Sept. 3, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – With the increasing availability of at-home COVID-19 tests, the Regional Information Center is issuing information to residents to help understand the situations when at-home tests might be useful and their limitations.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of at-home COVID-19 tests as they can be convenient in detecting COVID-19 quickly; however, because they are administered at home and not in a setting with medical personnel present there is no way to verify the test was done correctly and which person the test was collected from. Because of this, positive at-home test results are not counted toward the official COVID-19 case counts in Washoe County and results are not to be used in determining if someone can return to work, school or travel.

If used appropriately, with all directions followed properly, the Washoe County Health District and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommend that those who test positive should isolate immediately. If you tested positive and you had symptoms, isolate for 10 days since your symptoms appeared; if you don’t have symptoms, isolate for 10 days starting from the day you tested positive.

All positive cases should notify close contacts that they were exposed; that goes for anyone who was within 6 feet of you for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

For more about quarantining, visit the CDC website. For more information about self-testing, go here.

Drive-through COVID-19 testing is available at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center on Monday-Friday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. To schedule an appointment, go here.

Walk-ins are welcome but only when space allows. Residents are asked to come at the time of their appointment. Long lines for testing have been reported; however, lines for the vaccine are much shorter. To schedule a vaccine, go here.

Other COVID-19 testing opportunities can be found here.

Masks required when getting a COVID-19 test at Livestock Events Center

Residents who come to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center for COVID-19 testing are required to wear a mask.

Some altercations have been reported at the testing site when persons seeking testing refuse to wear a mask. Those who refuse to wear a mask may be turned away. Masks are available free of charge to those who do not have one.

The test positivity rate in Washoe County, according to the State, is at 18.8%. Last week at the RSLEC, as many as 1 in 4 tests came back positive. Because of the high proportion of people that are testing positive, it’s highly likely that those being tested are contagious at the time of testing and wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus to staff who are directing traffic and assisting those who collect specimen samples, which includes Health District staff, National Guard personnel and volunteers.

You can now make appointments for COVID-19 vaccine additional doses at Livestock Events Center

The COVID-19 vaccine scheduling platform now has the opportunity for immunocompromised residents to schedule an appointment for an additional dose. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, go here.

Washoe County residents who are immunocompromised can receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC) drive-through clinic or Health District Community Vaccine Events if they meet certain criteria outlined by the FDA. Those who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine are not eligible for the third dose, per the FDA.

Click this link for more information about eligibility.

COVID-19 Testing at Walmart can be closed due to smoke

COVID-19 testing at two area Walmarts, for which information was distributed earlier this week, can be closed on short notice if air quality is deemed unsafe for its staff.

The company conducting the testing said residents will get a notification if a test is cancelled.

Community Vaccine Events Schedule

For information on Community COVID-19 Vaccine Events, visit our website. Next week, teams will be at the Boys & Girls Club on Neil Road, Lazy 5 Regional Park and the University of Nevada, Reno, weather permitting. Schedule an appointment here.

Sign up for the COVID Trace App

COVID Trace is a contact tracing mobile app developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services that uses a technology called the Exposure Notifications System from Google and Apple. The app exchanges anonymous information with other phones in your vicinity and can notify you if you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. See more here.

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. While press releases are only sent periodically for significant events, you can always get daily results on our website, https://covid19washoe.com/, our COVID-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID19Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Reno Police Department, Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, University of Nevada, Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Washoe County School District and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the group are the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.