Clark County and University Medical Center announced that the appointment-only, drive-thru COVID-19 testing program at the Orleans Hotel & Casino is expanding to seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The testing is free for anyone who doesn't have insurance and is open to anyone, whether exhibiting symptoms of the virus or not. Appointments can be made via UMC's website at www.umcsn.com.
The drive-thru operation opened Tuesday on the first floor of the parking garage on the west site of the Orleans property off Cameron Street as an initial step toward expanding the community's capacity to make COVID-19 testing more widely available to the public. More than 1,400 people have received tests at the site, which is being operated by Clark County, UMC and the Nevada National Guard. The Orleans is located at 4500 W. Tropicana Ave.
"I want to thank our Fire Department's emergency management staff and our community partners for getting this site up and running and operating smoothly," said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "We have seen a strong response from residents scheduling appointments to be tested. Our residents are taking this virus seriously, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do their part to keep our community safe as we move forward and begin opening our economy in phases - #Stay safe, stay open!"
Today, the Clark County Commission voted unanimously to adopt the protocols set forth in Phase 1 of Governor Steve Sisolak's Roadmap to Recovery for Nevada. The guidelines were developed with input from Chairman Kirkpatrick and other members of the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel (LEAP) to advise individuals, employers and businesses through Phase 1. Officials stress that as businesses and facilities begin opening, access to testing is critical for the community, and so is the public's continued cooperation with practicing good hygiene, social distancing, wearing face coverings in public places, and other measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"By staying home and practicing social distancing, we can be very proud of the fact that we flattened the surge of cases we could have had in Southern Nevada," said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly, Chairman of the UMC Board of Trustees. "It's going to be important that we stay on guard against this virus because it is silent and invisible and it still poses a public health threat. Our best defense is to keep up all the good hygiene and other practices we've been doing."
The Orleans drive-thru site is now accepting 900 appointments per day, and officials are continuing to work on expanding capacity. The type of testing available at the site is polymerase chain reaction tests, better known as PCR tests, which show whether someone currently has COVID-19. Anyone wanting to schedule a test can make an appointment by visiting the COVID-19 Testing Center on the home page of UMC's website at www.umcsn.com. Select the "public" option to arrive at the online testing registration form. After filling out the form and clicking "submit," a representative from UMC will call people back to book their appointments.
"The ability to offer community-wide testing for those with and without COVID-19 symptoms is critical in our ability to do what we all want, which is to get life back to normal as much as possible in this pandemic environment," said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, whose Commission District includes the Orleans. "The more testing we can do and the more data we can gather, the better it will be for our community to make informed decisions as we move forward."
Federal funding through the CARES Act will cover the costs for testing at the Orleans for those with no insurance. Patients who have insurance will be asked to provide it for billing purposes, and depending on their insurance may not have a co-pay. Patients are asked to arrive about 15 minutes prior to their appointment time to get checked in and directed to a drive-up testing station. Medical professionals will conduct the test as patients remain in their cars. Test collection samples will be sent to UMC's lab for analysis. Results are expected to be available to patients within 24 to 48 hours. The results, positive or negative, will be reported to the Southern Nevada Health District.
Officials are working on opening other testing locations in the near future. Additionally, the Southern Nevada Health District is working with local jurisdictions to conduct testing in senior residential complexes and other facilities located in high-risk areas.
The following guidance is recommended for individuals to help the community continue to fight COVID-19 and stay safe and stay open in the first phase of Nevada's Roadmap to Recovery:
- Wash your hands often.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched items such as your cell phone, door knobs and counter tops.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing per person for non-household members.
- Wear a face covering in public places and when around people from other households.
- Limit gatherings to 10 people or less.
- Continue staying home as much as possible and limit trips outside your home.
- All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 as defined by CDC guidelines include people 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions such as lung disease, heart conditions and severe obesity.
- Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that returning to work and other environments where distancing is not practical could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate vulnerable residents.
- If tested positive for COVID-19, an individual must quarantine and stay home for two weeks. Contacts of individuals who test positive for the virus must stay home for two weeks or until a negative test result has been received.
- Avoid non-essential travel and adhere to self-quarantine and monitor health for 14 days after arriving or returning to Nevada.
- Remember we are in this together and we'll get through this together. For information about our community's response to COVID-19 visit www.InItTogetherSNV.com.