Nevada gets first coronavirus case in tourist hub Las Vegas

Health officials in Las Vegas said Thursday that the tourist destination has its first case of coronavirus — a man in his 50s who recently returned from a trip to Washington state.

The patient has been hospitalized in an isolation unit, said Dr. Fermin Leguen, acting chief of the Southern Nevada Health District, which includes the city of 2.6 million residents that draws more than 40 million visitors a year.

He said the diagnosis was made late Wednesday based on lab results after the man sought treatment for respiratory distress.

The case puts Nevada on the list of states with cases of the virus that causes COVID-19. Washington state has been hit hardest, with 11 deaths.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak urged residents and tourists to remain calm and follow guidance from health officials about ways to stem the spread of the virus.

“We must all do our part to prepare and prevent — not panic,” the governor said. “Nevada and our local health authorities are taking this situation very seriously and have been preparing for weeks in anticipation of a presumptive case.”

Sisolak signed an emergency order prohibiting price-gouging by state-regulated health insurers or the imposition of out-of-pocket costs for insured people who visit a doctor’s office, urgent care centre or emergency room to be tested for the virus. He said he doesn’t want medical costs associated with COVID-19 to be a barrier to virus testing and treatment.

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