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Douglas County to contest Trump rally fine

Kurt Hildebrand / Record Courier

Calling the fines levied on Douglas County and Minden-Tahoe Airport management in connection with President Trump’s Sept. 12 rally “petty and vindictive,” Douglas County commissioners instructed the county manager to appeal.

County Manager Patrick Cates took full responsibility for permitting the rally.

“I take responsibility for authorizing the event, and I stand by that decision,” Cates told commissioners on Thursday.

The state fined Douglas $2,950 and the airport $2,603. A Gofundme page started to help pay the fine had raised $6,819, but the commissioners decided it was important to protest the fines.

“I would like to see us make some sort of a stand on this on principle,” Commissioner Dave Nelson said. 

“I don’t care if it’s a penny,” Commissioner Larry Walsh said in making a motion to contest the fine.

Cates said that there was only one confirmed coronavirus case related to the rally that drew an estimated 28,000 people to the airport. Carson City Health and Human Services reported there were 11 active cases and 256 recoveries on Sept. 11. Ten days later the county had 27 active cases and 266 recoveries. 

Commissioner John Engels pointed out that a portion of the rally participants came from California.

According to Silverstateelection.nv.gov, Douglas was one of 15 counties that voted for the president. Results released on Friday morning showed President Trump lead Joe Biden in Douglas 21,237-11,390.

Douglas is home to 20,483 active Republican voters. There are 8,492 Democrats and 6,526 nonpartisans.

According to the state, Douglas continues to exceed state levels in two criteria with 294 cases per 100,000 in the last 30 days and a test positivity of 10.5%. That’s higher than Lyon County, where 14 residents have died in the outbreak. 

The county’s case count is higher than Nye, Mineral and Humboldt counties. Douglas continues to do well in the number of tests per day, with 126. 

The state lists the county’s population at 49,695 so its on-the-ground numbers are multiplied by two for the statistical 100,000 number.

The county reported a second death connected to the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday. No details are available about the death. As of Thursday, Douglas had 30 active cases of coronavirus and 418 recoveries. The number of active cases had been subsiding until Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Douglas County School District confirmed three additional cases in the school district.

Superintendent Keith Lewis said the cases affected a small number of people at Douglas High School and Piñon Hills Elementary School.

The last positive case in the schools was reported on Oct. 8. Tuesday’s cases bring the total in the schools to around 18.

Lewis said there is no indication any of the cases were contracted in the schools, which is supported by the fact school was out last week.


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