Nevada to develop, assess and conduct COVID-19 testing

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The State of Nevada announced Tuesday, March 24, 2020 it has been given approval to develop, assess and conduct its own COVID-19 testing.

Nevada is one of three states given this approval from the Food and Drug Administration, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

State health officials say this will give Nevada more flexibility to test faster and help minimize supply issues.

“This change in Nevada’s status will allow the State of Nevada, not the FDA, to determine whether products associated with testing are safe and effective for testing,” said Dr. Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory. “This means that when labs in Nevada do validation studies on products to determine whether they are effective prior to launching testing, they can submit their findings to the state, not the FDA, for approval. This is a much faster process. By the end of next week, we should have data on novel products for testing that should increase testing capacity considerably.”

The DHHS said, while this does not mean every citizen will be tested immediately, it does give our health care providers more accessibility to prioritize testing to those with serious symptoms, as well as the key populations of vulnerable citizens and health care workers most likely to have come in contact with COVID-19.

The NSPHL has the capacity to test patients for weeks, and will continue doing so while it is evaluating new products for use in testing.

“I am proud that Nevada has taken this step and I commend our labs for their ongoing work to bring peace of mind to Nevadans through testing for COVID-19,” said Governor Steve Sisolak.

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