Carson City March 24, 2020
Division of Public and Behavioral Health Statement:
“The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services recognized the benefit of submitting a policy for diagnostic tests for COVID-19 to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which authorizes the Division of Public and Behavioral Health to work directly with laboratories to approve their testing process,” said State Epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock. “The State elected to choose this flexibility to expedite COVID-19 testing to support Nevadans and our health care providers. The Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance has established its own process for clinical laboratories to submit an application for test approval for COVID-19 testing which should increase capacity and timeliness in the process. While this does not mean every citizen will be tested, it does give our health care providers more accessibility to test 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.”
Nevada State Public Health Laboratory statement regarding State of Nevada responsibility for doing COVID-19 testing:
"The State of Nevada has established a system which allows the State, not the FDA, to be responsible for laboratory testing options within the State. This change now allows Nevada labs to submit their findings to the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH), not the FDA, for approval - which is a much faster process and should increase testing capacity considerably. The NSPHL currently has the capacity to test for multiple weeks, and will continue doing so while it is evaluating new products for use in testing," said Dr. Mark Pandori, director, NSPHL.