249 coronavirus cases, 6 deaths in Clark County

Gov. Sisolak restricts malaria drugs for treatment, gatherings of more than 10

CLARK County now has 249 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, March 24, a week after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a statewide shutdown of nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Of the cases reported, 43% are between the ages of 25-49, while 27% are 50-64 years old. Fifteen (6%) individuals are of Asian descent, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

Two more fatalities from COVID-19 were also reported in the county, bringing the total to six deaths.

One death was a man in his 70s with underlying medical conditions, while the other was a woman in her 50s also with underlying conditions, the health district said.

The number of cases is now at 306 statewide, as Nevada continues to request testing kits from the federal government.

As President Donald Trump praised drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — which have been used to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis — as possible remedies for COVID-19, Sisolak on Tuesday signed an emergency order saying that the drugs can only be prescribed by a doctor in an inpatient setting.

Further, the prescribed medications in an outpatient setting can only be given in a 30-day supply to prevent stockpiling.

“While these drugs serve necessary medical purposes, this regulation protects the Nevadans who need them and prevents unnecessary hoarding,” he said on Twitter, adding that the “best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home for Nevada.

“There are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said following Trump’s claims that the two drugs have been approved for treatment.

The governor also issued a directive prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people. It applies to indoor and outdoor public areas, such as libraries, playgrounds and basketball courts, but does not cover people gathering at home.

“Nevadans who wish to enjoy our great outdoors can still do so, but we must do so safely to prevent the spread of this disease. You may enjoy a daily walk in the park with others in your household, but please, maintain a safe distance from those that are also enjoying the public spaces and do not touch any of the equipment where the virus may be lurking,” Sisolak said.

Disaster resource guide

With Sisolak’s order to close nonessential businesses, including casinos and bars, nearly 60,000 casino workers who are part of the Culinary Union 226 have been laid off.

The union, which has requested several Las Vegas casinos to provide paid leave and benefits, reminded members that their jobs and their health care benefits for them and their families, are still protected.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) on Tuesday released a disaster resource guide, for Nevada residents impacted by the pandemic.

The guide covers a breadth of services, such as unemployment insurance, mental health counseling, and relief loans for small business owners.

“As I continue to work with Governor Sisolak and the whole Nevada congressional delegation to address the needs of Nevadans, I want impacted families to have the information they need to access critical local, state, and federal resources,” the senator wrote in a Medium post.

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