Update from Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Clark County Commission Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southern Nevada Health District:
Since the announcement of the first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Nevada yesterday, our top priority has been, as always, to protect the health and safety of our residents and visitors. To that end, organizations across the state have been in constant communication and working collaboratively to implement enhanced safety measures, and to inform the public of useful preventative steps they can take.
It is important that the public understands that privacy laws are in place to protect the confidentiality of patients and students, and our health departments, hospitals and schools are required to abide by those laws. If there is cause to notify the community or a specific facility of a potential health concern, we will do so immediately and take any necessary steps to limit the spread of any communicable disease.
The following is just a partial list of the efforts we and our community partners have undertaken in the last 24 hours, in what has been a remarkable statewide collaboration and partnership:
McCarran International Airport
• Custodial teams are deploying hospital-grade disinfectant on all high-touch surfaces around the airport, such as kiosks, escalators, door handles, etc.
• Increased the frequency of application and expanded the areas of the airport that are covered.
• The disinfectant in use is recommended by the CDC to combat COVID-19 and is being applied in the highest concentration for maximum impact.
Nevada Resort Industry
• Increased and more frequent cleaning and disinfection: Resorts already conduct consistent cleaning of frequently touched surfaces throughout the resorts – guest rooms, public spaces, bathrooms, restaurants, elevators, doorknobs and locks, handrails, faucets and toilet levers, light switches, remote controls, slot machine handles, buttons and armrests, taps, kitchen worktops, workspaces, etc. Resorts are increasing the frequency of these cleaning and disinfection practices. They are using industrial strength cleaning products and disinfectants that kill COVID-19 and flu viruses (which are also environmentally sustainable).
• Reinforcing standard hygiene practices with employees as well as the CDC guidance on preventing infection from COVID-19: Reinforcing frequent hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, reinforcing the emphasis that employees are to stay home when sick, sending home sick employees and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.
• Internal employee communications/posters that remind/reinforce employees about personal hygiene best practices. Providing their employees with the latest information from the Health District or CDC regarding prevention, symptoms, protocols, etc. This also helps employees to answer questions from guests.
• Adding additional hand sanitizer stations throughout resorts in the public areas and back-of-house for employees and guests. These are being placed at high-traffic areas such as entrances, restaurants, restrooms and at pit podium for employees.
• Sanitization of items used by guests with hot water and commercial grade detergents. Commercial laundry facilities for linens and sanitizing silverware and food and beverage items.
• Resorts already have specialized training on sanitization/cleaning protocols for environmental services (EVS) teams, housekeeping, food and beverage teams. EVS technicians are dedicated to keeping resorts clean and sanitized. Supervisors monitor to ensure that existing hygienic standards are strictly observed.
• State-of-the-art ventilation and filtration systems. Resorts invest heavily in advanced technology throughout their properties that filters and circulates fresh air. From specialized ventilation and filtration systems to air-handling units, the industry continues to utilize the latest innovations to provide improved air quality for our employees and guests.
Clark County School District (CCSD)
• Out of abundance of caution, canceled all out-of-state student travel.
• Provided school personnel and parents with detailed preventive measures to help contain any spread.
• Notified parents that there was a presumptive positive case of a parent of a school-age child, but that at this moment there are no confirmed cases with CCSD.
• Revised cleaning Schedule for 3/9, due to student holiday to deeper clean all buildings in a proactive stance for students.
• Created CCSD EOC daily hotline/communication schedule for the Operations and Policy team.
• Began process to activate response team for cleaning schools, office and transportation (buses).
• Established processes to track all COVID-19-related expenses.
• Potential Employee Self Quarantine procedures reviewed.
The State has created a website with information that will be updated as needed, and which we would encourage everyone to visit as the authority on COVID-19 information for Nevada residents. That web address is http://dpbh.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dpbhnvgov/content/Programs/OPHIE/dta/Hot_Topics/COVID-19_FAQ.pdf.
Residents are also encouraged to visit https://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/ and https://www.cdc.gov/ for the latest information.
Additionally, the Southern Nevada Health District encourages anyone with concerns to call the General Public Helpline at (702) 759-INFO (4636). The number is live Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for COVID-19 questions.