Two Washoe County Health District employees, Sheriff’s Office deputy test positive for COVID-19

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Reno/Sparks, NV – Two Washoe County Health District (WCHD) employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating.

Case contact investigations for the Health District employees were completed and it was determined that the employees may have incidentally exposed other employees to COVID-19 at the facility during the infectious period. Employees who were exposed have been notified and steps are being taken to ensure that it is safe for them to return to work. No members of the public were in contact with the employees as Health District services have been either closed or by appointment only since March in accordance with the Washoe County Manager’s Office decision to suspend non-essential government events, meetings and business activities.

WCHD employees are required to conduct a self-assessment prior to entering the workplace to ensure no symptoms of COVID-19 are present and that no employee who has a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees.

Washoe County Sheriff’s deputy tests positive for COVID-19

Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam reported that a Sheriff’s Office detention deputy has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the fourth Washoe County Sheriff’s Office employee to test positive.

The deputy was on a regular day off when he began experiencing symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus. He remained at home during the testing process. His test came back positive earlier today.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to work with the Washoe County Health District for further investigation. Information about all persons who may have come into contact with these employees is being provided to the Health District. The Sheriff’s Office is prepared to take any additional steps deemed appropriate by the Washoe County Health District.

Social Distancing must be maintained

Washoe County residents are encouraged to keep practicing social distancing of 6 feet or more. As the weather warms up, it’s important that residents continue to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. See more here.

The Regional Information Team is reporting 21 recoveries from COVID-19 in Washoe County

There were 13 additional positive COVID-19 cases and the active case count went down from 520 to 512.

  • Total COVID-19 cases in Washoe County: 804 (+13 from 4/25)
  • Deaths: 27 (+0)
  • Recoveries: 265 (+21)
  • Active cases: 512 (-8)
  • Currently hospitalized: 40 (-3)
  • Cases who have discharged from hospital: 59 (+6)

Despite the warm weather, it’s still expected that Washoe County residents stay six feet away from people outside your household and wear facial coverings when out for essential needs. 

Who can get tested for COVID-19?

The Washoe County Health District is currently testing using three priorities based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as anyone else with symptoms who completes a risk assessment.  A summary of those priorities is:

  1. Priority one includes testing of hospitalized patients and healthcare facility workers with symptoms.
  2. Priority two includes first responders, long-term care facility patients, patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms and patients with underlying health conditions with symptoms.
  3. Priority three includes critical infrastructure workers with symptoms, individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms, healthcare facility workers and first responders, individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Washoe County Health District is offering free COVID-19 testing through our drive-thru method. To complete a risk assessment, please contact your physician or call the COVID-19 hotline at 775-328-2427. You can also fill out this form (Complete el formulario de evaluación COVID-19). Learn more here.

Hospital bed and ventilator information

In Washoe County as of April 25, 2020:

  • 57 percent of short-term, acute-care hospital beds are occupied (-2% since April 24)
  • 51 percent of the Intensive Care Unit beds are occupied (+1%)
  • 22 percent of ventilators are in use (+1%)

CDC adds to symptoms of COVID-19

The CDC added several new symptoms to the list for COVID-19. Initially, it was determined that fever, cough and shortness of breath were early indicators of COVID-19. The updated symptoms from the CDC include:

  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. Follow 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.