Drive-thru COVID-19 test clinic's permit revoked by Omaha officials

A drive-thru test clinic was being built to operate in Omaha to provide tests for COVID-19 and other illnesses. But its permit was revoked Friday.
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A drive-thru testing clinic for COVID-19 set supposed to open March 23 near 84th and West Center had its temporary use permit revoked by the City of Omaha on Friday.

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In a letter to Tony Buda of Banyan Medical Systems, Mayor Jean Stothert and Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said:

"Our greatest concerns are public safety and the ability of the Omaha Police Department to adequately prepare for necessary traffic control, and the current messaging that misleads the public to think COVID-19 testing will be available for all."

The planning department revoked the clinic's permit until Banyan and the police department can develop a plan to manage the "large volume of traffic" that would be expected.

"We require this level of coordination and communication with OPD for every large-scale event that has the potential to attract large crowds," the letter stated.

Additionally, the city is requiring Banyan to publicly communicate clearly that COVID-19 testing will be offered on a very limited basis.

"The City of Omaha of course wants to help complete have access to health care and services, but the correct steps must be taken," the letter reads.

Banyan Medical and Pivot Concierge Health issued a statement on Friday that the opening date for the clinic is postponed.

"We anticipate the postponement to be short," their statement reads. "The City of Omaha and Mayor Jean Stothert have been extremely diligent, responsive and helpful in addressing potential logistical issues."