Coronavirus updates: Statewide death toll jumps to 71

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Workers set up quarantine trailers to temporarily house people with COVID-19 on March 31, 2020. Reno Gazette Journal

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This breaking news story will be updated throughout the day on Tuesday, April 7.

Nevada deaths now stand at 71 

A total of 71 people have died statewide from the COVID-19 coronavirus as of Tuesday evening — a jump of 13 deaths from the 58 that was reported earlier Tuesday, according to the Nevada Health Alliance Dashboard.

The dashboard, which tracks the total number of tests performed and cases reported throughout the state, showed a total of 2,087 people have tested positive thus far.

It’s likely the true number of people with the disease is much higher as a testing shortage has limited the number of people who can be screened.

In total, 21,818 tests have been performed.

Airline employee at Reno-Tahoe tests positive 

An airline employee at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport tested positive for COVID-19, according to an airport spokesman.

The employee reported feeling symptoms of the virus, went to a doctor and tested positive, according to spokesman Brian Kulpin.

Kulpin said a notice was sent out to all airport employees notifying them of the case. That includes employees who work for all nine of the airlines based at the airport, the rental companies and other businesses and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.

Kulpin confirmed the employee who tested positive works for one of the nine airlines, but he did not release further information.

Kulpin said he did not know if the employee was self-isolating at home.

Washoe County reports 5th death, 28 new cases 

Updated 4:21 p.m.

A woman in her 50s has become Washoe County’s fifth coronavirus fatality, the Regional Information Center reported Tuesday.

The woman was a registered nurse who worked on the frontlines of the pandemic at several local hospitals. Vianna Thompson, 52, died in the intensive care unit at the VA hospital where she had spent the last seven years caring for her own patients.

The Washoe County Health District is working to determine if there were underlying health conditions.

Washoe County reported 28 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total cases here to 309, though because of lags in testing the total number of cases locally is likely higher.

So far, five people have died, 31 people have recovered from the disease and 28 people remain hospitalized among 274 active cases in Washoe County.

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More than 2,000 coronavirus cases statewide

7:41 a.m.

The number of Nevadan’s with COVID-19 crested 2,000 on Tuesday, reaching a new high of 2,087 known infections, according to new numbers released by the state.

The 134 new positives come on the heels of the Monday evening announcement that 12 more people had died of coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 58 dead.

It’s unclear where the new deaths and positive cases are located in the state.

It’s likely the true number of people with the disease is much higher as a testing shortage has limited the number of people who can be screened.

So far, 18,639 people have been tested.

13 more deaths in Clark County

8:13 a.m.

Clark County this morning is reporting 13 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total there to 54, according to newly updated numbers from the Southern Nevada Health District.

Nevada lawmakers approve $6.25 million for COVID19 response

4:00 p.m.

Nevada lawmakers on Tuesday approved spending $6.25 million from the state’s disaster relief fund for medical supplies to help with the response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

The money will go to communities around the state to help purchase critical supplies like personal protective equipment, or PPE, for medical workers and tests to help identify when people are infected.

“There is a shortage of PPE currently,” Justin Luna, chief of the Division of Emergency Management, told members of the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee. “We are not able to meet the demand completely.”

The money approved Tuesday will pay for purchases in addition to the supplies Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Monday.

During a speech Sisolak said the state had acquired more than 1 million pieces of protective equipment and tests, about two-thirds of which were N95 masks. The masks, when worn properly, can reduce the risk of inhaling breath droplets containing the virus. They’re particularly important to medical workers and other people in close contact with infected people.

Luna said the state can use the money to acquire goods and services to distribute to local or tribal communities based on need or reimburse them for emergency response costs.

The money comes from the state’s disaster relief fund, which held more than $12 million. The spending approved Tuesday covered $5 million that will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $1.25 million that represents the state’s 25 percent match.The committee unanimously approved the spending.

Southern Nevada seeks staff for isolation complex

10:32 a.m.

LAS VEGAS – Southern Nevada officials are looking to hire staff for temporary positions at the Cashman Isolation-Quarantine Complex.

Qualified medical staff, health care professionals and support personnel are needed for the 24-hour-care facility.

Nursing staff, allied health professionals, case workers, housekeepers, food distribution and custodial staff and facility monitors are all encouraged to apply for these temporary positions, according to city of Las Vegas officials.

Email Crystal Williams at ext.cwilliams@lasvegasnevada.gov with the position you are interested in and your contact information, or call her at 702-912-8650 with questions on positions and information on how to apply.

UNLV receives more kits for curbside testing

10:09 a.m.

LAS VEGAS – UNLV Medicine, which has conducted tests on more than 2,000 people for coronavirus, received an additional 250 test kits late Monday, allowing curbside testing to continue through Thursday.

The school’s clinic had planned to halt testing after Tuesday, when staff expected to run out of tests. The clinic has been conducting curbside testing by appointment since March 23.

There is no out-of-pocket cost to patient, who are first screened to determine whether they meet CDC guidelines for testing. 

The results of all tests, both positive and negative, are reported to the Southern Nevada Health District, the school said.

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