Officials discuss increase in demand for COVID-19 testing, holiday gathering effects in response update


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 response director, says all of the state’s counties have been flagged for a high case rate. There is also an increased demand for testing.

Cage says they were well aware of the many gatherings on New Year’s Eve, as well as the private gatherings throughout the state. Right now, they are asking if you were out in a large crowd, to act as if you have contracted the virus and quarantine.

The director also urges you to be mindful of your interactions with others in the coming days and get tested between five to seven days of potential exposure. If you feel ill, then you should stay home and isolate while you wait for test results and quarantine to the maximum extent possible.

“It was a risk to go out and gather on NYE, the governor made it clear,” said Cage. “At this time, we are focusing on making sure people know how to handle the next steps.”

DuAne Young, deputy administrator of the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, added data shows that Medicaid accounts for less than 30% of patients awaiting discharge. Forty percent of those individuals are on Medicare, and the remaining are commercial payers.

“We are coordinating among hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to address the needs of these patients,” said Young. “DHHS has performed a hospital discharge team that assists facilities in moving patient recipients by working daily with manage care organizations on member updates, finding placement for service recipients, assisting for those uninsured.”

During the meeting, officials also discussed if there are any of the new variant COVID cases in Nevada. We have not seen any yet.

An increase of cases is expected this week due to gatherings from Christmas and Hanukkah. As for New Year’s Eve, we can expect an increase starting next week.

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