LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada is now one of three states permitted by the Food and Drug Administration to develop and assess COVID-19 testing independent of the federal agency, Nevada Health Response announced in a release Tuesday.
This flexibility in testing gives the state higher capacity to screen for the rapidly spreading coronavirus and permits local health labs to determine whether products are safe and effective, the release stated. While this approval won't ensure patients are tested immediately, the group said, it cuts out the middleman and ultimately benefits Nevada.
"This means that when labs in Nevada do validation studies on products to determine whether they are effective prior to launching testing, they can submit their findings to the state, not the FDA, for approval," Director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory Dr. Mark Pandori said in a statement. "This is a much faster process. By the end of next week, we should have data on novel products for testing that should increase testing capacity considerably."
As of Tuesday morning, there are 278 known cases of COVID-19 statewide, with four total deaths c
Gov. Sisolak applauded the state's move.
"I am proud that Nevada has taken this step and I commend our labs for their ongoing work to bring peace of mind to Nevadans through testing for COVID-19,” Sisolak said.
Nevada joins Maryland and Washington in this effort, as approved by the FDA.