LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Doctors and medical staff say they are still in need of protective wear and test kits while they remain on the front lines treating COVID-19.
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Tucked behind the now quiet Las Vegas Strip is Elite Medical Center, a usual hot spot for tourists who need medical care.
“With the shut down of the Las Vegas Strip and other things around the valley, we’re definitely seeing a decrease in people coming in,” says Dr. Courtney Downes, Elite Medical Center.
Despite less people receiving services, Dr. Downes believes this is the calm before the storm.
“I think you are going to start seeing a bigger influx of patients over the next coming weeks, I’m hoping not, but we’re trying to be prepared making sure we have the personal protective equipment,” says Dr. Downes.
Dr. Downes isn’t sure how her facility is going to increase the number of necessary supplies, so they’re rationing what they currently have.
“You need to keep your staff safe because if we’re not there and not healthy, how are we going to take care of other people,” says Dr. Downes.
In addition to supplies, there is also a struggle to get more test kits.
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday that the CDC and FDA told his office that there is an indefinite backlog of kits.
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“Previously I’ve put in requests for COVID-19 tests, none of them have been filled,” says Sisolak.
On Monday, The White House addressed a possible treatment for COVID-19.
“We actually worked to secure 30 million tablets from Sandoz and 1 million tablets from Bayer of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are potential COVID-19 treatments,” says Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
However, Gov. Sisolak recently signed an emergency regulation to limit prescriptions of those exact two drugs to prevent hoarding.
Dr. Downes says both drugs will not be prescribed for people to self medicate with, or prevent them from getting COVID-19.
“The increase in volume of the medication is so that way if we do see the increase in patients, we have the appropriate medication so that way we can treat patients that need to be hospitalized,” says Dr. Downes.
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