COVID-19, coronavirus test

In this file photo, medical professionals from a children's hospital administer a coronavirus test. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a $10 million contract with Quest Diagnostics for COVID-19 testing through 2020 to support the Nevada Department of Corrections and State Veteran’s Homes. 

According the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Corrections testing accounts for 26% of all tests conducted by the state Public Health Laboratory. The contract should alleviate the test workload of the state laboratory and lead to faster turnaround times for other testing operations that use the lab, according to the DHHS.

As part of the contract, Quest provides the delivery of collection kits to each facility as well as the courier and processing once the specimens have been completed.

The contract was secured by the DHHS Division of Public and Behavioral Health and is funded by CARES relief funds (CRF).

Institutional settings will be prioritized, according to the DHHS. Testing through Quest will also be available to county partners that are experiencing surges in cases. 

Prisons and nursing homes have been identified by health officials as prone to disease transmission. As of last week, more than 80% of the prison population at Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City had tested positive for COVID-19. 

In the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City, a 90-year-old resident recently died this week from COVID-19 complications. Five other residents and five staff have also tested positive. 

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