LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As of today, nearly 1 million COVID-19 tests have been performed in Nevada. 8 News Now spoke to experts who encouraged continued testing.
“There’s been at least not the same amount of decline since Labor Day, if not a little bit of a peak, but the good news is that the deaths appear to be continuing to decrease,” said Marc Kahn, dean of the UNLV School of Medicine.
Kahn notes while data shows cases may be trending down, we need to keep the testing up.
“I think the fact that we’ve done almost a million tests is positive,” he said, “again, we need to continue to test people.”
Experts say thanks to testing being easier and faster, our COVID-19 numbers are looking way better than they were last month.
“Early on, they might do 20-30 tests a day Valleywide,” said Clark County Fire Department Chief John Steinbeck.
Now, they’r e doing thousands.
“If you want a test, you can go get a test,” said Steinbeck. “We encourage you to get a test.”
He explains campaigns, such as the Stop, Swab & Go, help those testing positive get care earlier, and contacts can be traced to help stop the spread.
“It’s been very effective,” Steinbeck said. “We’ve been very impressed with the community going to get tested.”
Kahn says the campaign is good because people get rapid results. He also notes they are most effective when coupled with contact tracing.
Testing is even less uncomfortable.
“We now have saliva testing, as well, that are less invasive,” Kahn revealed.
Although the test positivity rate is going down, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a level less than 5% so that we can safely open more venues.
Right now, we’re at 10%.
“Still, be very vigilant,” Steinbeck urged. “Test when you feel like you need to take advantage of the resources we have.”
Testing remains a top priority.
“The reality is, the more people that we test, the longer it’s going to take to get results,” Kahn explained. “So, there was a slow down in test results that appeared have gotten better.”
It’s also important to note that out of those million tests performed, they don’t represent individual testing.
The City of Henderson, along with the Southern Nevada Health District, is offering COVID-19 testing opportunities at Heritage Park Senior facility.