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Nevada sees uptick in COVID-19 cases

Health officials attribute rise to more testing
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 10:53:46-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Public health officials are reassuring the community that the rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nevada is mainly due to testing.

With Nevada getting back to some sense of routine, there are fears of a spike in coronavirus cases.

Nevada Health Response notes uptick in COVID-19 cases, reiterates precautionary measures

Since June 1, state data shows there has been an average of 168 new cases of coronavirus per day, compared to about 115 per day in the previous eight days from May 24 to May 31. The Southern Nevada Health District says the rise can be attributed to more testing.

"The availability of testing is something that eventually brings the number of cases to higher levels," Dr. Fermin Leguen, acting district health officer of SNHD, said.

Dr. Leguen says the amount of testing has been ramped up, and so far, the number of hospitalizations and deaths has stabilized.

Dr. Christina Madison of Roseman University says Nevada's health care system hasn't been overwhelmed.

"Our hospitals are not at capacity, and we're still able to take patients, and that really is what it comes down to," Madison said.

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She also said more gatherings of people could raise of risk of virus exposure to people. She says closing the economy is likely not an option if there is a spike in cases, so mitigation would be key.

"We have to make sure that we are isolating those cases once they have been identified and then contact trace, so you stop the outbreak or try to mitigate the outbreak," Dr. Madison said.

SNHD says a second wave of coronavirus is a concern and remains vigilant on tracing any new case. However, it says it's no guarantee there will be one.

"We can't anticipate that happening because nobody really knows what the behavior of this virus is," Dr. Leguen said.

In recent days there have been more people at casinos and protests in the streets. Dr. Leguen says results reflecting any change will come in a week or two. He says SNHD remains on the lookout for any significant spikes in cases.

"We are investigating and looking at this with more attention because we don't just want to relax and just attribute that to testing," Dr. Leguen said.

The health district says people should continue taking precautions like washing hands or wear a face covering when being out and about.