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Public Health

Health Officials Concerned About Preserving Hospital Capacity

Two rows of beds with beige blankets and covered in plastic. A sign above the area reads, “Parking. Upper Levels” with an arrow pointing to the right. There is also the letter “G.”
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Hospital beds inside Renown Regional Medical Center’s parking garage, which has been transformed into an emergency COVID-19 care facility in Reno, Nev., on Wednesday, Nov. 11.";

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Nevada, state leaders are concerned about preserving health care capacity. KUNR’s Jayden Perez reports that while new restrictions help safeguard the health care system, it can be hard on the business community.

On a press call Monday, the CEO of Renown Health Dr. Tony Slonim said COVID-19 hospitalizations are going up. Renown usually had about 40 hospitalized patients prior to the current surge. In the last week, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has gone up three to four times the usual amount.

“Personally, I struggle under the depths of how broad this pandemic is and how it still is taking hold,” said Dr. Slonim. “As a public health professional, who focuses on prevention and screening, I know that there is more we can do to prevent this terrible disease.”

And to curb the further spread of the disease, Governor Steve Sisolak announced tighter restrictions over the weekend which go into effect today. Some of the new rules will take a toll on the economy. For example, gaming operations, restaurants and bars, will have to reduce their capacity from 50 to 25%. In a separate call with state health officials, the Director of Nevada Department of Business and Industry Terry Reynolds said businesses are making big sacrifices, but they are needed to help with public health efforts and to prevent further shutdowns.

“So, it’s really to their benefit, even though it’s difficult. But it’s their benefit of being able to stay open and be able to protect their employees and protect their customers and protect their livelihood,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds said the state is working to help businesses understand and comply with the new rules. The statewide restrictions will be in effect for three weeks.

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