Free post-holiday COVID-19 testing still available

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | January 13, 2021

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Post-holiday COVID-19 testing spots are still available today and Thursday on the UNMC Omaha campus for all UNMC faculty, staff and students. Registration is required.

Faculty, staff and students on the Lincoln, Kearney, Norfolk and Scottsbluff campuses also may obtain free testing (see options below).

Tests, designed for individuals who are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, continue in the Center for Healthy Living gymnasium on UNMC's Omaha campus from 8 a.m. to noon today and Thursday.

Participants are asked to:

  • Register online for a timeslot (Faculty, staff and students are urged to register in advance to reserve a time slot and ensure adequate numbers of test kits are available).
  • Bring their ID badge;
  • Follow campus safety protocols of wearing a mask, social distancing and self-screening with the 1-Check app prior to entrance. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms consistent with possible COVID infection (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of sense of smell or taste), should not be tested at this site. Instead, go home, self-isolate, and contact the Student Health (402-559-7204) or Employee Health (402-552-3563) Clinic, as applicable, for further guidance and testing.

A nose swab process will be used instead of the more intrusive deep nasopharyngeal test. Individuals will have the option of swabbing their own noses or having testing clinic personnel perform the swabbing.

The free testing is targeted toward those returning to in-person learning; however, testing slots are not limited to that group.

Health experts caution that a negative test is not a free pass to disregard public health protocols. A negative COVID-19 test is but a snapshot in time and is not representative of the hours and days that follow. Individuals should continue to wear a face mask, social distance, limit crowds, self-screen with the 1-Check app and wash their hands frequently.

Individuals who test positive should contact Student Health or Employee Health for further guidance, including how best to self-isolate so as not to further transmit the virus. Students who test positive may arrange for food deliveries through the UNMC/UNO Food Pantry.

The on-campus testing is made possible by members of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory and volunteers from our Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as the Biocontainment Unit.

Free testing also is available on UNMC's other campuses as follows:

  • In Lincoln, UNL operates two testing sites that are open to UNMC students, staff and faculty. Appointments are required and may be scheduled here.
  • In Kearney, UNK operates a testing site that is open to UNMC students, staff, and faculty. This site will be available upon the resumption of classes at UNK on January 25th. In the meantime, testing in Kearney is available through Test Nebraska, which now offers free service in Kearney three days a week. Appointments are required and may be scheduled through Test Nebraska.
  • In Norfolk, testing is available through Test Nebraska, which now offers free service in Norfolk four days a week. Appointments are required and may be scheduled through Test Nebraska.
  • In Scottsbluff, testing is available through Test Nebraska, which now offers free service in Scottsbluff three days a week. Appointments are required and may be scheduled through Test Nebraska.

Finally, students, staff and faculty from any campus are welcome to sign up for testing at any of the other campuses. Those willing to come to Omaha from other campuses, for example, are welcome to sign up for slots at the Omaha campus event.

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