Coronavirus updates: Renown awarded $1M for telehealth, Saint Mary’s eases visitation rules

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This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Monday, June 15. This story is part of the Reno Gazette Journal’s essential COVID-19 coverage and is being provided for free. Please consider subscribing to the RGJ to support our work.

Renown awarded $1 million for telehealth, costs amid COVID-19 pandemic

11 a.m.

Renown Health has been awarded a nearly $1 million to grow its telehealth programs. The funding will be used to pay off what it cost Renown to implement programs curing the COVID-19 pandemic but also will be used to help it expand remote monitoring. IT will also help to pay for some of the costs that Renown spent when it renovated a parking garage into a hospital wing in anticipation of a surge in patients with coronavirus.  

“Virtual technology is shaping the future of medicine and how we deliver care to our patients,” said Dr. Tony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown Health

The grant is from the Federal Communications Commission, the federal agency that oversees cable, radio, television, satellite and wire.

“Though we are fortunate our Alternate Care Site remains unused today, the facility is equipped with computers and tablets embedded with telehealth solutions, all supported by the FCC grant,” said Renown’s director of telehealth, Mitchell Fong

“The purchase of video conferencing licenses helped patients from all hospital units connect with loved ones via videoconferencing calls facilitated by their care providers,” Fong said.  

Some of the funding will also allow Renown to expand remote monitoring services, including for patients who have recovered from COVID-19.

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Saint Mary’s eases visitation rules

10:58 a.m.

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center is opening up to regular visitors on a limited basis after implementing a stricter visitation policy in response to COVID-19.

The Reno hospital announced that it will ease some of its restrictions for visits starting today, June 15. Visitors are still not allowed for patients who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus or are awaiting a pending COVID-19 test.

Saint Mary’s will now allow one visitor per patient from 3 to 8 p.m. daily. Visitors must enter the hospital through the Arlington entrance side door in order to be screened for their health. A face mask will be required when visiting patients. People who are visiting a patient in the emergency room can still go through the ER entrance.

Full story: Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center easing some visitation rules from COVID-19

106 new cases, hospitalizations up for fifth straight day

Monday, 9:14 a.m.

The known number of COVID-19 cases in Nevada increased to 11,279 on Monday, a 106-case increase over what was previously reported on Sunday.

Those 106 new cases were discovered in a pool of 6,769 tests performed on June 14, according to the Nevada Health Response dashboard, making for a growth rate of 0.9 percent.

The state is currently reporting no new coronavirus-related deaths as of Monday morning.

The number of Nevadans hospitalized for coronavirus continues to slowly creep upward for the fifth day in a row. Two more people have been reportedly admitted to the ICU, according to dashboard data, making a total of 85 Nevadans in intensive care.

The state’s test positivity rate is still below the World Health Organization’s maximum recommended percentage before reopening, but remains just above the organization’s goal percentage of 5 percent.

Nevada’s test positivity rate sits at 5.2 percent as of Monday morning.

Washoe reports 22 more positive cases

Sunday

Washoe County reported 22 new coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing the county’s total to 1,977.

No additional deaths were reported as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday. 

The number of active cases dipped slightly compared to Saturday, down to 638 compared to 642. Hospitalized cases dropped by 1 to 69.

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Number of statewide cases continues to rise

Sunday

The state of Nevada reported 227 new cases of coronavirus Sunday morning, bringing the total known cases statewide to 11,173. No new deaths were reported as of 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

To date, 241,729 tests have been performed in Nevada. The test positivity rate Sunday remained unchanged at 5.3 percent. The World Health Organization recommends a test positivity rate of under 10 percent for safe business re-openings.

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