Southern Nevada Health District exterior

(Southern Nevada Health District/Facebook)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Southern Nevada Health District confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Clark County Thursday morning.

SNHD said the Clark County resident tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. A VA Hospital representative confirmed the patient is currently at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in North Las Vegas.

"The risk of transmission to other patients and staff remains low, as the veteran is being cared for in isolation by staff who are specially trained on the latest Centers for Disease Control treatment guidelines and utilizing personal protective equipment and infection control techniques," VA public affairs representative Charles W. Ramey said in a statement.

The CDC treats presumptive positive cases as confirmed positive, according to their guidelines. A presumptive positive means a patient was tested positive at a local laboratory, but still needs to be confirmed by the CDC. SNHD said that confirmation could come within 24-48 hours.

The patient is a man in his 50s who recently traveled to Washington state and Texas, SNHD said.

"The Health District is working with its health care partners and leading the effort to quickly identify close contacts of the patient," SNHD said in a statement.

VA said they are screening veterans and staff who may have come into contact with the patient at their facility. VA said individuals known to be at risk for COVID-19 will be immediately isolated from others.

The Health District confirmed that the patient has a child within Clark County School District, who stayed home from school after the patient tested positive. SNHD couldn't confirm which school the child attended.

The child did not present any symptoms, the health district said.

In a statement, CCSD said there are no confirmed cases within the school district: 

We are aware that there has been a single presumptive positive coronavirus case identified in Clark County. According to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), the individual is a male in his 50’s who is hospitalized and in airborne isolation.

At this moment, there are no confirmed cases within CCSD. Any individuals who may have been in contact with the identified presumptive case are under monitoring by health authorities. While the first presumptive case of novel coronavirus is concerning, it is important to remember that most Nevada residents are at low risk of contracting COVID-19 at this time.

The school district is in continued contact with SNHD. When we receive up to date information, we will be sharing that information with parents and staff via ccsd.net. Additionally, we will periodically send out messaging via Parentlink as needed.

Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday health practices, such as washing hands constantly, is the best way to keep people healthy.

As stated in past communication, CCSD’s emergency operations includes a response plan in the event schools are impacted.

This is all the information we have at this time.

SNHD also couldn't confirm which hospital has the patient in isolation.

SNHD said the risk to the general public remains low in Clark County.

“While the first presumptive case of novel coronavirus is concerning, it is important to remember that most Nevada residents are at low risk of contracting COVID-19 at this time,” Nevada State Epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock said in a statement. “The number one way we can prevent the spread of COVID-19, or any infectious disease, is to identify and contain. This is what our public health system is designed to do, and we are grateful for our strong partnership and coordination with our local health districts.”

Gov. Steve Sisolak released the following statement Thursday morning:

First and foremost, my thoughts are with the patient and his family at this time. The State of Nevada and our local health authorities are taking this situation very seriously and have been preparing for weeks in anticipation of a presumptive case. I’ve spoken with members of our federal delegation and we will continue coordinating to ensure Nevada’s local health authorities and partners have all the support they need. I urge all Nevadans and visitors to remain calm and follow all available guidelines on how to prevent the spread. We must all do our part to prepare and prevent – not panic.

In Washington, Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez-Masto voted Thursday in favor of an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus funding package. The package would include funds for vaccine development, assistance for health agencies and medical supplies.

Each senator also released a statement on the presumptive positive case. Rosen's statement read: 

I am grateful to our Nevada health officials who have been working diligently to care for and protect our community. My office has been briefed on the most recent developments regarding the first reported presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Nevada. At this time, my office is actively monitoring the situation and is working with Governor Sisolak and Nevada’s Federal Delegation to ensure our state has all of the resources they need. My office continues to receive updates from public health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Administration officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Food and Drug Administration. My thoughts are with the patient and his family, and I will continue working in Congress and with our state government officials to ensure that the health and safety of all Nevadans is protected.

Cortez-Masto's statement read: 

I'm continuing to work with Governor Sisolak and the entire Nevada congressional delegation to ensure the state has every possible resource and support necessary to test suspected cases of coronavirus and manage public health needs. I will be supporting the $8 billion supplemental appropriations package in the Senate today to address the coronavirus public health crisis in the United States, which will provide funding for developing treatments and provide more money for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the virus.

I'd like to thank the public health professionals at the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Southern Nevada, Washoe and Carson City Health Districts, Governor Sisolak and our state and local leaders for their continued dedication to ensuring Nevada has a robust response to the coronavirus and that our communities are informed and protected. I encourage all Nevadans to continue to stay updated on the best practices to prevent and protect themselves, their loved ones and their community by visiting my website at cortezmasto.senate.gov or reviewing the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control at CDC.gov/coronavirus.

Rep. Dina Titus also released a statement:

We have been expecting cases of coronavirus in Nevada, so this news is not surprising,” said Congresswoman Titus (NV-1). “According to the CDC, the general public is unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time and the immediate health risk remains low. People in communities where coronavirus has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.

Fortunately, there are many steps Nevadans can take to help stop the spread of coronavirus. That includes washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, staying home when you are sick, and regularly disinfecting your countertops and cell phones. If you suspect that you may have coronavirus, call your doctor before entering a medical facility.

I am working hard in our nation’s capital to ensure that every level of government has the resources needed to keep the public safe – and the $8.3 billion funding bill we just passed in the House helps accomplish exactly that. I believe strongly that health care treatment must be affordable and available to all. For the latest information and resources, I encourage Nevadans to visit www.cdc.gov.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

SunnySky

Am I the only one having trouble accessing Fox-5's commenting system?

DesertDonna52

Why do people keep traveling? Does the Government have to step in and close down all the airlines?

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