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UNLV coronavirus testing site draws 1,200 on 1st day

More than 1,200 coronavirus tests were administered Wednesday during the first day of operations at the new community-based site at UNLV, although lines were “backed up” because many patients arrived without appointments, a Clark County spokeswoman said.

Staffers inside the parking garage near the Thomas & Mack Center tested 1,226 patients, which county spokesman Stacey Welling described as a “very strong turnout.” The figure is slightly above the 1,200 tests that officials said Tuesday could be handled at six testing stations.

In addition to people arriving without appointments, some showed up on the wrong day for their appointment, Welling said.

“They did their best on site to accommodate those who arrived without appointments,” she said in an email.

The cotton-swab testing site in the Tropicana Avenue parking garage requires that patients schedule an appointment by visiting either UMCSN.com or calling Clinical Pathology Laboratories at 702-795-4932.

Appointments are needed regardless of whether a patient uses the drive-through or walk-up testing option.

Jim Sparkman, who said he previously tested in roughly 15 minutes at The Orleans, estimated the wait time was closer to two hours at UNLV.

In an email while still in line, he described the site as a “disordered, chaotic mess with no social distancing” and little signage to provide directions to patients.

The UNLV testing site replaced the location at The Orleans, which had been open for roughly three weeks. The new site offers appointment-only drive-thru and walk-up testing, including for pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. Tests are open to children of all ages with parental consent.

Individuals can enter through University Center Drive, where they will be directed by staffers to the location. Patients are asked to arrive about 15 minutes before their appointment time to get checked in.

There will be no out-of-pocket costs for patients. The site will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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