Nevada To Get More Ventilators As Virus Spreads, Need Grows

Governor Says Staying At Home Is Working To Flatten Curve

Associated Press
April 07, 2020 - 5:11 am
Steve Sisolak

© RGJ file

RENO, Nev. (AP) — As Nevada’s coronavirus cases have grown, the number of the state’s ventilators in use has climbed slightly, with just under half of the machines in use, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Monday.

Sisolak said with patients using 44% of the state’s 838 ventilators, Nevada is seeking 450 more from the U.S. government to prepare for what’s expected to be a growing number of cases and hospitalized patients in the coming days and weeks. 

The governor made his comments less than an hour after the White House announced Nevada would receive 100 ventilators on loan from California. 

Sisolak said he had not heard that news, but had been on an hours-long phone call earlier Monday trying to secure the machines for the state. He said the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency told him to expect delivery of the 450 ventilators he requested “72 hours before what they’re deeming a surge” in cases in Nevada, whenever that day comes. 

The Democratic governor said the state is working with FEMA to monitor the virus in the state and be ready for a surge of demand for the machines, which help struggling patients breathe. 

But Sisolak also said he isn’t going to predict when the worst of the virus will hit the state. The governor said he’s seen several statistical models trying to predict the curve of cases in Nevada, showing a peak occurring anywhere between the end of this week and sometime in June. 

“The statistics are going to bear out as they are and I’m not going to get into the forecasting business of when we’ll hit our peak day or when we’ll be finally through a plateau. I’m just focused on every day, doing everything we can to keep Nevadans as safe as we can,” he said. 

Sisolak, who entered his Monday evening news conference wearing a face mask that he removed before speaking, urged all Nevadans to stay home, saying it’s the most effective tool to stop the spread of COVID-19.