Clark County veteran tests ‘presumptive positive’ for coronavirus at VA hospital

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada has its first coronavirus case. A Clark County man in his 50s has tested “presumptive positive” for the virus. 8 News Now has learned that he is a veteran inpatient at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) and is currently hospitalized in airborne isolation, according to the Southern Nevada Health District

According to a response from Charles W. Ramey, Chief Public Affairs for VASNHS, the veteran tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 4 at the facility, who is still waiting to confirm the results with the Centers from Disease Control (CDC).

The VASNHS official also told 8 News Now that they are screening all staff and veterans who show any symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Furthermore, they are following all CDC guidance and VA protocols by immediately isolating all those who are a risk for COVID-19 infection and prevent spreading to others.

“The risk of transmission to other patients and staff remains low, as the veteran is being cared for in isolation by staff who are specially trained on the latest Centers for Disease Control treatment guidelines and utilizing personal protective equipment and infection control techniques.”

Charles W. Ramey, Chief of Public Affairs for VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System

9:23 a.m.

Nevada has its first coronavirus case. A Clark County man in his 50s has tested “presumptive positive” for the virus. He is hospitalized and currently in airborne isolation, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

According to the health district, test results are considered “presumptive positive” until the result is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that can take as long as 48 hours. The test was administered Wednesday night. The CDC recommends local health officials respond to “presumptive positive” cases as if they are confirmed cases.

(8 News NOW will have a special focused on coronavirus in Clark County tonight at 6 p.m.)

The patient, who traveled by plane, was recently in Washington and Texas where several people have been confirmed to have the virus.

The man has a child in school and that student is currently in self-quarantine but isn’t exhibiting any symptoms. No information was released on what school the child attends or what hospital is treating the man.

In a morning news conference, health district officials said they are working to identify all people who may have had contact with the man. Some people are already in self-quarantine which means they are to stay in their homes for 14 days.

“While the COVID-19 outbreak is a serious public health threat, the immediate risk from the virus to the general public in Clark County and the United States remains low at this time,” according to the health district.

According to the most recent information from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, 14 people in Nevada have been tested and had negative results, another 208 are under public health supervision. Those people include travelers who may be from an infected region.

Eleven people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus. The most recent death was in California. According to the CDC, more than 100 have tested positive however Johns Hopkins is reporting 162 cases. The virus has been reported in numerous states including California, Utah, Oregon, and Arizona which have borders with Nevada.

The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019.

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