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Southern Nevada Health District receives supplies, needs more

Posted at 7:01 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 23:31:06-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Health officials from the Southern Nevada Health District said while the number of cases in the valley is still growing exponentially, there are early signs that the social distancing measures may be having an impact on the spread of COVID-19 in Nevada.

"We're still in exponential growth, but it's possible that the slope of that exponential curve has decreased slightly," said Dr. Vit Kraushaar, medical investigator at the SNHD.

While current data may provide a glimmer of hope, health officials are still in preparation and management mode when it comes to handling coronavirus cases.

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"At the Convention Center, we've received managed inventory from the federal strategic national stockpile so as that PPE comes in, it gets broken down and then coordinated through the multi-agency coordination center," said Jeff Quinn, manager of the office of public health preparedness.

Shipments of N95 masks, surgical masks, and gowns arrived from the federal government Thursday and Friday and are currently being broken down and distributed to hospitals and other health care providers across the valley.

Also, business partners, community members, and other states have stepped up to donate.

"We did receive on loan from the state of California 50 ventilators, but we also have a request from our acute care hospitals for over 600 ventilators," said Quinn.

While any shipment of supplies is good, health officials say the number received is still a fraction of what has been requested.

"Nobody has gotten the full amount that they've requested," said Quinn. "They get a fraction of that, and it really is important to recognize that."

While that multi-agency team works together to sort through and distribute the supplies coming in, health officials said hospitals in the valley have not yet seen the surge in cases that have overwhelmed hospitals in other parts of the country. However, they are still preparing for what may be necessary down the line.

"The hospitals are reporting that there's a flattening number of patients coming in with COVID. So right now they're staying at level capacity, but we do expect that to go up," said Misty Robinson, senior public health preparedness planner.

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But health officials say they have seen an increase in the number of severe cases.

"There is an increasing number of patients being intubated, and on ventilators, so we do anticipate a need for additional ventilators in the near future," said Robinson.

Health officials said hospitals across the valley have requested 600 additional ventilators and received 50 ventilators on loan from the state of California.

"With this particular virus, it's unknown. We could be seeing future dates where we have surges of patients flocking to our health care facilities, and we need to be prepared to manage that surge as it comes in," said Quinn.