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‘Unusually large number’ of COVID tests in Nevada leads to 766 new cases

Updated October 9, 2020 - 3:52 pm

State officials announced that an “unusually large number” of coronavirus tests were reported on Friday, including testing related to the NFL and state prisons, resulting in 766 new confirmed cases across Nevada.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website also showed eight more deaths reported across the state. The updated figures brought statewide totals to 84,593 cases and 1,657 deaths.

“A (Department of Health and Human Services’) examination of the labs reported today shows that many of the specimens were collected within the last week, although a number of the specimen collection dates go back into mid-September,” the release said.

It was unclear what caused the delayed reporting, although the release said officials are working with reporting labs “in order to determine what corrective actions should be taken.”

The release did not give further information about the NFL testing. Additionally, a “large volume” of the tests received were related to testing in Department of Corrections prisons.

The release also said a new laboratory named “SANDS Inc” that is now reporting numbers to the state accounts for “a large percentage of the labs reported today.”

Nevada COVID-19 response director Caleb Cage said some of the newly received test results are for specimens collected as far back as mid-September.

During a media briefing Friday, DHHS deputy administrator Julia Peek said the lab was “related to testing” for Las Vegas Sands Corp., owner and operator of The Venetian and Palazzo resorts.

However, Sands spokesman Ron Reese said Friday that his company had submitted its results to the state on a daily basis.

“As required, the company has submitted its testing results to the state through a third-party laboratory,” he said. “Any laboratory called ‘SANDS Inc’ is not affiliated with our company or our efforts.”

The state’s positivity rate, calculated by the Review-Journal as the number of cases divided by the number of people who have been tested, continued to slowly rise on Friday, reaching 11.61 percent.

The state health department, which calculates the positivity rate based on the number of total tests administered, reported a cumulative rate of 9.7 percent on Friday, the same as Thursday and Wednesday’s statistics, state data showed.

In Clark County, the Southern Nevada Health District on Friday reported 609 additional cases and seven more deaths. That raised totals in the county to 70,730 cases and 1,438 deaths, according to the health district’s coronavirus website.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Michael Scott Davidson contributed to this report.

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