SNHD board meeting provides COVID-19 response, testing, contact tracing app update

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) hosted a board meeting on May 28 at 9 a.m. to discuss their current COVID-19 response.

The meeting opened with a review of the agenda and allowed for public comments.

To review board meeting agenda items please click here.

WATCH THE FULL MEETING BELOW:

Testing site locations were confirmed with several comments made on the need to make the public aware of new sites and the testing process.

“The events the Health District is organizing, we are not charging anyone anything,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen during the SNHD board meeting to increase testing efforts.

“We don’t want anyone to not get tested because they don’t have insurance,” added Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

June 1 was announced as the SNHD Phase 2 reopening plan date to allow select start to return to the office and open the lobby to the community with CDC social distancing guidelines in place.

Total COVID-19 cases as of May 28 is at 6,352, according to SNHD, with the deceased number at 339 and 79% recovered from the virus. These numbers were announced during the meeting as the latest numbers.

SNHD says they are seeing a steady decline in hospital utilization. Occupancy and ventilator use is also stable over the past few weeks, according to the SNHD board meeting discussion.

The SNHD board meeting spoke on the release of the SNHD notification app on May 18 for use of COVID-19 contact tracing notifications. The SNHD made clear that the app is a communication delivery app only, not for instant contact notifications.

The app is not currently in Spanish, but Dr. Leguen said that something that must be done and currently being discussed.

To expand testing capacity, the SNHD discussed automated testing machine options and pricing. The Hologic Panther Fusion system does not require sample extraction and can conduct 750 tests in 16 hours with the testing cost set at $40. Biofire instruments are able to take one sample per hour.

To assist in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, 60 SNHD staff and 10 MRC volunteers have been trained in contract tracing, with 8 NLV librarians scheduled to be trained.

Currently, 96 agents at the Wynn Resort are assisting SNHD call center staff with contact tracing call notifications.

The meeting reviewed COVID-19 positive cases by race and ethnicity. Info collected at 49 community testing events is being updated to reflect an accurate impact on the community.

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