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Tested. Again.

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FOURTH WAVE? Delta surge? Whatever you call it, the latest COVID phase is in full swing, as illustrated by this line leading to UNLV’s drive-through testing site at the Stan Fulton building on Flamingo and Paradise. The Southern Nevada Health District opened the site August 4, and by the time an exposure scare drove Desert Companion staff there a couple weeks later at 5 p.m., dozens of cars had already queued up for the service’s 5:30 start. On the upside, a proliferation of sites like this one, along with the FDA’s official approval of the Pfizer vaccine (and imminent approval of Moderna’s), have pushed Nevada’s vaccination rate up to 50 percent among eligible adults. Another 10 percent have gotten at least one shot. It’s a glimmer of hope in the face of another, more somber milestone: the number of COVID-related deaths, which topped 6,000 this month.

For a current list of COVID-19 testing sites and schedules, check the health district's calendar.

Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.