COVID-19 testing appointments surge days before Christmas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With four days until Christmas, COVID-19 testing sites are experiencing a surge in appointments.

Clinics are reporting a mix of travelers coming through for testing, including those concerned about the Omicron variant.

“I just want to be safe,” Zvonko Tomas told 8 News Now’s Kate Houston as he stopped by I-C Labs in Henderson to get tested. “I have a young daughter, a wife, I want to make sure that if I get infected, I don’t give it to them or anyone.”

Tomas is one of nearly 300 people getting tested on Tuesday out of concern for keeping his loved ones safe this holiday season.

“It’s important to everyone to be safe. I got vaccinated twice, I got boostered, I’m not worried about it. I’m a very healthy person, but I want to keep it that way,” Tomas said.

I-C Labs is seeing increases in both appointments and positive cases. The site went from seeing two to three cases daily to seeing 20 on Monday.

“It’s starting to spread, people are getting concerned, people are traveling, so they want to make sure they’re safe to travel,” says Laboratory Operations Manager Dr. Issac Farrell. “We’re starting to see a big increase again, I expect with this new variant we’ll probably be at a 20% positive rate. The good news is, especially amongst the vaccinated, the symptoms are mild.”

I-C Labs is taking appointments and drive-ups and is offering rapid tests with same-day results, a good thing for those who are experiencing symptoms or are days away from traveling for Christmas.

The Southern Nevada Health District has hundreds of open appointments at community sites, and availability at CVS and Walgreens varies between locations. CVS is reporting a surge in demand for their at-home testing kits, resulting in a limit of 6 tests per purchase.

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