DHHS Encourages Expanded COVID-19 Testing as Supplies, Resources Become More Available

News Release
For Immediate Release: 4/24/2020

Leah Bucco-White, Communications, 402-309-4157

Khalilah LeGrand, Communications, 402-853-1320

LINCOLN – As testing supplies and resources increase and become more widely available, public health officials with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are encouraging health care providers to test more people for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Widespread testing for COVID-19 is a critical tool in reducing the spread of this virus," said Dr. Gary Anthone, Director of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer for DHHS. “Additional testing helps public health officials and health care providers to identify COVID-19 hotspots and reinforces the need for self-isolation to those who test positive as a way to decrease the risk of transmitting the virus to others."

Currently, Nebraska's testing capacity exceeds 1,000 tests per day. Testing capacity continues to grow as public health officials, health care providers and laboratories work together to find and share resources.

Nebraskans who want to get tested to see if they have COVID-19 should contact their health care providers for more information.

Additional information for health care providers on recommendations to increase COVID-19 testing (i.e. where to get test kits, information about reporting test results, etc.) can be found in the April 21, 2020, Health Advisory issued by DHHS: http://dhhs.ne.gov/han%20Documents/ADVISORY04212020.pdf.

Governor Pete Ricketts recently unveiled TestNebraska, a public-private partnership designed to increase testing capacity and #CrushTheCurve in Nebraska. The Governor is urging all Nebraskans to take the assessment provided on the TestNebraska website to help identify cases of COVID-19 in the state. After taking the assessment participants who fit the criteria will be notified via phone or email that they qualify to be tested for COVID-19. Nebraskans can take the assessment at https://www.testnebraska.com/

DHHS opened a statewide COVID-19 information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is 402-552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information - https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.


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