TestNebraska will be coming to Scottsbluff this week.
In April, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced a $27 million coronavirus testing contract with Utah-based Nomi Health and three other firms for an initiative called TestNebraska.
On Monday, Ricketts and Panhandle Public Health District officials announced Monday that TestNebraska will conduct coronavirus testing in Scottsbluff on Thursday and Friday. Testing will be open to all Panhandle residents who take an assessment on the website, https://www.testnebraska.com.
Panhandle Public Health District director Kim Engel urged residents to take the quick, five-minute assessment. The assessment will determine if persons qualify to be tested. Questions on the test ask if a person is symptomatic, has been around anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus and health questions to determine if a person is at high-risk, to name a few.
Engel said that persons who are symptomatic or at high risk of exposure are being prioritized for testing. If there are available slots, TestNebraska will reach out to others for testing.
All persons qualified for testing will be contacted and provided a QR code that they must have to be tested. Testing will occur at the Panhandle Public Health District offices, located at 18 West 16th St. in Scottsbluff.
When Ricketts announced the “Crush the Curve” campaign last month, he said he aimed to see testing increase to 3,000 Nebraskans daily by June. Last week, he said that he does not expect the state to reach that point by the end of the month, but says he anticipates that it will do so at some point.
In materials circulated after Ricketts’ Monday press conference, he noted that tests are being performed free of charge, even if a person is not insured. Also, the state said, no one will be denied treatment for COVID-19 as a program for reimbursement to health care providers has been set up through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
To date, the Panhandle has reported 86 cases detected since March 2, with 54 people having recovered. There are 32 active cases.
On Sunday, officials identified the most recent cases: a Cheyenne County male in his 40s and three female Scotts Bluff County residents, one in her 30s, one in her 40s, and one in her 90s, as the latest positive cases. All cases are close contacts of a previously positive case.
WATCH NOW: Gov. Ricketts' Monday, May 18 news conference