What to expect if you get tested for COVID-19 in Las Vegas

KTNV anchor Ross DiMattei gives firsthand account
13 Action News anchor Ross DiMattei gets COVID-19 test
13 Action News anchor Ross DiMattei gets COVID-19 test
Posted at 3:51 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 10:40:36-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Politicians and medical experts agree that widespread testing will ultimately be the key to reopening our economy. Recently, 13 Action News anchor Ross DiMattei felt some potential COVID-19 symptoms and documented his trip to get tested. The goal was to show others what the testing process will likely and feel like if they have to get tested. Here is Ross' experience written in his own words:

For me, I started feeling some symptoms in late April. I woke up one weekend morning feeling a little off, with chest tightness, a dry cough, and shortness of breath after simple tasks like walking the dog. So, I called UNLV's drive-up COVID-19 test site looking for answers and got results relatively pain-free.


When I first called UNLV's test site at (702) 583-4408, I found out they aren't open on weekends and got no answer. After leaving a message, I got a call back first thing on Monday morning at 8 a.m. from an employee trying to set up an appointment. They went through my symptoms with me and determined I met the criteria for a COVID-19 test. After taking down my insurance information, they were able to make an appointment to test me at 8:50 a.m., less than an hour after we first got in contact.

After arriving at the testing site at 1125 Shadow Lane in Las Vegas, in the parking lot outside UNLV Medicine, a security guard checked my ID on my dashboard, while keeping my car windows closed. It took about three minutes to be cleared by security. Then, I was allowed to drive up to where the tests were being administered.

REBOUND LV | Jobs, Mental Health & More Resources

Minutes later, when I reached the tent where the medical workers were giving tests, an assistant handed me a packet of papers with instructions to see my test results online later. I was then handed a tissue while they took my temperature, using a thermal gun and a finger pulse oximeter. I was then instructed to blow my nose in preparation for the test.

At that point, another medical worker wearing a mask, face shield, and gloves, approached my car window and told me to tilt my head back in my car while she inserted the nasal swab deep into my nasal passage. After rotating the swab inside my nose for several seconds, she removed it and the test was over. It was not a pleasant experience, but the mild discomfort and pain I felt for a few seconds was well-worth knowing if I had the virus and was capable of spreading it to others. It only took 5-10 minutes to take the test after arriving at the test site outside of UNLV Medicine.

After my test was done, the staff told me it would take 5 to 7 days to receive my results via text or call. But, it only took 3 days for me to get the call from UNLV Medicine telling me my test results came back negative. And with that news, I also got a digital copy of my results for my employer or my medical records.

Now, the state of Nevada has plans to increase testing in the coming weeks. Over the past 6 weeks, the state of Nevada has performed more than 50,000 tests, and that number is rising every day. In Clark County alone, health officials expect to perform at least 10,000 tests per day by June 1.