As I am sure you have noticed that for weeks now we have been providing you with a daily update of local COVID-19 cases, deaths and tests conducted. The local information comes from Clark County Public Health, which strives to update its numbers by lunchtime on regular business days, Monday-Friday.
Tuesday was a little different, and eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a discrepancy in the paper as a result.
By midmorning we were awaiting the numbers as usual, but they didn’t come. Finally our health reporter, Wyatt Stayner, decided to go to lunch. (It’s an old adage in journalism that no one will call you back until you walk away from your phone.) But, after lunch, still nothing.
By midafternoon, he called and was told that the numbers were coming but there would be some delay. New people were taking over the report and there was some training that had to be done.
By 5 p.m., the normal copy deadline, we were still waiting. Time to make a Plan B. Metro Editor Mark Bowder offered this solution: “If we don’t get this by 6:45 p.m., let’s bring the cops blotter onto the (local) cover and have Wyatt write a little box explaining that we didn’t get the COVID-19 numbers by press time.”