Humboldt County was notified Saturday evening by the Nevada Division of
Public and Behavioral Health of two more positive case of coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Winnemucca.
The first positive COVID-19 case in Humboldt County was confirmed on Thursday,
March 26; the two new cases were confirmed on Saturday, March 28, bringing
the county’s total to three.
Humboldt County Health Officer Charles Stringham, MD, will work with the
Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health to initiate contact tracing
for both cases
Both patients were tested earlier in the week after experiencing symptoms.
Dr. Stringham reminded community members that the HGH West Campus screening
clinic, located at 51 E. Haskell Street, has been designated as a primary
location for patients who are experiencing respiratory illness, including
influenza, streptococcal infections and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus).
“The hospital is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
recommendations that patients first be screened for other causes of respiratory
illness before being tested for coronavirus,” he said.
Dr. Stringham said once a provider makes a decision to test for coronavirus,
the patient is asked to self-quarantine. If patients receive a positive
result, they are asked to continue to self-quarantine.
“Statistically, we know that the majority of people will experience
mild illness at home with coronavirus,” said Dr. Stringham. “If
a patient begins to experience any kind of respiratory distress, then
practitioners will escalate their level of care.”
Dr. Stringham said there is an average time of 5.1 days between exposure
to the virus and the appearance of symptoms; however, symptoms may appear
as early as 48 hours from time of initial exposure up to 14 days.
“That means before the appearance of symptoms, the virus has the
upper hand, so we cannot wait for others to develop symptoms.”
Instead, Dr. Stringham strongly recommended that residents avoid contact
with others, wash their hands frequently and clean any items that have
been handled by others.
“That’s what we have to do,” he said. “What this
virus needs is new hosts; if we don’t provide any new hosts, then
the virus will burn out.”
Dr. Stringham added, “Rather than be alarmed, I would like to invite
the community to feel empowered, to do the things they know they can do
to stop the virus’s spread. If we do that, then it won’t be
long until we can celebrate the fantastic news of no new cases.”
Humboldt County residents should visit the hospital’s website at
www.hghospital.org and click on the banner at the top of the homepage for local COVID-19 guidance.