LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas, where major sports and entertainment come home to play. But keeping visitors and employees safe during a pandemic has its challenges.
13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean looks at a new Las Vegas company, taking on the growing demand for massive COVID-19 testing.
Even during a pandemic, the training doesn't stop for professional mixed martial art fighters. In fact, the UFC held its Fight Night 171 only a couple months into the pandemic.
"We had a very strict and appropriate, safe guideline in place. We were able to at that time perform three live UFC events," says Dr. Jeff Davidson, Chief Medical Consultant for the UFC.
He says it was important to create a safe bubble early on, for protecting fighters and everyone involved in UFC events. But over the last year, they've worked to establish even more protections.
"We were able to continue to learn and expand and develop even safer and better protocols and guidelines," says Dr. Davidson.
This is the latest tool being used in their fight against COVID-19. It's called an Accula Rapid RT/PCR test.
"The testing process has been automated to the point where we can test multiple individuals in a very short amount of time. Hundreds of individuals within an hour," says James Murphy, CEO of OnSiteAble.
His newly formed Las Vegas-based company is using this COVID-19 test at different large-scale events, tradeshows and conventions across the country. They're also providing testing and vaccinations for organizations like the UFC, Miss Universe, Golden Entertainment and Hewlett-Packard.
Murphy says test results took a day before the release of this new test.
"We were doing all lab-based PCR testing and there's a lot of challenges with each lab. Some labs perform perfectly. Other labs not so much," says Murphy.
But this allows OnSiteAble to provide onsite testing, with results in just 30 minutes. He showed us just how easy it is to administer.
"We have a cartridge. We take the swab and put the swab into a solution. The solution goes in the cartridge. The cartridge goes in the little machine," says Murphy.
ACCURATE & QUICK
Murphy says its proven to be very accurate. Which is key since testing demands are only expected to increase with President Biden's COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate for organizations with 100 employees or more.
"So when you're doing large-scale... it's important to have a testing method that's one, accurate, but that you can employ in a quick amount of time as well," says Murphy.
Dr. Davidson agrees and says he's encouraged by just how far we've come.
"It's been a year-and-a-half and from where we've started until now, we have become so much more efficient. So much more safe and so much more timely," says Dr. Davidson.