- Associated Press - Friday, March 5, 2021

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is marking a year since COVID-19 was detected in the state as a “somber milestone and anniversary” but said Friday that he’s hopeful for the future.

The Democratic governor issued a statement to mark the anniversary of the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus detected in Nevada. In the 365 days since, the state has reported 295,460 cases of the virus and on Thursday reached the grim milestone of 5,000 deaths.

“That’s 5,000 of our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. The loss is incalculable. The devastation will leave a permanent mark,” the governor said.

In total, 5,020 deaths had been reported by Friday.

Sisolak said that while the pandemic was one of the greatest challenges the state has ever faced, Nevada has not been broken and is working to overcome all the big challenges it faces.

New reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been falling since mid-January, but Sisolak reminded people to continue wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and other mitigation measures in the meantime.

In southern Nevada, where 75% of the state’s residents live, health officials reported receiving their first shipment of Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved one-shot vaccine, with 15,100 doses. The Southern Nevada Health District said the doses will be distributed to hospitals, community clinics and the health district’s clinics where they’ll be put in people’s arms.

Washoe County in northern Nevada, the state’s second-largest county which includes Reno, received its first Johnson & Johnson shipment earlier this week with 3,600 doses.

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