COVID-19 Testing Availability Increasing

The availability of testing for COVID-19 is increasing in Jefferson County and throughout the state.

“Testing has been extremely limited until now due to lack of reagents and supplies. We have followed testing guidelines from the Nebraska Department of Health on who should be tested based on testing supplies available,” said Amber Brunow, infection preventionist at JCH&L. “Our providers continue to do their best to identify any COVID-19 positives in our county, and now will have more availability of ordering COVID-19 testing.”

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services publishes an online map which shows county-by-county testing numbers and results. It can be accessed at:

https://nebraska.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/4213f719a45647bc873ffb58783ffef3

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, Jefferson County had done 21 COVID-19 tests, with no positives.

“We expect to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 tests being performed statewide, as well as in our county,” Brunow said.

When testing was more limited, guidelines recommended that those who had possible COVID-19 symptoms but were not seriously ill be advised to do self care and quarantine without being tested.

“Per DHHS and CDC guidelines, prior to available testing those who were not critically ill and did not require hospitalization were asked to quarantine at home for 7 days after symptom onset and 3 days from last fever without the use of fever reducing medications. The providers encouraged these individuals to self monitor at home and call back with any concerns including: difficulty breathing and fevers that could not be reduced with Tylenol,” Brunow said.

As testing becomes more available, many who test positive would still likely not require hospitalization and can isolate at home and do self care, and will be asked to report any changes or concerns.

The additional availability of testing will be a great help in identifying those who have COVID-19, Brunow said.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and fever.

Anyone who has symptoms should contact JCH&L Fairbury Clinic at 402-729-3361, option 1, to make an appointment for a Virtual or in-person visit. Anyone who has symptoms which are of an emergency nature should contact JCH&L at 402-729-3351 for instructions.