Jan. 7, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading quickly in Washoe County and creating high demand for COVID-19 tests. Washoe County recently contracted with NorthShore Lab to augment testing capacity by adding four locations around the county that are open seven days a week. These locations have testing supplies for more than 400 tests per day per location, and they are meeting that capacity early in the day. They will be increasing staffing to meet the need.

With this in mind, the Regional Information Center is providing the following advice for those seeking COVID-19 tests:

  1. Be patient. Lines are long at testing locations and may require that you wait in line. Please be aware and prepared to wait to receive a test.
  2. If you are testing with NorthShore, you can help speed up the process by pre-registering for your COVID-19 test. This is not an appointment. Appointments are not required for the NorthShore Lab testing sites.
  3. Due to the high volume of tests conducted daily by NorthShore Lab, they will only be offering rapid antigen tests. PCR tests require lab processing and take longer to receive results. Antigen tests are less sensitive but provide results in about an hour.
  4. The Washoe County Health District is still conducting COVID-19 tests by appointment at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center. Visit com to schedule a test.
  5. If you schedule a test at the Health District but decide not to go, please cancel your appointment. The Health District is experiencing a high number of no-show appointments every day, and therefore not able to meet the need of those who need to be tested.
  6. Many area pharmacies offer COVID-19 tests. Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, as well as local health facilities, can provide COVID-19 tests. Please visit com to find a location near you.
  7. While Omicron spreads easily and rapidly. If you are feeling ill and waiting to get a COVID-19 test, the best action is to stay home and isolate from others for the length of time recommended by the CDC. The isolation guidance varies depending on vaccination status.
  8. COVID-19 test providers are working quickly and diligently to serve everyone who needs a test, but lines may be long and you may be required to wait outside or in your car. Be aware of traffic and ensure that you are not blocking other cars or roadways while you wait.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 testing and other news, visit www.COVID19Washoe.com and follow @COVID19Washoe on Twitter.

The COVID-19-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19-19 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://COVID-1919washoe.com/, our COVID-19-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID-1919Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA Health, 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 Community Health Alliance and the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.