Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Friday that school closures across the state due to coronavirus, or COVID-19 will continue until at least April 15. Humboldt General Hospital has increased its respiratory clinic days to include Saturday and Sunday.

As of Friday, HGH said there were no coronavirus cases in Winnemucca and as of Saturday, Elko had reported two cases. As of Sunday night the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 190 cases of coronavirus on the tracking dashboard at https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/ and Washoe County still reported 25 cases, two of which had begun recovering. 

As of Sunday night, there were over 336,000 cases of COVID-19 reported in the world and just over 33,000 in the United States.

In a press release on Friday, Winnemucca Mayor Rich Stone said the city of Winnemucca is concerned for both the physical and the economic health of all community residents. 

Anyone who was laid off due to COVID-related initiatives should immediately file for unemployment insurance benefits at http://ui.nv.gov/. The state has waived the seven day wait period and work search requirements for unemployment temporarily due to the economic downturn. 

Stone also said that with the supply of toilet paper being unpredictable at stores, that the city’s wastewater system is designed for human waste and toilet paper only, and that paper towels, tissues, rags and “flushable” wipes can cause issues in the wastewater system, including the homeowner’s portion of the system. 

“As a final note, this isn’t the first time our area has faced difficult challenges and, of course, it won’t [be] the last,” said Stone in the press release. “But that is what has impressed me about this community from the beginning: people are determined and resilient and smart; they intuitively understand how to help themselves and each other. We are not alone—not any of us regardless of our circumstances. We are here to help.”

Nevada Health Link health insurance now has a temporary open enrollment period until April 15 due to COVID-19, allowing Nevada residents to apply for and begin receiving health insurance without waiting until the next regular enrollment period. Residents can apply for benefits at www.nevadahealthlink.com. 

On Friday, Sisolak announced that he was increasing his previous “urging” of nonessential Nevada businesses to close and making it an order. 

The order grants local governments the power to impose civil penalties including fines to nonessential businesses that do not close their doors and allows state and local governments to treat it as a criminal act. The order went into effect Friday at midnight, lasting at least until April 16. 

“This is our only chance at “flattening the curve.” That’s a fancy way of saying that we need to move quickly and creatively to slow the tsunami that is headed our way. We need to put up strong barriers to ensure the waters don’t overtake us. We have to slow down the flow so that our health care system can manage this challenge in the short-term,” said Sisolak. “Some are saying these actions will devastate our economy, but for a state that relies this heavily on visitors, the impacts are inevitable. It’s happening whether we want it to or not.” 

Sisolak said that there are fewer than 5,000 acute care beds in Nevada and less than 700 ICU beds, with more than 80% of the beds occupied with COVID-19 and other patients. He said that all of Nevada’s requests to the federal government for testing and reagent kits are on an indefinite backlog. 

The Humboldt County Commissioners filed a declaration of emergency in an emergency special meeting on Thursday evening. 

Most restaurants in Winnemucca are still gladly accepting to-go orders for customers and Walmart, Khoury’s and Ridleys have all implemented “senior shopping” hours in the morning before opening the store to the rest of the general public as a precaution to the virus’s most vulnerable population.