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UPDATE: Health District reporting 7 new confirmed cases in Clark County

Southern Nevada Health District
Posted at 10:22 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 15:11:08-04

NOON UPDATE MARCH 17: The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting that there are 42 confirmed cases in Clark County, including 1 confirmed death.

7 P.M. UPDATE: A man in his 60s with the coronavirus and suffering underlying conditions is the first death reported by the Southern Nevada Health District.

Authorities confirmed he had been hospitalized, but it is unknown if he exposed others before being diagnosed.

Also, there are currently 35 presumptive cases in the county and 45 in the state. However, there is no information if any of them are health providers or if worked on the Las Vegas Strip.

The number of people who have been tested was not given today “because commercial labs and state test providers can also offer due testing”, Michael Johnson, SNHD director of community health said.

However, the number of cases are expected to go up very soon because of changes to the guidelines by the CDC.

“Now they’re not requiring that we send our positive labs to the CDC confirmation, which will help to speed up the process…so if a public test lab gets a positive case, we will consider this a positive case for Clark County”.

Authorities also said we’re currently at a very low number of test cases and there are no extraction kits, but the hope is that in the following days or week, hundreds of tests could be arriving to the county.

“We have the capacity in our lab to do 60 tests per day, so we may only have enough tests for a few more days.”

But after several calls, including one today with FEMA, Nevada could be getting additional assistance for drive-thru swap pods and with the required medical personnel, “we’re looking to being able to do from 2,00o to 4,000 tests a week.”

Until then, other options are still on the table, including the possibility of getting other private companies to do the testing.

UPDATE 2 P.M.: The Southern Nevada Health District is sharing an update after reports of the first death in the state.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting 35 cases of COVID-19 in Clark County, including one person who has died. Statewide, there are 45 cases total in Nevada.

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The death occurred in a male Clark County resident who was in his 60s. He had been hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.

“This loss of life is a tragedy, and we want to express our condolences to the family,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District.

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“We must continue to emphasize how important it is to protect those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of the virus and urge our community to support the public health measures and recommendations that are in place,” said Dr. Leguen.

Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available on its website cdc.gov.

This is breaking news, check back for updates. Stay with 13 Action News for the latest with stories on the coronavirus.