LINCOLN – Public health officials, health care providers, and laboratories are working daily to increase Nebraska’s capacity to test more people for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“As a state, we are making progress increasing COVID-19 testing availability,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Director of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “As resources grow, we are expanding those patients recommended for COVID-19 testing and we will continue to prioritize testing of first responders and health care workers.”
DHHS emphasizes that current testing guidance for health care providers prioritizes the following patients for COVID-19 testing:
- Hospitalized patients with a clinical presentation consistent with COVID-19
- Health care workers
- Public Safety/First Responders (EMS, law enforcement, firefighters)
- Residents and staff at nursing homes
- Residents and staff at group homes, homeless shelters, and child care facilities
- People over 65 years old
- Anyone with underlying conditions where a COVID-19 infection could result in severe illness or death
People who are concerned they may have COVID-19 should self-isolate and call ahead to their primary care provider to be screened over the phone. An order from a physician or public health is needed to receive a test.
As testing availability continues to increase, DHHS will provide additional information on where Nebraskans can receive testing at www.dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.
DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as it has new information. The CDC’s website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19 .