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Nevada health officials collaborate on coronavirus information, response

UMC Coronavirus Education and Collaboration Forum.jpg
Posted at 10:26 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 01:27:52-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As Nevada experiences its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19, the University Medical Center hosted a coronavirus education and collaboration forum Thursday.

The event was to help promote the exchange of information among Las Vegas area hospitals and others, according to a spokesperson for UMC.

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The event featured an in-depth presentation from Dr. Shadaba Asad, UMC's medical director of infectious disease. Asad offered detailed information about hospital protocols and preparedness efforts.

Thursday's meeting also provided attendees with the opportunity to share information and processes, along with further elevating the community's readiness for potential cases of coronavirus.

UMC said it has worked closely with the Southern Nevada Health District and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and refine the hospital's protocols for screening, testing, and managing patients who might present with COVID-19 infection.

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The hospital also said it has implemented updates to the protocols as needed to reflect the latest CDC guidance for health care facilities.

"We introduced these additional safeguards as a precaution to protect our patients, visitors and staff," said Dr. Asad. "Our facility is fully equipped to handle patients who require isolation to prevent the spread of infectious diseases."

Other attendees at the meeting included representatives from UMC, the U.S. Air Force, the Southern Nevada Health District, Valley Hospital, Spring Valley Hospital, Henderson Hospital, Desert Springs Hospital, North Vista Hospital, Centennial Hills Hospital, Summerlin Hospital, Sunrise Hospital, Dignity Health, AMR Las Vegas, and more, according to a meeting spokesperson.

"I would like to personally thank the health care leaders who joined us today for this collaborative forum," said UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling. "At UMC, we believe that the antidote to this fear is knowledge and preparedness. We take pride in working alongside our fellow health care organizations and educating our community to help avoid panic and prevent future cases of coronavirus."


The hospital said it requires all patients and visitors who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory disease to wear protective masks.

Patients with respiratory symptoms who have traveled internationally within the past 14 days, in addition to those who have been in contact with someone with a possible or confirmed case of coronavirus, should notify UMC staff immediately to receive a protective mask and a comprehensive screening.