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Nevada Leaders Request Pandemic Test Kits And Provide Health Guidance

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting the agency fulfill Governor Steve Sisolak’s request for additional COVID-19 test kits for the State of Nevada to enhance the capacity of Nevada’s health agencies to test patients and protect Nevada communities.

“As of today, Nevada has two presumptive-positive cases of coronavirus in both the northern and southern parts of the state. Nevada’s public health agencies are currently in the process of examining the extent of contact that these patients had with others in the state before they became symptomatic,” said the Senators. “In order to ensure that our public health agencies can respond quickly and appropriately to this evolving situation, we respectfully request the assistance of the Department of Health and Human Services in securing additional COVID-19 test kits for the State of Nevada as soon as possible.”

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

The Honorable Alex Azar

Secretary

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Azar:

As the incidence rate of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) climbs across the country, we respectfully request that you work to quickly enhance the capacity of Nevada’s state-based health agencies to test patients for the virus.

As of today, Nevada has two presumptive-positive cases of coronavirus in both the northern and southern parts of the state. Nevada’s public health agencies are currently in the process of examining the extent of contact that these patients had with others in the state before they became symptomatic. In order to ensure that our public health agencies can respond quickly and appropriately to this evolving situation, we respectfully request the assistance of the Department of Health and Human Services in securing additional COVID-19 test kits for the State of Nevada as soon as possible.

Our partners in the state are doing all they can to contain the spread of the virus and help other entities, including health care providers and school systems, to prepare for and respond to new cases. As a state dominated by tourism, it is especially critical that Nevada has the tools it needs to address this issue. Additional testing capacity is essential to their efforts, and imperative to limiting the spread of coronavirus in Nevada. To this end, please let our offices know within 24 hours how many tests the state will receive and when they can expect them.

We appreciate your immediate attention to this request, and your agency’s partnership in our efforts to keep Nevadans safe and healthy amidst this public health crisis.

BACKGROUND:

The current Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for preventing COVID-19 include:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Following the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

o   CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

o   Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

  • Washing your hands often 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.

o   If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

About Author

Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of Nevada-today.com and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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