Carson City - March 20, 2020
As Governor Steve Sisolak, Nevada state government officials, public health authorities, hospitals, and medical providers all work together to prepare, test, treat, and slow the spread of COVID-19, there are measures we can all take to reduce our risk of contracting the virus and keep our families and communities healthy.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread, now more than ever we need to heed the warnings of scientists and public health experts who urge that staying home and avoiding contact with others is the absolute best way we can control the spread of the virus right now,” said Governor Sisolak. “This will prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed with severely ill persons and will save the lives of your family, your friends, and your neighbors.”
In order to control the spread of COVID-19, we must follow this guidance -- practice social distancing and “Stay Home for Nevada.”
The Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Governor’s Medical Advisory Team, have developed the following key strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe.
What Nevadans Need to Know and Do About COVID-19:
• Avoid all non-essential travel and social interactions.
• Work from home, when possible, and do not gather in groups.
• Stay at least 6 feet apart from others.
• Persons 50+ years old and those who have chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system are most at risk.
• Stay home, local community transmission is common and if you are sick, you must stay home.
• If you have symptoms, assume you have COVID-19. Persons with mild or moderate symptoms should not seek medical care nor try to get tested. Staying home can save the life of another Nevadan.
• Testing is not needed if you have mild or moderate symptoms. It will not change clinical care. COVID-19 testing should remain for people who need to be hospitalized for severe illness.
• If your symptoms get worse, after three to four days, consult with your doctor by phone.
• Stay home for at least seven days after your symptoms started and be fever-free/without cough or sore throat for three days without the assistance of medicine before returning to your routine.
Precautions like school and nonessential business closures, the cancellation of events, and limited travel have been shown to slow the spread of the virus. It is critical that each and every Nevadan do their part to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and take the necessary steps should we or our family members become ill.
For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. It is important to remember, however, that older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
If you must go to places where others may be, engage in social distancing. When out in the community, keep at least 6 feet of space between you and others, avoid handshakes, and greet others in ways that do not include physical contact. It is important to remember that this virus is spread through contact with people who have the virus, whether they show symptoms or not.
“It may help to think of social distancing as ‘physical distancing with social connection,’” said Dr. Stephanie Woodard, Senior Advisor on Behavioral Health for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
“While we want to avoid physical transmission of the virus, it is important to maintain social connections with others through text, email, social media, video chat, and any other ways you usually connect with friends and family when you are apart. Social distancing and staying home may seem isolating and it is natural to experience such emotions like loneliness, anxiety and sadness. It is important that we all adhere to the recommended practices that will help to keep us safe and healthy. If you need help coping, there are resources available to you.”
• The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
• Crisis Support Services of Nevada 1-800-273-8255; text CARE to 839863 for 24/7 crisis services; Substance Use Disorder Hotline 1-800-450-9530; text IMREADY to 839863
• Nevada 2-1-1 Program: 211 can assist in connecting individuals, families, and providers to essential health and human services information and resources. https://www.nevada211.org/
More information on Nevada’s COVID-19 response can be found at https://NVHealthResponse.nv.gov/