Coronavirus cases more than double in young Washoe County kids


Three generations of one Nevada family – grandmother Patricia Villaseca, her daughter Cyndi Camacho and newborn Elli Camacho, 5 months – all recovered from COVID-19.

Reno Gazette Journal

New cases of COVID-19 more than doubled among children age 9 and younger in Washoe County just one week after the same age group saw a sizable drop in the number of new infections.

The Washoe County Health District reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 in children age 9 and younger last week. The period covers the seven days leading up to Oct. 22. 

The number is up significantly from the 23 cases seen during the preceding week. There have been 514 COVID-19 infections to date involving kids age 9 and younger in Washoe County since the pandemic started, with half of those cases occurring in the last two months. Children ages 10 to 19 also saw an increase in cases, albeit at a smaller rate. New cases within that age group rose by 19% from 69 to 82.

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The increase occurs as Washoe County surpassed the 12,000 mark in total COVID-19 cases last week. The health district reported on Friday that Washoe has reached 12,304 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started. It also reported its biggest one-day increase in new infections, with 350 new cases.

COVID-19: Washoe County hits new highs for daily cases, total active cases

Age groups with the highest number of infections


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The number of new cases in Washoe County continued to trend upward last week. 

Even before reporting 350 new cases on Friday, the county was already trending in a higher direction. Washoe reported 894 new cases for the seven days leading into Thursday, an average of 128 new cases per day. That’s up from an average of 104 per day from the preceding week.

The bulk of the new cases are among residents ages 20 to 49. 

Younger adults age 20 to 29 reported the highest number of new cases with 209 infections, an increase of 24% from the prior week before. The next highest group involved people ages 30 to 39 at 151, followed by adults between 40 to 49 years of age at 132 cases. The new cases in both groups rose by 10% and 35% respectively.

Seniors aged 70 to 79 did not see as high an increase in the raw numbers for infections but did post higher rates of increase. Infections among the older population are especially a concern because they’re more susceptible to complications and deaths from the COVID-19 virus. The 70 to 79 age group saw a 77% increase from 31 to 55 while the 60 to 69 age group posted a 58% increase from 57 to 90. 

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Only two age groups saw a downward trend in new cases. People ages 50 to 59 saw new cases fall from 126 to 110. Seniors age 80 to 89 also saw new infections drop from 21 to nine.

How are schools doing with COVID-19 cases?


Washoe County Health District Kevin Dick said he will base closing schoold on what is occurring and not a trigger point of COVID-19 cases

Reno Gazette Journal

The Washoe County School District reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 in five area schools as of Oct. 22. Of those, seven were students and four were staff. That number is more than double the previous week’s five new cases.

The school district currently has 23 active cases of COVID-19 impacting 18 schools. The numbers are split almost evenly between students and staff.

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To date, the Washoe County School District has seen 65 student infections and 40 staff infections for COVID-19 at 44 schools.

The University of Nevada, Reno, meanwhile, had 46 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving students during the week of Oct. 10-16. The number is nearly even with the 47 new cases during the preceding week. New cases among staff, on the other hand, rose to six new infections compared to three from the previous week. To date, the university has seen 679 total cases of COVID-19 for students and 48 for staff. Of those 651 students and 44 staff members have recovered.

How many tests are returning positive?


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The 14-day testing positivity rate for Washoe County is at 9% as of Oct. 22, according to the state of Nevada’s COVID-19 dashboard. The number is below the state’s overall rate of 9.6% for the same period. Washoe County’s positivity rate, however, is still above the number recommended by the World Health Organization. The WHO recommends a positivity rate of 5% or below for two straight weeks prior to reopening.

Nevada’s positivity rate has been on an upward trend in the last month. Since declining to 6.5% in mid-September after reaching 14.3% during the first three days of August, the rate has steadily increased.

Deaths and hospitalizations

Washoe County reported seven deaths in the week leading up to Oct. 22, down from 15 during the preceding week. To date, 190 people have died from COVID-19 in Washoe.

Deaths have also been trending downward in Nevada, with the 14-day moving average for COVID-19 fatalities down to four per day on Oct. 22 after hitting 19 per day in August.

As of Oct. 23, 69% of all staffed short-term, acute-care hospital beds in Washoe County are occupied. About 59% of all intensive care unit or ICU beds are also being used. Ventilator use, meanwhile, is at 17%.

Jason Hidalgo covers business and technology for the Reno Gazette Journal, and also reviews the latest video games. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. Like this content? Support local journalism with an RGJ digital subscription.

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