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Holidays, omicron concerns have people flocking to Las Vegas COVID-19 testing sites

Posted at 3:27 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 23:03:54-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Seeking peace of mind amid concerns over omicron, people in the Las Vegas valley are trying to get tested after spending time with their families and preparing for the New Year’s holiday coming up. The Southern Nevada Health District says it has seen more people come through its testing sites.

On Monday, people patiently waited in front of a COVID-19 testing van at the Sahara West Library. For some who test regularly, it was a bit of a crowd.

“It used to be like we would just walk up to the bus and be the only ones here, and last week, it was like a mile long,” said Effie Tutko, who lives in Las Vegas.

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Tutko gets tested weekly for her job at a local theater but is now seeing more people lately. She says many people just want peace of mind during the holidays.

“It’s a relief, honestly, because it’s spreading around a lot recently, so knowing if you’re negative puts your mind at ease,” Tutko said.

It’s not just testing sites seeing an uptick. At-home rapid tests are also hard to come by.

“I was out at Walgreen and CVS and there weren’t really any at-home kits in stock, but I think they’re doing the best they can to get more in stock soon,” said Tanisha Wilcher, who lives in Las Vegas.

RELATED STORY: Las Vegas hospitals react to Omicron surge in the Silver State

SNHD says it has seen an uptick in the amount of testing over the past several days. While exact numbers are still being calculated, health officials say they’re prepared for this influx.

“All these testing locations have sufficient capacity to be able to offer the tests and meet this demand,” said Dr. Cort Lohff, SNHD's chief medical officer.

SNHD says it has a number of testing locations around the valley that are open at various times. Getting an appointment online is recommended, but walk-ins are welcome — you just might have to wait a bit longer at the site. You can find a listing of all the sites here.