Although UNLV’s physical campus has been quiet this spring without the majority of its staff and students, members of the university community mobilized quickly off-campus to adjust to the new COVID-19 reality.
As Spring Break ended with the move to remote instruction, and March moved into April, UNLV continued to fulfill its mission of teaching, research, innovation, and community engagement even in unprecedented circumstances.
UNLV Medicine was on the front lines last month, ramping up its COVID-19 curbside testing capabilities with the support of the Nevada National Guard, and clinicians at The PRACTICE, a mental health clinic on UNLV’s campus, were prepared to deliver services to their patients 100% online. In April, local and national media continued to call upon faculty researchers to help make sense of the pandemic, and the College of Education recreated storytime for kids virtually.
These are just a few examples — with more below — of UNLV’s people and programs that made headlines in Nevada and beyond in April.
UNLV Medicine Teams up with Nevada National Guard
At the end of March, UNLV Medicine, the clinical arm of the UNLV School of Medicine began conducting curbside COVID-19 testing. In April, UNLV Medicine expanded the effort with support from the Nevada National Guard, increasing testing capacity from 150 to 300 tests per day. For more information, please click here.
- Yahoo! News, Las Vegas Review-Journal, KNPR, KSNV-TV: News 3, KVVU-TV: Fox 5 (twice), KTNV-TV: ABC 13 (twice)
Protecting your Mental Health During Quarantine
This past month was a period of adjustment for all of us. Staying at home may sound easy, but being separated from loved ones and not being able to do the things we used to do can be difficult psychologically. Throughout April, UNLV experts offered insight into how you can maintain your mental health during this time.
- Child and Adolescent & Psychiatry and Behavioral Health fellowship director Lisa Durette weighs in on ways to maintain mental wellness: KSNV-TV: News 3
- Katherine Hertlein, professor of couple and family therapy, speaks with KNPR about navigating changing family dynamics during the pandemic, and with Mashable on finding ways to regain a sense of control.
Therapy in Virtual Spaces
As news of the coronavirus worsened in February and March, The PRACTICE Mental Health Clinic at UNLV quickly mobilized to ensure that it would remain a resource for the Las Vegas community even if its physical facility needed to close. That’s why the clinic was ready in mid-March, when Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak closed all non-essential businesses, to remain open virtually, and offer its services fully online. They are also offering free short-term distance counseling for the community.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Las Vegas Gaming Economy
It’s no secret that the Las Vegas economy relies heavily on tourism, and that it’s taken a hit — as have many other industries — from temporary closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s still unknown when hotels and casinos will fully reopen, and how quickly they’ll be able to rebound. But the following UNLV experts were called upon throughout April to try to answer these and other similar questions.
Bill Robinson, professor of economics
Stephen Miller, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research
Robert E. Lang, professor of Public Policy and executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute
Robert Rippee, director of the International Gaming Institute Hospitality Lab
Brett Abarbanel, director of Research at the International Gaming Institute
David G. Schwartz, gaming historian and Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Anthony Cabot, distinguished fellow in gaming law
Love Under Lockdown
Romance has changed in the time of COVID-19. With stay-at-home orders in place, love is no longer made up of fancy dates out of the house, and too much or too little time with significant others can cause an increase in conflict for some couples. Couple and Family Therapy Program professor Katherine Hertlein has provided her expertise on navigating quarantine conflict.
UNLV Creates Virtual Story Time for Kids
With schools and libraries closed, UNLV’s College of Education and the Gayle A. Zeiter Literacy Center spearheaded a creative way for children to still receive storytime at home. Student teachers and faculty have created the ‘UNLV COVID-19 Read Aloud Project’ which provides educational resources for families to access digitally. It includes an online library of over 50 read-aloud videos for children, and their parents, and also teachers who no longer have full access to their classroom libraries.
Lee School Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Trustees Greg and Ernest Lee of the Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation announced at the end of April the creation of the Lee School Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a joint collaboration with the Lee Business School at UNLV. The Lee School Prize is accepting worldwide submissions of proposals from individuals or companies up until July 5 for innovative ideas that will make the hospitality, entertainment, or travel industry safer for both guests and employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple prizes will be awarded as investments totaling $1 million to speed entrepreneurs in their developments. For more information on the prize or to submit a proposal, click here.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, KSNV-TV: News 3, KVVU-TV: Fox 5, Hotel Business, Crunchbase News
Public Health Researcher Lends His Expertise
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian Labus, assistant professor at UNLV’s School of Public Health, has been called upon by hundreds of local and national media outlets to help make sense of the virus from a public health perspective. In April, Labus, who’s also a member of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s coronavirus task force, continued to lend his expertise to news stories exploring coronavirus projections and reopening plans to the smartest way to shop for groceries. Here are just a few examples: