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Testing for COVID-19

If you have the symptoms of COVID-19, please call your primary care provider. We ask that you do not go directly to the clinic as a precautionary measure to protect other patients and healthcare workers.

How would I get tested for the Coronavirus?

Currently, the criteria for testing includes; fever, cough, shortness of breath, or fever and cough, or fever and shortness of breath. High priority patients to test include: pregnancy, patients who are immunocompromised (IE: those that have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases, such as individuals who have cancer), exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19, a healthcare worker, a hospitalized ICU patient or a nursing home resident.

The recommendation is to obtain a respiratory panel first to rule out other respiratory viruses. If the panel is negative and symptoms or criteria indicate, your physician together with the West Central District Health Department will determine if you meet the criteria for a COVID-19 test. Not every person that wants to be tested can be. In order to ensure an adequate supply of testing and to the preserve the resources for those that should be tested (defined by the CDC), testing is approved only for those people who need it.

Your physician and West Central Public Health District (WCDHD) will together decide if you meet criteria for testing. If you do, your physician will send you to the local mobile testing site for specimen collection. The mobile testing site is staffed by GPHealth healthcare workers and open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Patients need approval from their physician and WCDHD to be at the mobile site. This is not a walk-in testing site.

  • The GPHealth laboratory will process specimen and send it to the Nebraska Public Health Lab
  • The test takes approximately 24-72 hours depending on level of prioritization
  • You will be asked to self-isolate until test results are available
  • WCDHD will call both you and your physician with results and further guidance

Patients at higher risk for serious illness

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, cancer or diabetes, seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from the
COVID-19 illness.

People at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

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