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Medical experts weigh-in on debate to reopen Nevada

Posted at 7:06 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 11:12:59-04

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Department of Health and Human Services of Nevada has updated its report to reflect 156 deaths on April 17, 158 deaths on April 18 and 158 deaths on April 19. The story has been edited to reflect the latest information as of 8 a.m. on April 20. For updated numbers in our region from DHHS and Southern Nevada Health District, visit KTNV.com/Covid19Tracker.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- According to early research from the University of Washington, Nevada was set to reach its coronavirus peak on April 18. However, local medical experts from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) say there's no way to know for sure where we currently are on the COVID-19 curve.

“Looking at our data, it doesn’t appear that we have reached the peak, although with some delayed reporting and other things it's difficult to determine that at this point”, said Dr. Michael Johnson, SNHD director of community health.

Nonetheless, some people believe that the stay-at-home directive should be partially lifted, so that small businesses can reopen to help local families with their finances.

Medical experts have said that we all need to be careful, because there’s the risk of having a second stage of positive cases and deaths that could have even longer effects than the current pandemic.


“Even if we start to see the leveling off of cases, we don’t want a situation where everyone thinks that they’re home free now, and you stop social distancing and all those things. Because we want to remain vigilant and we want to protect against a second surge, we still don’t know if we're out of the first one”, expressed Dr. VitKraushaar, medical investigator.

Local doctors agree to not reopen the state yet, like Dr. Jeffrey Ng. A doctor with Las Vegas Medical Group, he is still seeing patients with symptoms and believes that if the government allows large gatherings and all businesses to open, it could hurt our community in the long term.


“We are winning the battle, it's working, we just have to continue with the plan and I know people are agitated, they want to get out, they want to do things we're not meant to be cooped our in the house, but this is something that's working right now”, said Dr. Ng.

On Saturday, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Twitter that he had met again with his team of medical professionals and they are now making considerations for a state-specific plan to reopen Nevada.

Dr. Ng says social distancing, covering your mouth and washing your hands are still the best thing we can do, while we wait for more testing to be available to Nevadans.

Gov. Sisolak says he plans to present updates on the plans for reopening to all Nevadans soon, but in the meantime, “Stay-at-home for Nevada” is the way to go.