With the number of coronavirus cases in the Silver State on the rise, The Nevada Independent will be keeping you up to date on the latest here, both through regular live blog updates and updates to our infographic tracking cases around Nevada. The most recent updates will be posted at the top.
To see previous developments, you can visit our week one live blog here (3/9-3/15), our week two live blog here (3/16-3/22), our week three live blog here (3/23-3/29), our week four live blog here (3/30-4/5), week five’s live blog here (4/6-4/12), week six’s live blog here (4/13-4/19), week seven’s live blog here (4/20-4/26) and last week’s (4/27-5/3) live blog here. You can also see our live blog tracking economic developments from the first week here.
- Indy Resource Guide: Where to find food, cash assistance and other help during coronavirus outbreak
- Nevada Health Response
- Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health
- Southern Nevada Health District
- Washoe County Health District
- Carson City Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Indy Explains: What should you do in Nevada if you think you might have the novel coronavirus?
Sunday state and county update: Coronavirus cases rise to 6,120; deaths at 306
State and county health officials reported 6,120 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, up 71 from the statewide cases reported the previous day. The death toll remained at 306.
The Southern Nevada Health District reported a total of 4,750 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, an increase of 46 cases from Saturday. The health district also reported four additional deaths, bringing the countywide death toll to 260.
Washoe County health officials reported 18 additional COVID-19 cases, pushing the county’s total to 1,095 cases. The county said 15 additional individuals had recovered from COVID-19. Health officials have confirmed 497 recoveries.
Officials in Humboldt County reported that a man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s contracted COVID-19, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 67. Both individuals had been in contact with a previously reported case and are self-isolating.
The Quad County Emergency Operations Center reported three additional Carson City cases, two female residents in their 40s and one female resident in her 20s. The regional operations center also confirmed two additional Lyon County cases, a female resident in her 60s and a female resident in her 20s.
Carson City has reported a total of 55 cases, and Lyon County has reported a total of 42 cases.
The operations center, which also covers Douglas County and Storey County, also reported three additional recoveries in the area, bringing total recoveries in the region to 82.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services showed that 58,809 people have been tested statewide, an increase of 2,698 since Saturday.
State and county reporting often lags on the weekend.
— Last updated 5/10/20 at 6:24 p.m.
Saturday state and county update: Coronavirus cases at 6,049; deaths rise to 306
State and county officials reported 6,049 COVID-19 cases statewide on Saturday, up 109 from the previous day. The death toll rose to 306.
The Southern Nevada Health District reported 88 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the countywide total to 4,704. Health district officials also reported three additional deaths, bringing the countywide death toll to 256.
They also reported 12 new hospitalizations associated with the virus, bringing the number of people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 but not died from it to 1,090. Health district officials report 3,936 people have recovered from the virus.
Washoe County health officials reported 12 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the countywide total to 1,077. They reported no additional deaths, leaving the countywide death toll at 39.
Humboldt County officials also reported four new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases countywide to 65. The cases include a man in his 50s, a female in her teens, a man in his 40s and a man in his 60s, all of whom are contacts of previously reported cases and are self-isolating at home.
Quad County officials reported the region’s second COVID-19 death on Saturday, a Carson City resident in his 60s. It is not known whether he had underlying conditions.
Officials also reported five more cases in the Quad County region, a female Carson City resident in her 20s; three Lyon County residents, a male in his 60s, a male in his 40s, and a female in her 50s who is asymptomatic; and a female Douglas County resident in her 40s.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services shows that 56,111 people have been tested statewide, an increase of 2,767 since Friday. It is the most number of new tests to be reported in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.
The state also updated its dashboard on Saturday to include additional charts displaying COVID-19 tests, cases, deaths and hospitalizations day by day. Previously, the state only updated these numbers each day but did not offer a day-by-day breakdown, except for with deaths, though The Nevada Independent has been tracking many of those numbers independently.
The new hospitalization data, which had previously only been released in public and private reports from the Nevada Hospital Association, show that the number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations is generally trending downward. As of Thursday, there were 280 confirmed and 164 suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized.
The updated dashboard also tracks the state’s overall test positivity rate — that is, the number of positives divided by total tests — which, as of Friday, was 10.7 percent. The dashboard shows that the state has not yet met the World Health Organization’s recommended 10 percent positivity rate for reopening, even as businesses are allowed to begin opening on Saturday.
— Last updated 5/9/20 at 6:12 p.m.
Friday state and county update: Coronavirus cases at 5,940; deaths rise to 301
The statewide death toll increased to 301 on Friday, pushing the total number of reported COVID-19 deaths past 300. County health officials reported 5,940 COVID-19 cases statewide on Friday, up 82 from the previous day.
One of the most recent Nevada residents to succumb from COVID-19-related complications was legendary entertainer Roy Horn of the Siegfried & Roy duo. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Roy, 75, died Friday at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas.
Southern Nevada Health District officials reported 43 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the countywide total to 4,616. The county also reported eight additional COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 253 county-wide.
Health officials say that 3,850 people in Clark County have recovered from the coronavirus, or 83.4 percent. Cumulative COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Clark County were up by 11 since Thursday’s report.
Washoe County health authorities reported one COVID-19 death and 35 additional cases on Friday. That brings the county’s case count to 1,065 and the death toll to 39.
The woman who died was in her 70s and had underlying health conditions, Washoe County officials said.
Ten other people in Washoe County have recovered, pushing that number to 466 total.
Humboldt County reported three additional cases on Friday, bringing its total to 61.
Health officials in the quad-county region, which includes Carson City, Storey County, Lyon County and Douglas County, reported one additional case — a Douglas County man in his 70s — and three more recoveries. That brings the region’s case count to 111 and, of those diagnosed, 72 people have recovered so far.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services showed that 53,344 people have been tested statewide, an increase of 1,987 since Thursday.
— Last updated 5/8/20 at 7:44 p.m.
State officials publish industry-specific guidelines for Phase 1 businesses
Following Gov. Steve Sisolak’s announcement that some businesses could reopen starting Saturday, state officials released industry-specific guidelines that include mandatory protocols and best practices to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The guidelines, which cover a range of business environments from furniture showrooms to dine-in restaurants, effectively provide restaurants, retail stores and salons planning to open up this weekend with a checklist of rules to follow.
Guidelines for hair care salons, for instance, enumerate how and what types of equipment must be cleaned. For other work environments, like car dealerships, the guidelines mandate or recommend best practices for shift patterns.
According to a press release, the guidelines were developed by the Local Empowerment Advisory Council (LEAP) with input from the governor’s office, local health officials, regulators and business representatives.
— Daniel Rothberg, 5/8/20 at 4:20 p.m.
Federal agency distributes $18.7 million payment to UMC for COVID-19 response
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service announced a $18,760,725 payment to University Medical Center to support its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is part of $12 billion that the federal agency is distributing to 395 hospitals in areas hit especially hard by the pandemic. According to a press release on Friday, hospitals qualified for the funding had to have treated more than 100 cases through April 10.
The press release said the funding “will be used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.”
— Daniel Rothberg, 5/8/20 at 3:39 p.m.
Thursday state and county update: Coronavirus cases at 5,858; deaths at 293
County health officials reported 5,858 COVID-19 cases statewide on Thursday, up 111 from the previous day. The statewide death toll increased by seven to 293.
Southern Nevada Health District officials reported 100 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the countywide total to 4,573. The county also reported seven additional COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 245 county-wide.
County health officials also reported 16 additional hospitalizations, for a total of 1,067 hospitalizations countywide since the pandemic began. Health officials say that 3,768 people in Clark County have recovered from the coronavirus.
Washoe County health officials reported another COVID-19 related death and eight more cases on Thursday, bringing the county to 38 deaths and 1,030 cases of the coronavirus.
The county also reported 25 additional recoveries, and 12 individuals with the disease being discharged from the hospital. Active COVID-19 cases in the county are now at 536, or 18 less than the total reported on Wednesday.
Nye County reported two additional positive cases out of Pahrump. Lyon County reported one additional case.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services showed that 51,357 people have been tested statewide, an increase of 2,082 since Wednesday.
— Last updated 5/7/20 at 7:07 p.m.
Lawsuit filed challenging constitutionality of Nevada’s COVID-19 shutdowns
Several Nevada businesses and individuals have filed a broad class action lawsuit seeking to overturn several of the emergency orders and directives ordered by Gov. Steve Sisolak to mitigate spread of COVID-19.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Thursday and seeks a court directive to overturn or block many of Sisolak’s emergency orders issued over the past two months, including the closure of nonessential businesses, stay-at-home orders, prohibitions on in-person worship services and restrictions on the use of antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19.
It was filed by Las Vegas attorney Sigal Chattah and Reno attorney Joey Gilbert on behalf of several Nevada businesses, including an events company, hair salon, barber and the head of the Nevada State Osteopathic Association, Bruce Fong. Fong is also suing Sisolak in state court over restrictions on hydroxychloroquine.
The lawsuit was first reported by KSNV Channel 3 News.
— Riley Snyder, 5/7/20 at 5:57 p.m.
U.S. HHS awards $2.4 million to eight Nevada health centers to expand COVID-19 testing
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $2.4 million to eight health centers across Nevada to expand COVID-19 testing.
Recipients in Nevada include Nevada Health Centers, Community Health Alliance, the Northern Nevada HIV Outpatient Program, the Southern Nevada Health District, FirstMed Health and Wellness Center, First Person Care Clinic, Hope Christian Health Center and Silver State Health Services. Nationally, HHS has awarded $583 million to 1,385 health centers with funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which was signed into law on April 24.
According to HHS, health centers nationally are conducting more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests each week.
“Widespread testing is a critical step in reopening America, and health centers are vital to making testing easily accessible, especially for underserved and minority populations,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
Funding will be used to expand testing and testing-related activities, including purchasing personal protective equipment, training, laboratory services, contact tracing and the expansion of walk-up or drive-up testing.
In total, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded $1.42 billion in COVID-19 funding to health centers.
— Megan Messerly, 5/7/20 at 10:24 a.m.
Sisolak to announce Nevada will enter Phase 1 before May 15
Gov. Steve Sisolak will announce Thursday afternoon when Nevada will be allowed to enter Phase 1 of its reopening plan, though it will be before the May 15 date he projected last week.
Sisolak is expected to announce the date and further plans for Phase 1 at a 3 p.m. press conference at the Legislature. The governor mapped out in broad terms what Nevada’s Phase 1 would look like last week in his “Roadmap to Recovery” plan but is expected to provide further details in an emergency directive before the state begins reopening.
In Phase 1, some outdoor spaces, small businesses and retail are anticipated to be allowed to begin reopening with strict social distancing measures and hygiene protocols in place. Counties have been making preparations over the last week to facilitate the smooth reopening of businesses, though without clear guidance from the state have had to make general assumptions about which types of businesses would be allowed to open.
— Megan Messerly, 5/7/20 at 7:48 a.m.
Wednesday state and county update: Coronavirus cases at 5,747; deaths at 286
State and county health officials reported 5,747 COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday. The number of deaths associated with the disease increased by 10 to 286.
Southern Nevada Health District officials reported 65 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the county’s number of cases to 4,473. The county also reported 12 additional COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 238 county-wide.
County health officials also reported seven additional hospitalizations, up to 1,051 total since the pandemic began. Health officials say that 3,659 people in Southern Nevada have reported recovering from the coronavirus.
Washoe County health officials also reported eight new COVID-19 cases and one new death, a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions. It’s the 37th coronavirus-related death in the county.
Humboldt County officials announced five more cases Wednesday, bringing the countywide total to 58. They include three women in their 50s, one man in his 20s and one man in his 30s. Three of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, while the other two cases are under investigation. All five are self-isolating at home.
Quad County officials also announced one new case in Lyon County, a woman in her 20s, bringing the countywide total to 36.
Additionally, an “evaluation for readiness for Phase 1” report from Lincoln County obtained by The Nevada Independent on Wednesday shows the county had one positive case confirmed on April 13 that was tested outside the county.
Nye County officials reported three additional cases, two in the Amargosa Valley and one in Pahrump. County health officials have confirmed a total of 42 cases.
Lander County officials also reported three additional cases, bringing the countywide total to 17.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services showed that 49,275 people have been tested statewide, an increase of 1,391 since Tuesday.
— Last updated 5/9/20 at 8:05 a.m.
SNHD: Steep jump in COVID-19 recoveries must still be investigated, confirmed
Officials with the Southern Nevada Health District said a sharp increase in coronavirus recoveries reported Wednesday must still be investigated in order to ensure the rise is “something real” and not a statistical anomaly or reporting error.
More than 600 recoveries were reported Wednesday morning, increasing the total recoveries in Clark County to 3,659. If correct, it would mean roughly 81 percent of all positive cases reported in the county have recovered. That number would also likely be less than all possible recoveries, however, as it does not account for recoveries that have not been reported to health officials amid early and widespread testing shortages.
During a tele-press conference Wednesday, Community Health Division Director Michael Johnson told reporters that the district was utilizing weekly averages to “eliminate some of the noise” currently present in coronavirus reporting data.
The question of recoveries comes as the state wrestles with precise timelines for the gradual reopening of local economies, especially as concerns loom that a new wave of cases could stem from ill-prepared attempts to kickstart stalled economies.
Health district officials said they remained in regular contact with the governor’s office and state gaming regulators, though they did not provide more details and added that any final decisions will be the governor’s to make.
Still, Dr. Vit Kraushaar, the district’s medical investigator, reiterated that contact tracing will remain “vital” to determining re-opening timelines.
“I think the biggest issue is that if we start to see new cases flare out, if we start to see more cases in a certain region, we have to know about that very quickly and we have to be able to respond,” Kraushaar said.
Separately, amid investigations in California and some European countries that the coronavirus may have been circulating worldwide as early as December or January of last year, Southern Nevada health officials said they would continue to prioritize the mitigation of current cases over the investigation of the earliest possible coronavirus cases.
“I think these types of studies are better done in an academic setting, especially centers that have been collecting blood samples for other studies,” Kraushaar said. “It’s certainly something I would love to look into in the future, but I think our priority right now is this — we’re controlling the outbreak that’s happening.”
— Jacob Solis, 5/6/20 at 3:11 p.m.
Washoe County: No plans to offer mass COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic individuals
Health officials in Washoe County have no immediate plans to offer COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic individuals, even as the county prepares to ramp up testing ahead of an expected reopening of businesses in the state by May 15.
During a call with reporters on Wednesday, Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick said that the county would receive limited value and information on expanding testing to people without obvious symptoms to the novel coronavirus
“There are limitations to the value of testing non-symptomatic individuals, because if they don’t have it, and they don’t test positive, all that tells you is that they don’t have enough virus in their system,” he said. “At that point in time when you collected the sample, they may already have been infected with COVID-19 and could come down with symptoms and the next day or a few days later, and you don’t know that from that test.”
Instead, Dick said the county was expanding testing vulnerable populations or high-risk occupations — such as hospital workers — and would be working with the Nevada State Public Health Lab to develop an antibody test that would help determine what percentage of the state’s population may have been exposed to the virus since February.
Health officials in the four-county region of Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties have begun offering limited COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic individuals this week.
Dick said Washoe County has the capacity to test up to 900 people per day through the current drive-through testing system, but is limited by not enough symptomatic individuals asking for tests as well as a lack of test collection kit materials.
He added that the county had deployed about 1,500 test kits to “priority populations,” including first responders, law enforcement, long term care facilities and others. The health district has also distributed more than 83,000 boxes of PPE to many of the same local agencies.
— Riley Snyder, 5/6/20 at 12:57 p.m.
Tuesday state and county update: Coronavirus cases at 5,661; deaths up to 276
County health officials are reporting 5,661 COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday. State health authorities, meanwhile, reported 10 deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 276 on Tuesday evening.
Southern Nevada Health District officials are reporting 4,408 COVID-19 cases countywide, up 46 from Monday. The death toll remains at 226, with no new deaths reported since the day before.
According to the health district, a total of 1,025 people have been hospitalized during the course of their illness, up six from Monday.
Health officials in Humboldt County reported three new positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the rural county up to 53.
The new cases involved a female in her teens, a woman in her 20s and a man in his 20s, all of whom are isolating at home and had contact with a previously reported case.
Humboldt County Health Officer Charles Stringham said the majority of cases in the county came as a result of people not following the state’s stay-at-home order and continuing to gather in groups.
“With warmer weather coming on, we truly are pleading with people to do what is right, to set a good example by saying no to gathering with family or friends who live outside the home,” he said in a press release. “We literally cannot overcome this virus, we cannot re-open business and we cannot return to normal as a community until every one of us choose to do the right things.”
Health officials in Washoe County say they’ve now passed more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases in Nevada’s second largest county on Tuesday, with the number of active cases also trending slightly up.
The county reported 26 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,014 positive cases and bringing the number of active cases to 563 (up 9 since Monday). Health officials also reported 15 additional recoveries, 1 new hospitalization and 1 person discharged from a hospital.
The county also reported another COVID-19 related death, a woman in her 90s. It’s the 36th death in the county tied to the novel coronavirus.
Health district officials report that 3,056 people have recovered from COVID-19, about 69.3 percent of those who have tested positive countywide. However, it is important to note that number does not take into account active cases of COVID-19 who still may recover from the virus.
Health officials in the four-county region including Carson City, Lyon County, Storey County and Douglas County reported four new cases and five recoveries, raising the region’s total number of cases to 108. Among those cases, 44 remain active, 63 are recovered and one person has died.
Three of the cases reported Tuesday are in Carson City and include men in their 30s, 40s and 50s. The fourth case, a man in his 40s, was reported in Douglas County.
Lander County officials confirmed one additional case, bringing the county’s total to 14 cases.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services also showed that 47,884 people have been tested for the virus statewide, up 1,718 from Monday.
— Last updated 5/6/20 at 2:40 p.m.
Laughlin to begin taking appointments for limited drive-through coronavirus testing
Officials in Laughlin and Clark County began a joint effort Tuesday to run limited, appointment-only drive-through coronavirus testing next week, following a similar effort at drive-through testing at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas this week.
Officials said up to 500 tests will be administered per day between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on May 12 and 13 at the valet area of the Aquarius Casino Resort parking garage. Once there, residents will be asked to show identification before being administered the polymerase chain reaction test, which will show whether or not a person is infected with coronavirus.
Laughlin residents who want to make an appointment must call (702) 298-2214, extension 4 or 5, between May 6 and May 8. Appointments will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis, and those who make appointments are being asked to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled testing time.
“Residents of the unincorporated township of Laughlin deserve to have access to COVID-19 testing, a major component for a safe recovery,” Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft said in a statement. “I am pleased to announce the expansion of testing from The Orleans Casino to the Casino Drive corridor in Laughlin. The more testing we can do and the more data we can gather, the better it will be for our community to make informed decisions as we move forward.”
— Jacob Solis, 5/5/20 at 3:33 p.m.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase to 20 on Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe reservation
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe announced 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday night, up from 14 on Friday.
Nixon, located between Wadsworth and Sutcliffe on the reservation, has the most confirmed cases reported by the tribe at 14 cases. There are two cases in Wadsworth, located at the southern end of the reservation and near Fernley, and four in Sutcliffe, located on Pyramid Lake.
The announcement asks residents to continue to shelter-in-place as the number of cases increase “at an alarming rate,” and includes a reminder that testing is not yet available to all those who want to be tested for the virus.
“On the testing requests, again everyone who calls and wants a test will not automatically be given a test,” the announcement states. “We still need to go through the screening questions with you to determine if you meet the criteria to be tested.”
According to the tribe’s website, there were 1,300 people living on the reservation as of 2017.
— Jazmin Orozco-Rodriguez, 5/5/20 at 10:03 a.m.
Monday state and county update: Coronavirus cases increase to 5,581; deaths rise to 266
State and county health officials are reporting 5,581 COVID-19 cases statewide, up 106 from Sunday. State health authorities, meanwhile, reported that four more people had died, bringing the statewide death toll to 266.
Southern Nevada Health District officials are reporting 4,362 COVID-19 cases countywide, up 88 from Sunday. Officials also announced eight more deaths, bringing the countywide death toll to 226.
According to the health district, a total of 1,019 people have been hospitalized during the course of their illness, up 17 from Sunday.
Health district officials report that 3,021 people have recovered from COVID-19, about 69.3 percent of those who have tested positive countywide. However, it is important to note that number does not take into account active cases of COVID-19 who still may recover from the virus.
Washoe County Health District officials reported two additional deaths on Monday of a woman in her 90s and a man in his 80s. Both had underlying health conditions. The additional deaths bring the countywide death toll to 35. They also announced 11 additional cases, bringing the countywide case total to 988.
Health district officials reported that 55 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 400 people have recovered from the virus.
Lander County health authorities reported four more COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the rural county’s total to 13. The county is doing contact tracing, but no other information about the people newly diagnosed was released. With the new cases, Lander County has the second-highest cases per capita (233.2 per 100,000), trailing only Humboldt County.
“It is evident that Lander County has not reached its peak for COVID-19 cases and residents need to be more cautious of their behaviors and activities,” officials said.
The Quad-County Emergency Operations Center reported one additional case in Lyon County, bringing the county’s total to 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The resident is a male in his 80s.
On Monday evening, Nye County reported two additional cases in the town of Pahrump. Officials have confirmed 33 cases in Pahrump and a total of 39 cases in the county.
A dashboard maintained by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services also showed that 46,166 people have been tested for the virus statewide, up 897 from Sunday.
— Last updated 5/5/20 at 8:30 a.m. to reflect Southern Nevada Health District later corrected statistics initially released on Monday.
SNAP participants can soon purchase food online
The nearly 400,000 people in Nevada who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can soon purchase their food online.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has approved the state’s request to allow that purchase method. Officials said a start date will be announced later.
Nevada, where more than 200,000 households participate in SNAP, receives nearly $600 million each year in the federal benefits.
Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington state have already rolled out SNAP online purchasing. A number of other states, including California and Arizona, have received approval and are implementing it as well.
Officials said Amazon and Walmart are the authorized retailers working with all states.
— Jackie Valley, 5/4/20 at 1:33 p.m.
Clark County and UMC launch drive-through testing at the Orleans
Clark County and its public hospital, University Medical Center, will open a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Orleans Hotel and Casino on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The testing site will have the capacity to test 300 people each day by appointment between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with additional days of testing expected to be added in the future. Patients will drive up to the testing site on the first floor of the casino’s parking garage to have their samples collected by medical professionals, and the tests will be sent to UMC’s lab for processing with results expected in 24 to 48 hours.
People wishing to get tested will be required to visit UMC’s COVID-19 testing center website to schedule an appointment.
The move comes as county officials and the hospital work to boost testing capacity across Southern Nevada. Mason VanHouweling, UMC’s chief executive officer, has said that UMC plans to run 4,000 tests a day in May and 10,000 tests a day in June.
“UMC has demonstrated leadership and a deep commitment to our community in its efforts to help manage the coronavirus pandemic,” Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, who chairs UMC’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “I commend its dedicated staff for their work to expand Southern Nevada’s capacity to offer testing to the public so we can continue to monitor the impact of the virus and ensure anyone who contracts the virus receives quality and compassionate care.”
Patients with insurance will have their insurance information collected for billing purposes, though most insurance companies nationally have agreed to waive co-pays associated with testing for COVID-19. The federal CARES Act will cover the costs of testing at the drive-through facility for those without insurance.
— Megan Messerly, 5/4/20 at 8:34 a.m.