I-Team: Nevada still needs more COVID-19 tests

coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The newly formed coronavirus task force is trying to track down resources. Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday MGM’s former CEO Jim Murren would lead the group.

The I-Team has been investigating which resources are needed.

There is no timeline for when the state of Nevada will get more resources to deal with the coronavirus. So far, just more than 4,000 tests have been done for a population of more than 3 million.

We previously reported the Southern Nevada Public Health Lab has been at capacity, and some tests are taking longer to process.

One Las Vegas woman told us she was tested after she had a fever, cough and body aches, along with an underlying health condition.

She is feeling better now, but she and her husband said they’re self-isolating while they wait for the result. They’ve been waiting for more than a week.

The I-Team reached out to the Southern Nevada Health District to find out what the current average wait is for a test, and we did not receive a response.

“The tests are not getting done fast enough, and there’s people walking out there with no symptoms, which is what’s spreading it faster than the people that are sick,” said Las Vegas residents Teresa and Arthur McClenaghan. “Once you know you have it, then you stay away, you isolate yourself, but there’s all these people that don’t have any clue, idea they have it.”

Another issue in Nevada is the stockpiling of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine after President Trump announced it might help treat coronavirus.

The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy issued restrictions on the dispensing of the medicine, which is a drug lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients rely on. The board is trying to make sure patients who truly need the medicine can still get it.

Part of the restrictions is that a patient must be diagnosed with COVID-19, and that has to be indicated on the prescription.

And as we’ve been reporting, healthcare workers have reached out to 8 News Now describing shortages of PPE, or personal protective equipment, like masks.

Both UMC and Dignity Health told us they do not have a shortage, but they are accepting donations of certain supplies in case they see a surge in coronavirus cases.

Dignity Health is accepting unopened boxes of N-95 masks, surgical masks and isolation gowns from local medical professionals. If you would like to donate, please email SRDH-Supplies@DignityHealth.org.

DH is also offering “Virtual Care Anywhere,” which includes free virtual urgent care visits for patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. To speak with a healthcare provider, click here.

We now have more details on drive through testing that UNLV will be offering. The call center opens at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow because it will be by appointment only. Tests will still be limited, through, to people with upper respiratory symptoms and a fever or who’ve had direct contact with a positive case.

A spokesman said UNLV has secured 1,000 nasal swab tests that will be administered outside the school of medicine.

Patients will be swabbed while they wait in their vehicle, and according to a press release, there will be no out-of-pocket costs. Results can expected in five to seven days.

The I-Team is working to find out where the tests came from.

To inquire about testing at UNLV, call 702-583-4408 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers will be asked a series of questions encompassing CDC criteria and will be screened when they arrive.

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