Reno jail reports 16 COVID-19 cases, enters lockdown |

Reno jail reports 16 COVID-19 cases, enters lockdown

The Associated Press

RENO — A detention facility in Reno is under lockdown to conduct contact tracing after an increasing number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, authorities said.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that 11 jail inmates and five employees tested positive for COVID-19 after two inmates failed to report their high-temperature fevers during routine temperature checks.

“Within the past 48 hours we have tested 276 inmates and 16 employees for the novel coronavirus and will continue to test as necessary. New mandates have immediately been put in place to ensure the welfare of everyone within the facility as well as members of the public who are conducting business here,” Sheriff Darin Balaam wrote in a statement.

The sheriff’s office is working with the Washoe County Health District to sanitize the building and identify where the inmates had been, officials said.

The facility has implemented multiple mandates, including requiring all staff and inmates to wear masks and suspending all visiting, transports and programs with exceptions to emergency transports outside the facility.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.