For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
Reno, Nev. March 5, 2020. The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) has received a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), the first in Washoe County. The test has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.
The case is a male resident in his 50s who is linked to the Grand Princess cruise ship outbreak. His condition is stable and he is self isolating at home.
The case has a family member who is a student at Huffaker Elementary School in Reno, Nev. Out of an abundance of caution, the Health District requested that Huffaker Elementary School be closed on Friday, March 6. The Washoe County School District has informed parents of the closure.
There are no confirmed cases at Huffaker Elementary.
“The Health District’s top priority right now is to investigate this case and identify close contacts,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer for the Washoe County Health District. “Our staff is working with the school district to help ensure safety for students and faculty at Huffaker, as well as the community. Additional information will be released as we learn more.
“We cannot stress enough that the most important thing people can do to prevent contracting COVID-19 is to practice social distancing, wash your hands with water and soap frequently, cough and sneeze into your sleeve and stay home if you’re sick. We ask that you inform family and friends of these preventive measures.”
While this is as serious public health threat, the immediate risk to the general public in Washoe County and the United States remains low at this time.
The public is encouraged to go to www.washoecounty.us/covid19 or call Washoe 311 (Dial 3-1-1) for updated information.
Media: A press briefing is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, March 6, at the Washoe County Administration Complex, Media Room, Building A.
The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.