LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Clark County and the Southern Nevada Health District held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the state of COVID-19 in Nevada and steps to be taken for reopening.

UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling said as of Tuesday, 65% of the county's hospital beds were in use, while 76% of the county's ICU beds were occupied. Of those ICU beds, 147 were being used by COVID-19 patients. There are 679 ventilators in Nevada, and 40% were in use by Tuesday but it "continues to tick down."

About 41%, or 111, of the state's ventilators were being used by COVID-19 patients in Clark County. 

VanHouweling detailed efforts to expand testing in Clark County, saying UMC's testing capabilities will be expanded to 1,500 tests per day starting Friday. 

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As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, the state had nearly 4,000 cases of COVID-19 and 163 reported deaths. 

Dr. Fermin Leguen of SNHD said about one-third of the COVID-19 cases in Clark County have recovered. "We have noticed a decrease in the number of deaths reported ... these are very recent numbers and we haven't seen a consistent decline of the number of cases or deaths in our community," he said.

Dr. Leguen said they've gotten rapid testing machines from the state and they were in the process of distributing them, with three remaining at SNHD. He also said they will start a testing site in North Las Vegas and want to ensure testing is available for the African-American community there.

Minority communities were disproportionately affected by COVID-19, he said. The expanded testing will ensure resources are available to those communities.

Dr. Leguen urged anyone with respiratory symptoms to stay home. He said to call your doctor and explain the symptoms, then ask them for guidance. 

Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said they want to expand testing to 10,000 per day in less than a month. "We want everyone who feels they should be tested to be tested," she said. 

Social distancing "doesn't stop," Kirkpatrick said. She asked all businesses to reach out to their elected officials to express what they will need for a successful reopening. She asked for patience "to only do this once." 


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