By Kayla Anderson
Fearing that Covid-19 would incapacitate the hospitals in Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak implemented his “Stay Home 2.0” plan that instigated tighter restrictions on gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving.
On November 19, Governor Sisolak met with nine “red” counties in Nevada that were flagged for having an elevated risk of Covid-19 transmission, and those counties had to present plans on what they would do to help curb the spread. Carson City and Nye were on the list but as of December 1, Mineral County was not.
However, the numbers reported in Mineral County continue to look grim as positive cases of Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Mineral County Emergency Management division reported at least 17 new positive cases since November 26 and another death, bringing the total number to three.
The Emergency Management division stated that a few people who have tested positive for Covid-19 are experiencing symptoms well past 10 days. In the beginning of November, there were 66 positive cases and zero deaths reported in Mineral County; by November 29, the numbers tripled…Mineral County had 165 people who tested positive and three deaths.
On November 23, the Mount Grant General Hospital sent out a public announcement alerting people that with the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the community, the hospital s would enact the following policies until further notice:
• MGGH is closed to outpatients who have routine lab, radiology, or respiratory doctor’s appointments
• No guests or visitors are allowed in the hospital
• Patients and staff must enter the hospital through the ER hallway
• Patients are asked to visit the ER only if they have life threatening conditions, and to come alone unless the patient is a minor
• Clinic visits are available for emergent exams, but patients are asked to wait in their car until a staff member contacts them. The patient will then be escorted directly into an exam room.
• Telehealth visits are now available; to sign into the MGGH patient portal visit mgghnv.org.
As of December 1, MGGH could not be reached for comment regarding how many hospital beds are currently in use due to Covid-19.
On that same day preceding Thanksgiving, Mineral County School District Superintendent Karen Watson also announced that Hawthorne Elementary, Hawthorne Junior High, and Mineral County High schools will remain on a full distance learning program through December 17 and then tentatively return to an in-person or hybrid program after the winter break starting January 4, 2021 if Covid-19 cases have flattened enough to control an outbreak by then.
“I would be remiss in allowing staff and students to return when contact tracing has not been confirmed by our Acting Deputy Health Officer to be ‘below baseline and potential for close contact has been resolved’. In the meantime, for the health and safety of all, please follow all CDC guidelines including social distancing, wearing your mask at all times, limit interaction with others, and monitor any symptoms to reduce exposure and spread of illness,” Watson stated in her November 23 announcement.