LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Helping communities of color combat the coronavirus is something the Southern Nevada Health District has been trying to do through special COVID-19 testing sites.
The first one — located at All Saints Episcopal Church, near Washington Avenue and Valley View Boulevard — gave us an exclusive look at the COVID-19 testing site last month, when it was still being set up.
One of its main goals is to serve the area’s large Latino population.
It’s now been up and running for about four weeks, so we decided to see how it’s been going.
“The folks that are coming out for testing, they probably wouldn’t have been tested otherwise unless we would have started the service here,” according to Alfred McGugin, FQHC Operations Officer with the Southern Nevada Health District.
The Southern Nevada Health District’s first emergency scope site to help the Hispanic community is at All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas.
The outreach center has been operating for a few weeks providing telehealth services and COVID-19 testing.
“We have tested, to date, about 180 individuals,” McGugin said. “Of those individuals, we have seen about 70 percent are Hispanic.”
The latest numbers from the health district show 30% of cases in Southern Nevada are from this Hispanic community.
Experts say that’s due in part to a lack of access to health care.
The large Latino population in this area is why the church was chosen as a testing site.
“Somewhere that’s probably not far from their home, or far from where they congregate and also what they consider a safe place,” McGugin said.
“The patient is able to collect their own swab, so we open it up, we hand it to the patient.”
The process is simple, with results of point of care testing available the same day.
Another testing system sends specimens to the public health lab. Those results are ready in one to two business days.
“Since the response was overwhelming, we wanted to ensure that we weren’t turning anyone away,” McGugin said.
This is one of two emergency scope sites set up by the Southern Nevada Health District.
And they also have a mobile unit that travels across the valley.
This location is open on weekdays from 7 a-m to 4:30 p-m.