to "COVID fatigue." "We can't get tired, because the virus isn't tired," he said, emphasizing the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing. For the most recent seven-day period, Nevada is reporting roughly 666 new coronavirus cases a day. That is double what the state saw at the beginning of September. Additionally, Nevada's 14-day test positivity rate is 9.1%. For perspective, the World Health Organization says communities should aim for a 5% positivity rate. With hospitalizations also increasing, and flu season approaching, the governor said he is concerned about the increasing burden on hospitals. But despite the numbers, there are no new restrictions on reopening the state. “I don’t want to get to that point," said the governor, "and every single Nevadan can make a difference on us getting to that point or not."

October 15, Nevada Health Response issued a revised version of the "Nevada Guidance for Safe Gatherings" to clarify when vocal performers can remove face coverings. Read more here.

All staff in Governor Sisolak's Capitol Office have returned to work following the completion of their 14-day quarantine after a fellow staff member tested positive for COVID-19. No other staff members have tested positive. Read more here.

New University of Nevada, Reno, President Brian Sandoval has announced that students will not return to campus following the fall break that traditionally takes place over Thanksgiving weekend. According to a statement from Sandoval, beginning on Monday, Nov. 30, all university “courses will be delivered remotely for the remainder of the semester.” Sandoval said holiday travel could spread the virus with students traveling back and forth between campus and their family’s homes. Read more here.

REMINDER Nevada Response has issued recommendations and guidance for celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos. State officials say that many traditional activities, such as door-to-door trick-or-treating, may appear low risk because they take place outdoors or the interactions may be short. However, when a lot of people participate in lower-risk activities at the same time, it raises the potential for disease spread across the state. As Nevadans plan their activities, they are urged to consider and follow the guidelines. To view guidance for Halloween, go here; to view guidance in English for Día de los Muertos, go here, or in Spanish here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced details for a new $20 million grant program aimed at helping small businesses and non-profit organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) grant program makes $20 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds available to small businesses, non-profit organizations, arts and culture organizations, and local Chambers of Commerce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

The state is reminding Nevadans that federal rental protections from eviction remain in place after the expiration of Nevada’s statewide moratorium on October 15 and that state and local financial and mediation resources are available for homeowners, landlords and tenants impacted by COVID-19. Read more here.

Nevada health officials have ordered nursing facilities in the state to immediately suspend the use of two rapid tests in the state's nursing homes after they said the tests repeatedly delivered false positives. According to Nevada officials, 23 of 39 positive antigen test results from both tests were later found to be negative. That is an error rate of about 60%, according to a directive released by state officials. Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services has called on state officials to reverse their decision, saying false positives are a “reality” of the testing ecosystem and are to be expected. Calling the Nevada action “unjustified,” Giroir said the federal agency has sent a letter to the state threatening to take “swift action and appropriate steps” if the decision is not reversed.

Friday, October 9, Nevada Health Response reported an unusually large number of COVID-19 tests reported to the state's system. According to Nevada Department of Health and Human Services officials, 17,916 tests were reported to the system, with 766 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A new laboratory, SANDS Inc, accounts for a large percentage of the labs reported. An examination of the labs shows that many of the specimens were collected within the last week, although a number of the specimen collection dates go back to mid-September. Officials are working with the reporting labs to determine the cause of the delays and what corrective actions should be taken. Labs are expected to report results to the state’s electronic reporting system within 24 hours.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is cautioning Nevadans about scams targeting individuals looking for jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak's COVID-19 test came back negative after a member of his staff based in the Capitol Office in Carson City received a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 this past weekend. The staffer has not had in-person contact with the Governor since September 17, 2020. However, out of an abundance of caution, the Governor opted to be tested this week. Read more here and here.

Health officials from both the Southern Nevada and Washoe County health districts met with Governor Steve Sisolak after expressing concern that they have not been included in the state's COVID-19 response policy discussions or development of guidance related to Governor Sisolak's Emergency Directives. Read about the latest development here. Read the original letter here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has issued an Emergency Directive lifting restrictions on youth and adult sports and adjusting the COVID-19 statewide guidance on sports. Read more here and here.

Tuesday, September 29, Governor Steve Sisolak increased limits on public gatherings, while continuing to urge caution in the wake of the state’s COVID-19 response. Read more here, including information on signage that local businesses need to post.

Governor Steve Sisolak has signed Emergency Directive 033 adjusting statewide standards on gatherings and other areas. Read more here and here.

Tuesday, September 29, Governor Steve Sisolak issued Emergency Directive 033, which increases the limit on gatherings from 50 to 250 people or 50 percent of capacity, whichever is less, as long as social distancing can be maintained and all other requirements can be met. Read more here; review the updated guidance here.

Governor Steve Sisolak will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 29, to provide an update on Nevada’s COVID-19 response efforts and adjustments to current capacity limits on gatherings. This will be his first in a series of press conferences announcing updates to the current Statewide Mitigation Standards. Other expected updates include lifting certain restrictions on youth sports, and other updates to current Statewide Standards. Read more here.

The State of Nevada is working diligently with the CDC to replace the current COVID test with a combination test for the fall and winter months that will test for both the flu and for COVID-19. The state public health labs intend to make this the primary service test throughout Nevada.

The Silver State is once again on New York's COVID-19 travel advisory list. Nevada and neighboring state Arizona returned to the advisory, which requires people traveling from affected states and territories to quarantine for 14 days. New York had only removed Nevada from its advisory list in mid-September but Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said the coronavirus data once again met the threshold for mandatory quarantines.

Governor Sisolak has asked a group of state government experts representing business, enforcement and public health to conduct a deep dive evaluation of current standards and restrictions in Nevada, including current statewide capacity and gathering limits. Once this is developed, an announcement will be made. State COVID numbers are getting lower, and the state wants to ensure it continues that trend—even while relaxing restrictions.

The Division of Industrial Relations continues to monitor businesses across the state for any violation of workplace health and safety measures. Three northern Nevada businesses were recently fined approximately $2,500 each for noncompliance violations, including a quick mart in Sparks, a tire and service business in Dayton and an automotive business in Reno. During this past week, however, the DIR did not issue any new citations and OSHA officials found that 100 percent of 53 businesses visited were in compliance. Read more here.

Nevada is among six states that were removed from an Eastern states coronavirus travel advisory on Tuesday, September 15, meaning that travelers from the Silver State can travel to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut without quarantining for 14 days.

Wednesday, September 16, Governor Steve Sisolak sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence seeking clarity on the state’s efforts to follow recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force after President Trump held large public gatherings in two locations across Nevada last weekend that violated state emergency directives. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has signed an emergency regulation to support widespread immunization efforts to help the state prepare for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.

The Nevada Secretary of State has shared a series of "Facts vs. Myths" for the 2020 Nevada General Election. Check it out here.

The federal government has denied Nevada's request to fully fund the Nevada National Guard's COVID-19 response efforts through the end of the year. Read more Governor Steve Sisolak's response here.

Thursday, September 3, Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference to update the state on the COVID-19 response efforts. Nevada is one of 11 states showing a positivity rate above 10% and the governor said certain restrictions cannot yet be lifted as cases spiked in the state's prior reopening. Governor Sisolak said his primary focus is on improving numbers and reducing restrictions with a goal of all businesses open - back to normal. Saturday will mark six months since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Nevada and the governor said to remember when lifting restrictions the state must do so responsibly, as the future economic recovery depends on it.

Researchers at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine are investigating a patient who tested positive for coronavirus in June, just 48 days after testing positive for the virus in April—and having two subsequent negative tests in between. Read more here.

August 31, Governor Steve Sisolak's Emergency Directive 031 extended the moratorium on certain residential evictions for 45 days, through October 14, 2020. Read more here.

State of Nevada health officials say they will bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's newly updated guidance to not test asymptomatic individuals. Instead, the state will continue to strongly recommend that all individuals – symptomatic or asymptomatic – who have been in contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 be tested. Read more here.

August 20, the Southern Nevada Health District reported more than 1,006 people in Clark County who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

August 7, Governor Steve Sisolak signed Directive 030 formally adopting the Road to Recovery: Moving to A New Normal plan, which was announced publicly on August 3, and outlining the state's transition to a long-term, focused mitigation strategy moving forward. Directive 030 also formally creates the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, and gives them the authority to work with local governments and take action on county-specific plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here is a quick breakdown of how the state's "Road to Recovery: Moving to a New Normal" works:

  • Every week, the state will update the Elevated Disease Transmission Criteria for each county. That includes testing, case rates and positivity rates.
  • Counties at high risk will need to create and implement an action plan that targets sources of infection and community spread.

During a press conference July 27, Governor Sisolak announced the state would be moving away from the phrased reopening approach, saying that enforcement needs to be more targeted.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced a new rapid response effort to address the backlogs within Nevada's unemployment insurance systems. Read more here.

Monday, August 3, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Health Response team unveiled a new long-term mitigation strategy for the State of Nevada to help provide predictability and stability moving forward. Read more here.

The State of Nevada has re-released guidance on Directive 024 - Face Coverings. Pages 4-5 have information that is specific to business owners and enforcement. Read more here.

During a press conference Monday evening, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak Sisolak said he plans to adopt an increasingly detailed approach to containing the virus — starting with next week’s rollout of a new “long-term mitigation strategy” that will examine ZIP code-level data on COVID cases. The updated plan will do away with the "phase" framework built into the state's earlier reopening blueprint. It also will allow for more rigorous enforcement of the state’s earlier virus-prevention orders.

Nevada has been invited to participate in the Vaccine Administration Management (VAMS) Pilot testing. Nevada was one of four states accepted to participate in this program. This project is designed to develop a COVID-19 vaccination registry that allows for timely and accurate collection of data from Nevada's provider community for reporting and analysis purposes.

The Nevada Treasurer’s Office has launched a rental assistance program for eligible Nevadans who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. This program is federally funded through the CARES Act. Nevadans can learn more about the program, if they’re eligible, and how to apply here or in Spanish here.

Governor Steve Sisolak and his COVID-19 team are actively reviewing reports submitted from our partners in local government in response to the White House document regarding ‘red zone’ and ‘yellow’ zone designations. The responses from the local counties highlight additional mitigation measures that have been taken in response to COVID-19 and the federal policy recommendations. Read more here.

The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange has announced an extended open enrollment period for Plan Year 2021. Read more here or in Spanish here.

Per Governor Steve Sisolak’s Directive 027, bars, pubs, taverns, distilleries, breweries, and wineries in Humboldt County, which do not serve food, closed to the public as of 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 10. Additionally, restaurants cannot seat parties greater than six. Read more here. Information about the state's disease transmission criteria is available here.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that most uninsured Nevadans now qualify for Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 testing at no cost. Read more here.

The State of Nevada has announced the Early Alert program, a user-friendly, responsive program for First Responders and governmental personnel who are struggling with physical, mental, social and financial wellness; burnout; and sleep issues. Read more here.

Nevada Health Response, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Business and Industry, released the latest Nevada COVID-19 Re-Opening Response Plan. The State anticipated an increase in positive COVID-19 cases as businesses re-opened, and this plan is a targeted response to review data and focus on affected communities to protect public health. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced that Nevada will remain in Phase 2 of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery plan until at least the end of July, due to the trends in COVID-19 infection rates, the time needed for expanded contact tracing to identify trends, and to see the impacts of the Governor’s new face covering directive. Read more here.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has announced a mandatory face covering policy for all Nevada residents and visitors. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced the Battle Born Business campaign, designed to recognize Nevada businesses that are following directive guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please send nominations with a photo and brief explanation for the nomination to BattleBornBizNV@gmail.com.

Amid an uptick in people testing positive for COVID-19 nearly two weeks after Nevada reopened casinos, Governor Steve Sisolak said the state is not yet ready to enter into “Phase 3” of business reopenings. Read more here.

REMINDER The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles announced an additional extension for expired or soon-to-be expired driver’s licenses and ID cards and new, limited Saturday hours for new Nevada residents. Read more here. Also, remember that most Nevadans will be able to renew their driver's license or ID card online or by mail beginning this fall. Additionally, seniors 65 and older will receive an automatic driver's license extension per emergency regulations enacted by Governor Steve Sisolak July 27. Read more here.

The Nevada Response Center released guidelines on Wednesday for outdoor youth sports practices this summer, including specific guidance for baseball, softball and soccer. Only spectator-less outdoor practice sessions are allowed, for now. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced the approval of a comprehensive community-based testing, laboratory analysis, and contact tracing plan to support local, statewide, and tribal efforts to reopen and keep open the Nevada economy. To view details, go here.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued remarks discussing the Phase 2 of Nevada’s reopening plan, as outlined in Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery. You can read his full remarks here.

Friday, May 15, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference to provide an update on Phase One of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery Plan. To view revised industry-specific guidance, go here.

Governor Steve Sisolak shared Phase One of the Roadmap to Recovery for Nevada. To view details, go here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has unveiled the Nevada United Roadmap to Recovery. To view details, go here.

Governor Steve Sisolak announced the framework Nevada will use as it begins to roll back restrictions and re-open. To read more, including the full text of Governor Sisolak's remarks, please go here.

Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has shared COVID-19 resource guides for Nevada residents in English and in Spanish.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced an expansion of social distancing emergency directives. To read more about this, including the full text of the Governor's speech and guidance on what Directive 013 means, please go here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has issued a "Stay at Home" directive for Nevadans amid the coronavirus outbreak. The directive also extends closure of non-essential businesses, gaming and schools through April 30, 2020. The Governor said his "Stay at Home" directive strengthens the imperative that Nevadans must not leave their homes for nonessential activities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “This directive builds on previous directives around school closures, social distancing, closure of non-essential businesses, and bans on public gatherings of 10 or more people by requiring you stay at home unless leaving is absolutely necessary." The governor's office said essential employees should continue their work activities, making sure to take proper precautions, like frequent handwashing, staying home if they are sick and abiding by aggressive social distancing protocols.

Governor Steve Sisolak announced that the Nevada Office of the Military will coordinate activities between the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, and other state agencies. According to the statement, the Office of the Military will help ensure the efficient use of government resources.

March 24, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive related to public gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis. Nevadans who are not living within the same household, working at or patronizing an essential business or providing essential services may not gather in groups of 10 or more in any indoor or outdoor public area. Read more here.

Governor Steve Sisolak has issued a Declaration of Emergency directing law enforcement agencies to implement the measures he outlined on March 17, 2020, in his Nevada Health Response COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Initiative. Beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor Sisolak has ordered that "non-essential businesses [that] continue to operate and avail themselves to the general public, further exacerbating the public health emergency" close to the public until April 16, 2020, unless renewed by a subsequent directive. Read the Declaration of Emergency Directive here.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada and the FBI are warning of several new fraud schemes looking to exploit people during the coronavirus pandemic. Scammers are setting up websites, contacting people by phone and email, posting disinformation on social media and even going door-to-door in some instances, according to a release from both agencies. Nevadans are being urged to independently verify those who are reaching out to them, be it a company, charity or individual. They’re also being told to be wary of unsolicited emails and offers, especially those requesting cash payments or wire transfers.

National Government

The Winnemucca Sand Dunes Recreation Area reopened May 23. View more information here.

The Humboldt River Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management announced the opening of the Water Canyon Recreation Area, located approximately 3.5 miles southeast of Winnemucca. Read more here.


Uptown Market is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The store does offer delivery service based on availability. Call 623-2405 for more information.

Ridley's Family Market in Winnemucca offers special shopping hours for seniors from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. In-store pickup is also available from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Saturday. Visit Ridley's online for more information.

Khoury's Market Place in Winnemucca will offer special shopping hours for seniors every day from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. The store will close at 9 p.m. each evening for cleaning and re-stocking.

Walmart is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The store and Pharmacy is open exclusively to residents age 60 and older from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Tuesdays.

Organizations / Other

NEW The Frontier Community Coalition has shared the flyer below. Special thanks to Rural Regional Behavioral Health Coordinator Valerie Cauhape Haskin for sharing this important information for residents in crisis.

HELP Would you be willing to write a letter of hope and encouragement to a Long Term Care resident in Harmony Manor or Quail Corner? Seventeen-year-old Lowry High School graduate Aidan Maher is asking for the community's help as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project. Check out the details here.

HELP The Humboldt Connection Suicide Prevention Task Force is asking for the community's help to create "Hope Bags" for COVID-19 patients who are either in the hospital receiving care or are self-isolating at home. These bags will contain activities to address fear, anxiety, isolation, and hope so that individuals can feel supported during this critical time. The group is looking for donations to include within the Hope Bags such as adult coloring books, colored pencils and pens, calming activities, essential oils, word searches, Sudoku, craft projects, kindness rocks or anything that may increase hope and help patients recover. Items may be dropped off at Juvenile Services, 737 Fairgrounds Road; personnel there will put the bags together and then share them with HGH Social Worker Jennifer Slovernick for distribution. Already-assembled bags also are welcome. For questions, please contact Pauline Salla at (775) 623-6382 or email at P.Salla@hcjsnv.com. To date, the group has given away 82 bags; another 20 youth bags are ready to go.

HELP The Humboldt Connections Suicide Prevention group is looking for volunteers who are trained in ASIST and would be willing to be placed on a rotating on-call schedule to receive calls from individuals within the community who are at increased risk for suicidal ideation, anxiety surrounding COVID-19, and overwhelming feelings of isolation. The group believes a local response to individuals at risk will be more beneficial than sharing a national hotline. If you are willing to take part in this project, please contact Pauline Salla immediately at (775) 623-6382 or email at P.Salla@hcjsnv.com.

The Poke 'N' Peek has re-opened with safety measures in place. Wearing face masks is a requirement to enter the store. The Poke will provide a kerchief for face covering if a customer has no mask. Only 15 customers may be in the store at any time; only two customers may be in the Book Room, the Plus Size Room and the Kid’s Room at any one time. Social distancing must be practiced as much as possible; there will be markings on the floor (with masking tape) where customers wait in line to check out at the cashier station. Only five people will be permitted in the yard at any one time. The Poke is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The Frugal Flamingo has re-opened to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; a limited number of customers are allowed at one time. No children will be allowed at this time. The store will accept donations during business hours ONLY.

Age- and Dementia-Friendly Winnemucca and Humboldt County Coordinator Gini Cunningham has shared a wonderful list of COVID-related resources for elderly and cognitively impaired residents: The Sanford Center for Aging (University of Nevada Reno) compiled a list of COVID-19 resources: Sanford Center for Aging; Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD); CDC video (What older adults need to know); CDC information for professionals coordinating home care and isolation of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19; The Gerontological Society of America; AARP; Alzheimer's Disease Research Center video for older adults; Alzheimer’s Disease International: Dementia Care during COVID-19; Alzheimer’s Association: COVID-19 Tips for Caregivers; American Geriatrics Society; National Council on Aging; National Association for Area Agencies on Aging.

The Winnemucca Food Bank is resuming normal business hours, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Only 2-3 clients are allowed into the building at one time to maintain social distancing, while allowing for more choice of the fresh produce available.

The Soup Kitchen is continuing to serve meals Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 138 W. Winnemucca Boulevard. Meals are provided in a take-out or sack lunch format at the top of the steps by the building to comply with health and safety precautions currently in place.

The Frontier Community Action Agency is open by appointment only. Applications are available Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A drop-off box is outside the office. The Temporary Food Assistance Program distribution takes place the third Friday of the month via drive-thru. The SNAP Rural Outreach Representative in the office every Tuesday. The Virtual Welfare Family Services Specialist II is available via SKYPE every Thursday. Please call the office at (775) 623-9003 to schedule an appointment. The FCAA still encourages all applicants to apply online; paper applications will be available from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday outside the FCAA office for pickup; they also can printed using this link. Thank you to the Winnemucca Post Office for lending the FCAA the use of a drop box!

Great Basin College's fall semester is in full swing. The physical campus is largely closed to the public, but is still providing services to the community. Please call (775) 623-4824 or email. Directory information is available online and many services can be completed through the college's website.

UPDATE The Boys & Girls Club Distance Learning Site at Sonoma Heights will be closed starting November 18 due to COVID-19. The site will be closed thru December 1. Please visit www.bgcwin.org for updated information.

The Family Support Center has moved to 1200 East Winnemucca Boulevard. The building is located directly across from Bosch Motors. For questions, please call (775) 623-1888.

Nevada Outdoor School in Winnemucca has released its November calendar for youth beginning at age kindergarten.