COVID-19 case numbers continue to decline
The nation passed a grim milestone on Monday with coronavirus deaths. Over a half million Americans have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began almost a year ago, including over 50,000 in California and 4,922 in Nevada.
While numbers are looking more promising in counties surrounding Lake Tahoe, officials ask that people remain vigilant.
El Dorado County
New coronavirus case numbers in El Dorado County continue to show a gradual decline and while heavy restrictions remain in place for local businesses, data shows the county is trending in the right direction.
Wednesday’s coronavirus update from the county showed that the adjusted case rate continues to hover around 11. While this number isn’t the goal, about a month ago the rate was 22.7 which shows substantial improvement.
The adjusted case rate needs to remain at seven or below for two weeks before the county will be eligible to move tiers as outlined in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which would loosen certain restrictions.
The only other way for the county to move up into the red tier, is if the positivity rate is 4.9% or lower coupled with a health equity quartile percentage of 5.2% or less for two weeks.
While the county is getting closer, the daily case information still hasn’t met any of the parameters to move. Wednesday’s case information showed an adjusted case rate of 11.3, positivity rate of 5% and health equity quartile rate of 5.7%.
El Dorado County reported 17 new cases on Wednesday with none being in the Lake Tahoe region. In the county, there have been a total of 98 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with three new deaths reported Wednesday, none of which were from the South Lake Tahoe region.
There are six hospitalizations with one COVID patient currently in intensive care.
Manufactured supply continues to be the biggest constraint for the vaccine statewide and in El Dorado County. During a press conference last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the supply is going to be limited for the next few weeks.
Currently, health workers, residents 65 and older and those working in the education sector, childcare, emergency services or food and agriculture are eligible for the vaccine. Carla Hass, El Dorado County’s communication director, said that there are plans for mass vaccination sites in South Lake Tahoe in the near future. Barton Health has vaccination clinic set for Friday.
The county is estimating that in April to May, those in Tier 2 of Phase 1B will be eligible.
To be notified when your phase is eligible and when an appointment is available, sign up for an alert at myturn.ca.gov.
For more information about the vaccine or phases, visit https://www.edcgov.us/Government/hhsa/Pages/EDCCOVID-19-vaccine.aspx.
Washoe County has also been working diligently to get the population vaccinated. Over 107,000 vaccines have been administered in Washoe County and 8% of population has been fully vaccinated.
“We continue to see an increase in the amount of vaccine that’s being distributed to the state and Washoe County which has been encouraging,” said the county health officer Kevin Dick during Wednesday’s press conference.
On Wednesday, Washoe County reported only 11 new cases, 4,869 active cases and two new deaths making the total 642 for the county.
The county numbers have been showing significant progress compared to previous months. However, on Tuesday, the county saw the large bump in cases that reversed its declining trend.
The 7-day moving average was 34.3, which was the lowest since June 22, and after the 102 new cases on Tuesday the average increased to 45.3.
“We don’t know if this is a Super Bowl bump that we are seeing from gatherings that occurred then. We also had a large number of test results that were reported yesterday (Tuesday),” said Dick.
He said that the county will be watching the numbers closely.
“Hopefully we are not climbing again,” he said.
The test positivity rate has continued to decline even going below the state’s threshold of 8% which means that the county was no longer flagged for elevated disease transmission this week. As of Wednesday, the positivity rate had dropped to 6.4%.
Dick warned people to remain cautious due to the severity and presence of the new variants along with the loosening of restrictions. Increased capacity for businesses such as restaurants, bars and gyms is planned for March. 15.
On Wednesday, seniors who are 65 years and older are eligible to receive the vaccine at the Livestock Events Center.
Those who are eligible and would like to get on the wait list can do so at https://washoecountynv.seamlessdocs.com/f/SeniorCovid19Vaccine or call 775-328-2427 for assistance.
Dick also urged the community to help out by assisting seniors with navigating the vaccine process.
Sign up for the senior wait list at https://washoecountynv.seamlessdocs.com/f/SeniorCovid19Vaccine.
Seniors 65 and older can get more information on getting the vaccine at https://www.covid19washoevaccine.com/pages/senior-vaccine.
Currently, 68% of staffed hospital beds are currently occupied and 48% of all Intensive Care Unit beds are in use. There are 6 individuals currently in the ICU.
In Incline Village, 405 total cases have been reported and 61 remain active. Crystal Bay has two active cases.
Douglas County has one resident currently in the ICU and has had 33 cumulative COVID-19 related deaths in the county.
Carson City has had 114 individuals who have succumbed to the virus, which is up three from last week. The city has one patient in the ICU and there are seven COVID-19 hospitalizations.
There are a total of 4,922 Nevadans who have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The state has 534 residents hospitalized with 120 in the ICU.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office is searching for South Lake Tahoe resident Amy Riemer.