Where to turn for COVID-19 testing as Test Nebraska sites prepare to close

Sunday is the final day to get a COVID-19 test at Test Nebraska sites across the state
Sunday is the final day to get a COVID-19 at Test Nebraska sites across the state.
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska’s massive effort to offer up free COVID-19 testing is coming to an end on Sunday, meaning people will need to find alternatives to Test Nebraska, which has served hundreds of thousands of people.

“I have no idea because Metro is where I take my family to get tested,” said Laronda Washington, in response to where she will get tested when Test Nebraska sites, like the one at Metro Community College in north Omaha, close.

There are other COVID-19 testing options, and over at Charles Drew Health Center, they want people to know.

“It’s going to be very important to continue to have easily accessible to all individuals in the community testing and that’s certainly something we’re committed to doing,’ said Dr. Will Ostdiek, chief medical officer at Charles Drew.

OneWorld Community Health Centers in south Omaha will continue offering its free testing and Douglas County Health officials told 6 News they are also working on plans to get make more testing options available.

In the meantime, they’re pointing people to local pharmacies; private labs are also an option, but those come at a cost. As for those over-the-counter tests Dr. Ostdiek recommends reading the fine print carefully.

“They’re pretty accurate in certain circumstances, but not all circumstances,” said Dr. Ostdiek. “If you’ve had symptoms for a while or maybe don’t have symptoms but may had an exposure those rapid tests are much less accurate.”

The bottom is not to hesitate to get tested, especially as cases of COVID-19 are on the rise.

“You don’t want to write-off the sore throat, or the cough, or little bit of fever that you have as something else,” the doctor said.

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