Archives for December 2020

First Thursday In The Holiday Spirit

The First Thursday gallery walk in December happens in two days, set for 5-8 p.m. The Star Press reports Downtown Development will offer special seasonal events for “Light Up DWNTWN!” beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday and continuing through the month. Physical distancing and face masks are required. Also, Muncie’s Virtual Tree Lighting will be at 6 p.m. on Facebook Live at

WCSD can hire substitutes with lesser credentials due to pandemic

As Washoe County schools faces critical staff shortages, they can now hire substitute teachers who have just a high school diploma. An Emergency regulation signed by Governor Steve Sisolak last week allows larger districts like Washoe to ignore state regulations that require subs to have a license and 60 college credits. The Washoe County School District has said staff shortages – as many as 200 per day at times — are the main reason it can’t keep all schools open for in-person learning. Tomorrow, middle and high schools move to full remote learning for the rest of the year while elementary schools remain open for in-person learning.

Douglas Co. cancels all in-person holiday events due to COVID-19

Douglas County has canceled all in-person holiday events in the county, including celebrations in Gardnerville and Minden – and the 25th annual Parade of Lights hosted by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. The difficult decision comes out of what county manager Patrick Cates called a “necessity” in the fight against the pandemic. Hospitalizations are increasing and the latest public health guidelines call for gatherings of no more than 50 persons. As an alternative, consider the Carson valley Chamber’s holiday decorating contest.

Storey County is only NV county not flagged for elevated COVID-19 risk

Nearly the entire state of Nevada is now flagged for elevated COVID-19 risk. Storey County remains the only county in the state not flagged. The state’s COVID Task Force meets every Thursday to determine counties’ status and hear individual county plans. Experts say, it’s still too early to know whether Thanksgiving travel or gatherings. had a negative impact on COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 test sites prepare for surge on testing capacity

Locally, COVID-19 test sites are preparing for a surge of interest in testing after the Thanksgiving holiday. Renown’s lab reports seeing about 500 people a day at its drive-thru testing clinic. Nearly 200 people are currently hospitalized with the virus currently, but hospitalizations are a lagging indicator-meaning we may not know the effects of Thanksgiving gatherings for a few weeks still.

Ground breaks on expansion of Swope Middle School

One of Reno’s oldest middle schools is getting new digsā€¦at least partially. Crews broke ground on a new gym and more class rooms to ease over-crowding on Swope Middle’s campus. Crews are also installing new HVAC systems which are crucial to in-person learning in a COVID-19 era. The new building won’t be complete until 2022.

State Surge Continues

Nevada health officials reported 1,642 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths on Monday, warning that the statewide surge shows few signs of slowing as the worst month of the pandemic comes to a close. Nevada has reported 152,169 confirmed cases and 2,144 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Officials said the positivity rate, as measured by dividing new cases reported over the last 14 days by test encounters, had reached a record-high of 17.3% on Monday. Hospitalizations also peaked with 1,545 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment.