Clark County lines up help before predicted April 17 peak; PPE shortage ‘a little bit’ better

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County officials delivered a community update in the COVID-19 crisis on Thursday in a live event at the Clark County Government Center. Officials reminded the public that help is available by dialing 211.

Kevin Schiller, Assistant Clark County Manager, emphasized that help is available for people with who are having trouble handling stress related to the pandemic. The same hotline will help if you have worries about paying your rent.

To access help from Nevada 211, just dial 211 on your phone.

County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said, “You are saving lives every single day that you stay home, and you are not spreading the virus.”

University Medical Center CEO Mason VanHouweling said current projections show Las Vegas hitting its peak demand for intensive care beds on Friday, April 17. He said the medical community is working tirelessly in advance of the surge.

Currently, Clark County has 609 ICU beds, and 481 occupied (79%). Of the current total of 681 ventilators, 348 are being used (51%). VanHouweling said more ventilators will likely be available.

Of the total 4,542 hospital beds in Clark County, 2,935 are used right now (65%)

At UMC, the demand has been a little lower in recent days, VanHouweling said. UMC has 106 ICU beds, and 83 are occupied. UMC has 133 ventilators, and 60 are being used (32 by COVID-19 patients). He added that UMC has set up a tent outside the building with 22 beds, and other hospitals in the valley are taking similar steps.

VanHouweling noted that the average age of COVID-19 patients is 52, and 55% of the patients are female, 45% male.

Kirkpatrick said the homeless have not been forgotten. With a goal of 500 additional beds to help homeless people who need to be isolated, she said 150 of those beds have already been secured.

“We have been working on beds for the homeless … We feel comfortable and ready that we will absolutely be able to care for them,” she said.

As of Thursday:

  • 32 beds at Salvation Army for patients 65 and older with underlying medical conditions — people with elevated risks of COVID-19 infection.
  • 39 beds at Crossroads of Southern Nevada are available to help people who need to be isolation.

“We are doing well on social distancing within our state,” Kirkpatrick said.

“Please don’t forget to check on your neighbors. Many of my senior neighbors, I call each day just to see that they are doing OK because social distancing for some is very hard, but it doesn’t stop you from picking up the phone and talking to your neighbor to make sure that they’re OK, they have what they neeed.”

“Some people do not want to reach out,” Schiller said. “some people are afraid to do that.” People who pick up the phone at Nevada 211 are there to help you, Shiller said.

Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck said the valley is still working through shortages of facemasks and other personal protective equipment. But he said, “The PPE situation has gotten a little bit better.”

“We still have a lot of shortages,” he said. “We have received a national stockpile here, and the last of it will be distributed out” by the end of Friday.

If you have donations to help others, call 702-455-0006 or email:

Clark County and other local officials will provide the community with an update on the latest efforts responding to the coronavirus situation at a news conference at 11 a.m. on April 9 in the Commission Chambers of the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas.

Taking part in the news conference will be Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, Boulder City Mayor Kiernan McManus, Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck, University Medical Center CEO Mason VanHouweling, Southern Nevada Health District Chief Health Officer Dr. Fermin Leguen, and Clark County Assistant County Manager Kevin Schiller.

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