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Key things to do if you are sick; isolation first step

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in Clark County and one reported in Boulder City, there are important things residents can do to protect themselves if they have been diagnosed with or exposed to the virus.

The first thing someone who thinks they have COVID-19 should do is self-isolate to avoid infecting other people, according to Boulder City Hospital’s frequently asked questions about the virus.

While at home, they should limit contact with others and their pets as well as wear a mask. They should also cover coughs and sneezes, clean their hands often, avoid sharing personal items, clean frequently touched items and surfaces daily and monitor their symptoms.

They should also contact their doctor unless it’s an emergency. If the symptoms are at an emergency level, people should call the hospital before heading in for treatment.

Boulder City Hospital CEO Tom Maher said the medical facility does not and cannot provide masks or other protective equipment and supplies to the public because they have to keep an inventory on hand for the staff.

“We’re doing OK on masks and gowns for now,” he said. “We were concerned … due to delays in shipments but we are reasonably well stocked … but that could change with a sudden surge. At current use rates we can go a couple of months with gowns and N95 masks. Isolation masks will get us through about a month at current use rates.”

Maher also said the hospital has not had an influx of patients due to COVID-19.

“Currently, patient volume has not increased in either outpatient or inpatient services,” he said. “Right now business is being conducted as usual with the exception of restricting visitation and minimizing in-person meetings. … We’re maintaining a high level of vigilance.”

If the emergency room staff decide that someone has been exposed to the coronavirus and is showing the symptoms, they will order testing. The results are usually back within three to four days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is spread mainly through person-to-person contact. Symptoms of COVID-19, which are similar to the flu, are a fever, cough and shortness of breath. They can appear between two and 14 days after exposure.

The World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 sparked a global pandemic. So far there have been 245 reported COVID-19 cases in Nevada, including two deaths in Clark County. Boulder City resident Manny Franco recently said he was diagnosed with the virus and is quarantined at his home.

More information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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