Local NewsCoronavirus


COVID test results have been delayed for many as the omicron surge overwhelmed testing facilities

Covid testing
Posted at 9:16 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 02:12:28-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County coronavirus testing facility at Sam Boyd Stadium looked like a traffic jam for weeks as thousands rushed the facility for a chance at learning whether they've contracted the potentially deadly disease amid an unprecedented omicron-driven surge.

The site looked very different Wednesday, with a handful of cars breezing in and out, after many other sites expanded hours and new facilities opened in the valley.

While getting swabbed may have become easier with expanded testing capacity around the valley, getting results in a timely manner hasn't been as streamlined for some like Amazon worker Williams Vota, who said he needed a test to return to work.

"Just worrying about the mortgage," he said. "Right now, the budgets are tight. Of course, it's getting tighter, and, yeah, I need to work."

Vota said his wife tested positive first as the omicron wave began taking over the valley, and then he did.

He said he waited seven days for his first set of results while quarantining, and they came back positive. So he came back to the Sam Boyd facility Wednesday to hopefully get a negative result.

He said his main concern wasn't remaining positive, it was waiting days on the result that could potentially get him back to work.

"I have a test scheduled tomorrow at another place," Vota said. "I'm just hedging my bets, essentially, so I can work as soon as possible."

The Southern Nevada Health District stood by their 24- to 48-hour test return expectation, but said results could come back slower from their contracted clinics.

Clark County officials said people should expect to get their results in three to five days instead of 48 hours.

One testing center said they could deliver results consistently at around 24 hours, but University Medical Center CEO Mason Van Houweling said his hospital wasn't ideal for people just looking to get a test.

A record number of hospitalized patients across the state and a staffing shortage that the Nevada Hospital Association called "critical" has pushed critical care institutions to the bring of their resources.

MORE: Clark County COVID hospitalizations highest since pandemic's start, staffing at 'crisis' status

"We're seeing our highest peak numbers," Van Houweling said.

Van Houweling said the hospital has been delaying non-essential surgeries because the omicron wave has filled 95% of their staffed beds, even after adding an additional 70 to their total.

He said the existing staff has been working valiantly to make up for staffing shortfalls and increased demand.

"It's really all hands on deck, currently, and we're doing the best that we can with the staffing that we've got," he said. "They've really been our true heroes of the community going on two years now."

A full list of testing sites in Clark County can be found here.