Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday that Nevada has ordered 588,216 home COVID tests to relieve the demand for tests in the state that has created long lines at existing facilities.
Those tests, he said, should arrive before the end of the month and will be delivered directly to community partners to get them into the hands of people as quickly as possible. The cost of the test kits is covered by federal money.
He said the key to the Flexflow COVID-19 Antigen home tests is that people will get their results in 15 minutes instead of having to wait a couple of days for lab results.
Even though case numbers are surging in western Nevada and the south, Sisolak said he has no intention of imposing any more mitigation measures on Nevadans.
Sisolak said he was disappointed with the Supreme Court decision blocking President Biden’s mandate that businesses employing 100 or more people vaccinate or test weekly but doesn’t plan on imposing that mandate at the state level.
Nor, he said, does he have any plans that would impact upcoming major conventions, trade shows and other events in Las Vegas.
“Those events translate into jobs,” he said. “We don’t want to take any steps backward.”
Sisolak said more than 90 organizations have stepped up to distribute the test kits when they arrive and a list of all locations where people can get kits will be posted on the Nevada health response website as those locations are confirmed.
The list includes not only health districts and fire districts but libraries and nonprofit organizations.
He said the more than 500,000 kits coming this month are just the first order and the state would order more as necessary.
The home test kits, he said, will increase the number of positive cases in Nevada in the short term but should help reduce the spread long term.
“We’ll have more cases because we’re doing more testing but it will decrease the spread,” he said. “There will be a short-term increase in the number of cases but it will decrease the spread in the long term.”
Health and Human Services Deputy Director Julia Peek said the home rapid tests, “will make a big difference.” She said if those who are positive self-isolate and inform those they have been in contact with, it will greatly reduce the spread of the omicron variant.