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Coronavirus deaths in Nevada top 100; Burning Man canceled

Associated Press
This Sunday, Aug 25, 2019, satellite image provided by Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies shows a view over the Burning Man Festival in Gerlach, Nev.
Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies via AP

Nevada’s death toll from the coronavirus has topped 100 as the sweeping impacts of the outbreak across the state now include cancellation of the annual Burning Man festival.

The state’s coronavirus website as of Saturday morning listed 2,700 cases statewide with 102 deaths, but the health districts for metro Las Vegas and metro Reno City together reported 106 deaths.

Burning Man Project officials on Friday announced cancellation of the annual event that was scheduled to be held Aug. 30 to Sept. 7 in the northern Nevada desert.

Organizers of Burning Man, a lifestyle and entertainment gathering that typically attracts 80,000 people, said in a Facebook post the cancellation was “in the interest of the health and well-being of our community.” 

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. 

“After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020,” organizers said in an online journal post. “Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do. Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too.“

Organizers said they were committed to providing refunds for tickets already purchased. They asked purchasers to consider foregoing refunds because the organization faces layoffs, pay cuts and other belt-tightening measures. 

In other coronavirus developments:

— The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said its unemployment insurance website would be offline Saturday from 1 p.m. to midnight so technicians could make upgrades to implement changes to accommodate federal aid provided in response to the pandemic. 

Nevada’s unemployment benefits system has struggled to handle a flood of unemployment claims resulting from layoffs by casinos and other employers.


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