LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — “It’s certainly a tragedy for our community and on behalf of myself and the health district, I want to offer our deepest condolences to his family.” Dr. Michael Johnson, the Director of Community Health for the Southern Nevada Health District, started the news conference Monday afternoon on a somber note when he discussed the first COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, case in Nevada.
On Friday, there was 16 cases in Clark County, now there are 35, which means there was a 19 case increase over the weekend. According to the SNHD, there are a total of 45 cases in the entire state of Nevada, but odds of catching coronavirus here are moderate.
During the news conference Dr. Johnson spoke about how important it is to continue to do social distancing in every aspect of your life. This means you should be at least 6-feet from another individual.
“If you can work from home, please do so,” said Dr. Johnson.
Along with social distancing, another top priority precaution in addition to washing your hands, is making sure there is a continued effort to take care of the elderly and other vulnerable adults, such as people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart or lung disease.
“Many people who do have coronavirus do have mild illnesses, and for them we ask that they isolate themselves at home from the public while they’re overcoming their illness,” Johnson said.
When it comes to testing, according to SNHD, the more testing done, the more cases will be reported to the health district. Johnson said the health district has daily calls with Governor Steve Sisolak, D-NV, and has indicated how important it is to get additional test kits down to Clark County.
“Preliminarily, and this is just preliminarily; Uh, I had a call with FEMA today, umm, and they’re offering assistance to states across the country, including Nevada, for ‘Drive-thru Swab Pods,” said Dr. Johnson. “So these will be drive-thru testing stations essentially, where individuals can be tested.”
FEMA will also provide medical personnel, and this will allow the health district to do 2,000 to 4,000 tests per week.
Dr. Johnson had this message for people who may have traveled to the really hard hit areas who feel like they need to get a test today.
“The symptoms are kind of a screening criteria. Do they have a fever, do they have shortness of breath, a cough,” Johnson stated? “If they have a primary care doctor, they should reach out to their primary care doctor to see if they need to be tested.”
People who are uninsured who don’t have a regular primary care doctor can contact the Southern Nevada Health District. SNHD also hopes the Drive-thru Swab Pods from FEMA will help in testing those uninsured.