As the number of new covid cases drop in Washoe County, the State of Nevada lifted its mask mandates just in time for last Sunday’s Big Game. Effective February 10, masks are no longer required to be in Nevada’s public places (unless the business requests it) yet there are still some places such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other places that serve vulnerable populations where they must be worn. Masks are still mandated on a federal level in airports, on planes, and on public transportation.
Following the new directive, the Washoe County School District changed its policy to allow teachers and students to go mask-free, but they still must be worn on school buses. It will also end its mandatory testing of NIAA athletes and people leaving Washoe County on February 26 yet wants to remind the school community to continue practicing frequent handwashing and selfscreening before entering a school facility.
As of February 14, there have been 100,673 cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County and 1,111 deaths associated with the virus. More than 64 percent of people ages five and older are fully vaccinated in the county; 73 percent of residents are vaccinated statewide. The weekly risk meter for catching covid still remains “very high” likely due to the Omicron variant still circulating, but tools to fight the severity of sickness have become more widely available.
The number of new covid cases and deaths have dropped dramatically in the last few weeks; according to the Nevada Health Response’s covid tracking dashboard, there were 5,780 new cases on January 16 which dropped down to 1,073 cases on February 10 in the entire State of Nevada. In Washoe County alone, there were 626 new cases on January 16 compared to 236 new cases on February 10.
On January 28, there were 27 deaths related to covid in Nevada and only two were reported on February 10. More than 919,696 people have died nationwide. The worst covid outbreaks in the State of Nevada took place in Churchill County, White Pine County, and Humboldt County.
“Just like vaccines, masks are still a great tool we have to slow the spread of the virus. I expect going forward to still see Nevadans and visitors occasionally utilizing masks when they are out in public,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak in the February 10th press conference. “The State will no longer require masks in public places but employers and organizations including school districts may set their own policies, and I encourage them to work with their employees and communities to ensure that policies are in place.”