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Hospitalizations in Nevada increases 230% due to COVID-19

Posted at 9:00 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 08:50:51-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Hospitalizations in Nevada are reaching new heights as the Nevada Hospital Association reports a 230% increase in COVID-19 patients over the past month.

University Medical Center (UMC) officials tell 13 Action News that due to the high COVID-19 positivity rate and rising cases, the hospital has made the decision to temporarily limit adult surgical procedures to emergencies only for the next week.

In terms of capacity, UMC says that they have available space and Personal Protective Equipment.

In addition to an increase in hospitalizations, the average test positivity rate over the past two weeks in Nevada is at at 21.2%, the highest 14-day test positivity rate since the beginning of the pandemic in the state.

“The increase in our percent positivity rate of our cases is why you’re seeing that overall increase in hospitalizations,” says Dr. Christina Madison, Roseman University.

Dr. Madison says the increase in positive cases trickles down to our hospitals, and says keeping them below capacity is now more important than ever.

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Dr. Madison adds that the state has not yet seen the impact of those who traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It takes anywhere from two to 14 days before you experience symptoms, you can be contagious up to two days before you ever start showing symptoms,” says Dr. Madison. “On average people don’t seek medical attention five or six days after they start feeling sick,”

Nevada continues to move through a 3-week state-wide pause that includes limiting capacity at businesses and other measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to not overwhelm hospitals.

“Those beds require extremely skilled personnel in order to manage those critically ill patients,” says Dr. Madison. “It’s not just the healthcare workers, it’s the sanitation workers and all the workers that keep the hospital up and running.”

In Reno, the flood of COVID-19 patients has already hit Renown Hospital as the parking garage has become an overflow site for those who don't require intensive care.

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The CEO of UMC previously told 13 Action News that the hospital has surge plans in place if more beds are needed.

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