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Churchill County at odds with state testing figures

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group
Coronavirus concept. Note COVID-19, Protective medical mask and pill capsules for treatment coronavirus. Novel corona virus outbreak. Epidemic from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus drugs on wooden table.
Coronavirus concept. Note COVID-19, Protective medical mask and pill capsules for treatment coronavirus. Novel corona virus outbreak.

Churchill County commissioners displayed their displeasure with the State of Nevada lab that conducts the coronavirus testing for the northern part of the state.

Chairman Pete Olsen said at the commission’s Friday meeting he’s not impressed with the state’s task force or lab. He said it takes seven days for the county to receive test results. Olsen, a Churchill County dairyman, said he had an employee who was tested, and the waiting was unacceptable.

“It’s taking forever to get test results back,” he said, adding Churchill County and Fallon are lucky not to have a massive outbreak.

County Manager Jim Barbee said the county and state are at odds with the number of residents tested for COVID-19. He said the data showing the number of people being tested and the results is not correlating with the number the county has. He said the state is duplicating the number of tests, which is causing a higher percentage for Churchill County to not meet the governor’s directives.

Barbee said the county has been working to resolve the issue with the state to prevent the county from being placed on a watch list or possibly facing additional restrictions.

Since testing began, Churchill County has two deaths associated with the coronavirus. A man died on April 18 and another person died last week. Neither the state or county released additional information on the Sept. 2 death. County numbers come from Banner Churchill Community Hospital, Naval Air Station Fallon, the Narag Fallon Family Clinic and the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe.

Testing figures released on Sept. 2 show the following in Churchill County: total tests performed, 5,522; current active positives, 14; recovered, 99; deaths, 2; currently hospitalized, 1; total positives since March, 115; asymptomatic positives since March, 43.

Barbee said more residents need to be tested to raise the numbers for the state. Commissioner Bus Scharmann said he would like to see 100 students test for the virus now and one month later, have another 100 students test to meet the requirements.

COVID testing for asymptomatic people is Tuesdays at the fairgrounds. To make an appointment time, call 775-423-6695 and select option 2. Leave your name and number,  and a person with the county will return the call.