By Kayla Anderson
As we go into autumn and flu season starts to become more prevalent, coronavirus cases remain steadily on the rise which causes concern for local hospitals and what they can handle. As of October 11, there have been more than 10,646 positive cases of coronavirus in Washoe County and 170 deaths; in the entire State of Nevada there have been more than 86,000 cases and 1,661 deaths since the Covid pandemic began back in March.
According to a report published by the Associated Press, the seven-day rolling average of positive cases went from 380 cases on September 25 to 487 on October 9. The report alluded that the number of infections may be on the lower side since many people who have been infected report mild or no symptoms.
The Washoe County School District recently launched a new Covid tracking portal available through its website, washoeschools.net. According to its most recent reports, there have been 41 schools within the District impacted by the virus, with 41 students testing positive and 26 positive cases amongst staff members. In the entire Washoe County community, there have been 797 total cases in the youth age bracket, 260 positive cases for kids 5-10, and 235 cases in ages 0-4. According to the WCSD COVID Data Dashboard, the coronavirus has been most prevalent amongst ages 11-18.
Health officials warn that the rise in cases is due to people not following proper health guidelines and the virus spreading through airborne droplets from an infected person to a non-infected person within proximity. Grocery stores, gyms, hospitals, and mass gatherings seem to be hot spots, and the chances of contracting the coronavirus rise if people are not wearing masks, actively sanitizing their hands, or properly social distancing.
There’s also a concern that flu season is approaching, which may heighten the number of sick people across the country. Although people tend to get over the flu as they do the coronavirus, residents are encouraged to get their annual flu shot to strengthen their immunity.
The Washoe County Health District offers flu shots via drive-thru or an appointment with a local immunization clinic. Drive-thru clinics are held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. Yearly flu shots are recommended for those ages 6 months or older, especially those with medical conditions and people with insurance may be vaccinated at no cost.
Immunize Nevada supports a flu shot program across Nevada and the Community Health Alliance in Sparks administers flu shots Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2244 Oddie Boulevard, no appointment necessary. For more information, visit https://immunizenevada.org/.