Carson City asks that inmate positives be removed from capital’s total |

Carson City asks that inmate positives be removed from capital’s total

Carson City Manager Nancy Paulson asked the governor’s coronavirus task force Thursday to count infections at the state prison separately from virus infections in the city.

She said as of Wednesday, Carson had 615 active virus cases and that 505 of them were at Warm Springs Correctional Center.

State Biostatistician Kyra Morgan agreed, saying inmates are in a different category than members of the public since the vast majority of those infected people are inmates who are not mingling with the public.

Paulson said Carson has dramatically ramped up enforcement activities and is getting excellent compliance from restaurants and retailers. She said there was just one violation Nov. 4-17 and that the second observation following that reported 100 percent compliance

She said the city has also developed a checklist to evaluate requested events and decide whether to allow them.

Washoe District Health Officer Kevin Dick agreed there are currently an alarming number of cases in the county and a 17.8 percent positivity rate in those tested. Washoe also has 234 people hospitalized for the virus, leaving hospitals, “feeling the strain.”

He said a newly-released medical study of what mitigation factors work best in slowing the spread suggested limiting the size of gatherings.

“The study found that for single measures, the greatest impact in reducing transmission rates is to limit gatherings to 10 people or less,” he said.

Washoe County Manager Eric Brown said it’s less of an enforcement issue than the behavior of people.

He said at Reed High in Sparks, one parent reported hosting a Halloween party with 150 people and there was another near Verdi that attracted some 500 people.

“The behaviors I’m seeing and people are disclosing to me are just flat out bad behavior or COVID fatigue,” he said. “The overwhelming kitchen table evidence suggests that’s where our problem is.”

That message was amplified by Lyon County Manager Jeff Page who said protesting mask requirements and social distancing is the problem.

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink,” Page said. “You have a segment of the population and politicians saying you are violating my rights.”

He said the task force and health officials dealing with the pandemic have to find a way to convince politicians that masks, small gatherings, social distancing and other measures are not a political issue.

“I agree, it’s not a political issue,” said Task Force Director Caleb Cage.

Most of the counties reviewed Thursday were directed to expand enforcement efforts and improve contact tracing as well as increase efforts to get the message out that, if everyone complies for two or three weeks, they could see the infection rate improve significantly.