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Nye County data still show high risk of transmission

Updated August 18, 2020 - 8:10 pm

Six counties, including Nye, will keep all COVID-19 restrictions in place after the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force met with eight Nevada counties last week because they had an elevated transmission risk based on defined criteria.

The restrictions include the closing of bars, pubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries and wineries. Clark, Elko, Humboldt, Lander and Washoe counties also previewed preliminary action plans with the task force Thursday.

Nye County is one of only three counties, along with Elko and Humboldt, that met all three criteria for elevated risk of transmission in data released Thursday, Aug. 13. Nye’s case rate per 100,000 is 311.1, with anything over 200 considered too high. The county’s test positivity rate of 17.2%, is the highest in Nevada and well over the 7.0% standard.

The third criteria is average number of tests per day per 100,000 people on a 14-day average with a seven-day lag, and here Nye is at 120.5, under the standard of 150. The testing criteria was the one missed by the most counties, with only six counties meeting the standard.

After those eight counties were identified last week as having an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission, Nevada COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage and the task force worked with local leaders throughout the weekend and this week to thoroughly examine each county’s data, and counties submitted assessment and action plans for review.

Plans will undergo a final review and potential action by the task force at a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20. Upon approval of a plan, a date for implementation of any new mitigation measures for each high-risk county will be announced.

Based on the data pulled this week, no additional counties are meeting two or more of the criteria and can maintain current restrictions in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Of the eight counties, Carson City and Lincoln County no longer meet two or more of the criteria based on data pulled this week and are now considered at lower risk of spreading COVID-19. Other counties that do not meet two or three of the criteria are Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda — which has had not a single case of COVID-19 — Eureka, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine. Mineral and White Pine are the only counties which meet none of the criteria for high-risk transmission.

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Directive 030 on Friday, formally adopting the Road to Recovery: Moving to A New Normal plan, which was announced publicly on Aug. 3, and outlined the state’s transition to a long-term, focused mitigation strategy moving forward. The hallmark of the New Normal Plan is utilizing targeted strategic mitigation measures at the county level using state and local data and assessments to best help slow the spread of COVID-19 within those specific communities.

Directive 030 also formally created the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, and gives it the authority to work with local governments and take action on county-specific plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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