Washoe Co. Health Officer: “Not the right time” for increasing limit on public gatherings

Washoe County Health District
Washoe County Health District(Denise Wong)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 2:49 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Washoe County Health Officer Kevin Dick says he does not believe it is appropriate for the county to be increasing the cap on public gatherings.

Dick’s comment comes one day after Governor Steve Sisolak announced a new directive that will raise the limit on public gatherings from 50 to 250 people-- or 50% capacity, whichever is less. It would also allow larger venues to apply to host up to 10% of their seating capacity. They would need to submit a plan that would have to get approval from the local health authority and eventually the state.

The directive takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2020.

Dick says the loosened restrictions are not what the county needs right now as it tries to control the spread of COVID-19.

“Given the current status that we have in Washoe County, it’s in my view not the right time for us to be making these types of increases in gatherings and interactions while we are at our record high for rates of disease,” says Dick. “So I have made recommendations to city and county managers that we not increase the limit of 50 from gatherings at this time as we continue to assess the situation.”

Dick says Washoe County has seen a record high for its seven-day rolling average of new cases, which is at over 106 cases per day. He says that represents an 88% increase in the number of cases per day from just two weeks ago. He says the county is seeing a significant rise in cases among those between the ages of 18 and 24.

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