Elko County reports first positive coronavirus case

Elko County reports first positive coronavirus case

From the The latest developments on the coronavirus in the Elko area and beyond series
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ELKO — Elko County has its first case of coronavirus.

The county was notified Wednesday by the Nevada Department of Public and Behavioral Health of the first positive case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in the county.

The case is a female in her 30s who has no underlying medical conditions. After feeling symptoms, the patient was tested on March 16 and has been in self-isolation since being tested.

The State is tracing the patient’s contacts and monitoring her and her family members in the home.

“While this is a serious public health threat, the immediate risk to the general public in Elko County is considerably low,” said a statement from the county.

Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital confirmed that the patient was identified and treated at the hospital.

“This patient is now in self-isolation at home and not currently being treated at our hospital,” said a statement from NNRH.

The hospital also announced restrictions on visitors.

“Our hospital is prepared with the appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond. We have been preparing for the potential of COVID-19 in our community for many weeks, building upon the robust emergency operations plan we have in place year-round.”

“Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing visitor restrictions, moving to a zero-visitor protocol, and limiting entry points to the hospital. Exceptions to this visitor protocol may include pediatric patients, obstetric patients and those receiving end-of-life care.”

Per CDC guidelines, everyone entering the hospital will be screened for respiratory symptoms and travel history.

“We want to reassure our community that it is safe to come to the hospital should you or your family need care. We stand ready to serve you,” stated the announcement.

Nevada Department of Public and Behavioral Health is actively investigating the local case and will provide information through the Elko County Health Officer, Dr. Bryce Putnam.

Nevada had 95 confirmed cases of coronavirus after testing more than 1,700 people as of Wednesday night. One death has been reported.

Most of the cases are in populous Clark and Washoe counties, but one case has been reported in Douglas County, one in Carson City and another in Nye County.

New cases reported Thursday include one at Nellis Air Force Base and one elementary school employee in North Las Vegas.

Elko County offered the following recommendations to the public:

  • Do not go to the emergency room unless it is essential. Emergency departments need to be able to serve the most severe needs. If you need to go to the emergency room and you believe you have COVID-19, please call ahead to allow staff to prepare for your arrival. To call ahead, 775-738-5151.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, and aches, call your health care provider to identify the safest way to receive care. Let them know if you have traveled to an affected area within the last 14 days or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
  • Practice everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Serious respiratory illnesses are spread by cough, sneezing or unclean hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Remember to clean your cellphones.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. However, don’t be afraid to support your local restaurants by ordering food-to-go or using a delivery option.

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