COVID-19 precautions still needed

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | May 17, 2022

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The UNMC Emerging Pathogens Laboratory has seen a sharp increase in the positivity rate for UNMC asymptomatic saliva PCR tests done on the med center campus.

In late April, campus testing yielded a positivity rate of 0.8%. That has now, in early May, climbed to 9.2% and mirrors increased positivity rates seen across the state and country. It also is a stark reminder that COVID-19 continues to circulate.

"With the increase in cases, it’s a good time to remember that everyone should screen using the 1-Check app each day before coming to campus," said Jane Meza, PhD, interim executive director for health security for UNMC. "Booster vaccines also are available for those who are eligible and have not yet received a booster."

UNMC faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to make more use of the free saliva testing at Williams Science Hall and continue to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily using the 1-Check UNMC app.

Created exclusively for the UNMC community, the 1-Check app includes campus-specific information on how individuals should proceed based on their COVID-19 screening response. It also is an effective tool to identify and monitor health trends and adjust campus guidance accordingly.

The general public is invited to use the 1-Check COVID app to self-screen. Both apps are available to download to iOS and Android phones at no charge.

Testing also remains available on the Omaha campus for asymptomatic faculty, staff and students. Testing is offered Monday through Thursdays from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Williams Science Hall. No reservations are needed, but individuals should register online prior to testing. Individuals who have previously registered for saliva testing do not need to re-register. 

Beyond testing and screening, UNMC experts remind individuals to:

  • Get vaccinated and boosted. Everyone 12 years and older can get their first booster five months after their first series of shots. Individuals who are immunosuppressed or over the age of 50 are encouraged to get an additional booster four months after their prior dose to further increase their protection.  
  • Remain vigilant, especially in crowded indoor settings.
  • Wear a mask, even if those around you have chosen not to do so.
  • Stay home if you are having symptoms of COVID-19 or flu and call Employee Health at 402-552-3563 or the Student Health clinic serving your campus.

View testing info for UNMC campuses outside of Omaha on the UNMC coronavirus website.

Aleh Bobr
May 17, 2022 at 10:08 AM

The pandemic is over. Just google COVID cases and see number of cases and hospitalizations for yourself. Sporadic cases are not considered pandemic. Lingering at removing pandemic precautions will result in mistrust next time when we will actually need pandemic precautions implemented. Time for infectious disease leadership to realize what all world around them already realized.