More COVID-19 testing sites coming to Lincoln as cases increase
In fact, COVID testing is so popular right now, a familiar testing site is coming back to Gateway Mall.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – As COVID cases continue to rise, local pharmacies are seeing a rise in testing again too.
“Over the last few months, testing had definitely gone down. The majority of the tests we had done were for people that were traveling and needed to have negative tests on file,” Bryce Walker, a Pharmacist at Kohll’s Pharmacy said. “But I would say in the last probably two to four weeks, it’s definitely gone up, just people wanting to get tested in the community.”
Kohll’s Pharmacy near 33rd and Vine is doing about 10 to 20 more COVID-19 tests a day. A quarter or so of those tests are positive and they’re only preparing for it to get busier.
“It doesn’t seem like the cases are going to be going down anytime soon, unfortunately, so along with that there will be more people that need to be tested,” Walker said.
In fact, COVID testing is so popular, a familiar testing site is coming back. The company, Nomi Health, that put in the work for TestNebraska is opening up their drive-thru site at Gateway Mall again starting Friday. This time without the state’s help. The Utah based company, that has tested thousands of Nebraskans over the last year, want to help as statewide COVID cases have increased 43% in the last week. Remember, the state closed the TestNebraska program in July.
RelyCare Pharmacy on Cotner says they haven’t seen the increase in testing yet at their shop, but they’re expecting and preparing for it. They’re currently looking for new products that will test for COVID-19 and the Flu at the same time.
Walker says one positive that seems to be coming from the rise in COVID cases is the increase in people getting vaccinated, locally.
“I think the vaccine rates have followed the testing rates as well,” Walker said. “When there was a dip in the testing, not as many people were as concerned about getting the vaccine it seems but as we have done more tests, we have had more people come in who have been wanting the vaccine.”
Testing is free if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. There are several tests that can be done, the Rapid Antigen Test seems to be the go-to since results can come back within 15 minutes.
No matter where you get tested, most appointments can be scheduled online.
The new testing site at Gateway Mall will be open Monday thru Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.