LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Southern Nevada Health District held a press conference on Thursday morning to talk about the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Southern Nevada.
The presumptive positive case has been confirmed by a local laboratory. A sample is now being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the health district should know within 24 to 48 hours if their test confirms the local test.
According to SNHD, the victim is a man who is over 50 years old. He is currently in the hospital and has been quarantined. The health district says that the man does have an underlying health condition and they are hoping for the best. The man's family, including a child, have also been advised to stay home until it can be determined whether or not they have also contracted the disease.
Friday, the health district said the man remains in serious condition.
SNHD would not confirm an earlier report by The Nevada Independent that the man presented with symptoms to a hospital in the VA Healthcare System.
The health district confirmed that the man had traveled to the states of Texas and Washington by airplane during the 2 weeks before presenting symptoms. However, they could not confirm if the man had contact with anyone else who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or provide any information about how he may have contracted the disease.
They said they are currently working to identify anyone that the man has had contact with within 2 weeks of presenting symptoms and are asking those people to self-quarantine and to notify the health district if they begin to present any symptoms.
The health district says that it began testing for the novel coronavirus a few days ago and have only performed a handful of tests in Clark County.
The press conference was led by Dr. Fermin Leguen, who is the acting district health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. Disease Surveillance Supervisor Kimberly Hertin also spoke at the press conference.
WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE BELOW
While the COVID-19 outbreak is a serious public health threat, the immediate risk from the virus to the general public in Clark County and the United States remains low at this time. The health district emphasized during the press conference that there are no other suspected cases in the region at this time.
The health district will provide additional updates as more information becomes available.
If you are concerned about the possibility of contracting the disease, here are some tips to follow:
-- Do not go the emergency department unless it is essential. Emergency departments need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
-- If you have a mild cough, fever, or other respiratory symptoms, contact your doctor first.
-- Practice everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
-- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
-- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
-- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
-- Stay home when you are sick.
-- Stay informed. The COVID-19 situation is changing frequently. Up to date information is available on the Health District website at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/coronavirus or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
2 P.M. MARCH 5 UPDATE: The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System has confirmed that the man who has tested positive locally for COVID-19 is a veteran.
The VA is currently screening veterans and staff who present with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath who meet the CDC criteria for evaluation of COVID-19 infection. Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, individuals known to be at risk for a COVID-19 infection are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others.
6:15 P.M. MARCH 5 UPDATE: The Southern Nevada Health District has activated an information line at 702-759-4636 for residents can ask questions about coronavirus.
The hours for the information line is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the district.
The @SNHDinfo has activated an information line at (702) 759-INFO (4636) so people can ask questions about #Coronavirus. The hours are Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm, that could change depending on demand. #COVIDー19 info is also available from the #SNHD at https://t.co/Ck1U30oDC2. #Vegas pic.twitter.com/tXmuzriP0f
— Clark County Nevada (@ClarkCountyNV) March 6, 2020
And MGM Resorts International also released the following statement Thursday evening:
“We are proactively communicating with our employees on the guidance from the CDC regarding prevention. We have enhanced our cleaning protocols that include placing additional hand sanitizer dispensing stations in high-traffic areas, reinforcing proactive cleaning and increasing the frequency of disinfectant procedures. We continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines and are closely monitoring for updates.”
TIPS: How to clean your work space: