Week by week, coronavirus cases in Clark County have more than doubled.
According to the Southern Nevada Health District, 117 new cases were reported from Sunday, April 6, to early Monday, April 7. That brings the total number of cases statewide to 1,953 from Sunday’s 1,836 total.
Of the 117 new cases, 89 of those cases are in Clark County.
Let’s take a look at the total number of cases in Clark County currently, as well as how Clark County is going about doing testing for the virus.
Clark County Total
Clark county holds the majority of COVID-19 cases in the state. As of today, the figures are are1,608.
#COVID19 update for Monday in #ClarkCounty. The @SNHDinfo is reporting the number of deaths remains at 41 in the area due to #Coronavirus. There are now a total of 1,608 reported #COVIDー19 cases.#Vegas #StayHomeForNevada to keep our community safe. #AllInThisTogether pic.twitter.com/ju8aMJs7K1
— Clark County Nevada (@ClarkCountyNV) April 6, 2020
The total number of deaths in the state has remained steady with no steep incline. The number of reported deaths in Nevada is 46, with 41 of those deaths reported out of Clark County.
Of the 41 deaths out of Clark County, 25 of those patients had underlying medical conditions. The other 29 patients required intensive care.
In the area, an additional 371 people have been hospitalized. Of that 371, 59 of those people required intensive care units.
According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 17,629 people have been found to be tested. Of the 17,629 tested, 15,700 people came back negative for COVID-19. That number accounts for an 11 percent infection rate.
However, with testing in the Silver State is mainly reserved for those who are seriously ill or who have been in immediate contact with coronavirus, that 11 perfect infection rate is likely inflated.
Testing in Clark County
One of the first drive-thru testing services that opened in Clark County was at an Urgent Care facility on Sahara.
After three days of testing services, Sahara West Urgent Care has to stop their drive-thru COVID-19 testing because of the lack of manpower. The limited number of members who were helping to administer tests had to resolve to working overtime, without getting paid.
Gov. Sisolak, who extended the statewide coronavirus closures until April 30, did so in an effort to prevent local healthcare facilities from getting overwhelmed be caring for patients who either have or could possibly have coronavirus.
Last week, Gov. Sisolak activated the National Guard in hopes of getting the COVID-19 situation in Nevada controlled as best as possible. He has been adamant about requesting more medical supplies for the state from the federal government, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and tests.
UNLV Offering Drive-Thru Services, But May Run Out of Tests Soon
UNLV also began participating in a curbside coronavirus screening program since March 23, but as of the end of Tuesday, April 7, they could be wiped clean of tests.
Since they’ve began testing, they’ve been able to test 2,000 people. But with drive-thru testing being a highly popular and sought after service in the valley, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the demand.
According to UNLV’s School of Medicine’s spokesperson, Paul Jonich, their call center has been receiving an average of 2,000 inquiries a day during the week of March 23, which is when they opened their drive-thru testing service.
The service is free for individuals, regardless of insurance status, available only by appointment, and results are returned within five to seven days.
Test candidates can contact 702-583-4408 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for an eligibility screening.
One local Las Vegas group, Ready Responders, started at-home testing in the Las Vegas Valley last Friday.
Their approach is different in that you can get tested without even leaving your living room. Ready Responders has 30 members who are capable of performing testing come to homes around the Vegas valley.
“You stay in your home you stay safe and we test you,” said Dr. Doug Bushell, a physician with Ready Responders.
“Our responders when they show up will have a full Tyvek suit. It’s a big white suit that they’ll put on. They’ll have goggles. They’ll have gloves, they’ll have an N95 mask.”
Within five to seven days, a private lab will have the results sent to you.
To contact Ready Responders, call (504) 290-2663 or visit their website at ReadyResponders.com for more information.
How COVID-19 Tests Work
Coronavirus sample tests typically involve a swab being pushed deep inside a patient’s nasal cavity or back of the throat to collect cells, then having that swab sent over to a lab for the cells to be inspected.
The testing process is similar in determining if a patient has the flu.
Should Everyone Be Tested?
With the lack of available tests in the country, it isn’t really feasible to test everyone who is sick. Because of this, health official recommends prioritizing testing for the high-risk individuals who need it most.
Those individuals include healthcare workers who have been in direct contact with COVID-19 patients, people exhibiting clear symptoms who are in areas of high infection rates, and people who are 65 years old and older that have chronic, underlying health issues such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.
When there is no longer a shortage of tests, more people who are worried they have it will be able to get tested for some peace of mind.
Social Distancing, Washing Our Hands, and Wearing Masks Is Our Best Bet for Now
With the pandemic’s impact only continuing to worsen, it seems our best fight against it is to continue social distancing to flatten the curve and rate of infection.
Gov. Sisolak recently announced a Stay-At-Home order for Nevada last week, when he announced the extension of casino and nonessential businesses closures.
The order asks that every Nevada stay at home, outside of essential trips like grocery shopping, doctor’s visits, and outside recreational activities like walking. It also asks Nevada residents to maintain not gathering in groups of more than 10 people and keeping 6 feet of distance between people whenever out on essential trips.
Continuing to implement other vital public health measures, like washing our hands for 20 seconds at a time before and after touching public surfaces, and wearing masks will also help to fend off infection.
On Friday, President Trump announced that the “CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth faced covering as an additional voluntary public health measure.”
While casino closures have been extended to April 30, it’s hard to say whether an increase in coronavirus cases in the state will push the reopening date back even further. We can only continue to monitor the COVID-19 and await government orders.
Until then, check more for more coronavirus coverage and stay safe and healthy out there.