Health Director concerned about COVID test lag time

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 12:09 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Central District Health Department Monday moved it’s COVID-19 risk dial from the moderate to high category for Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick counties.

This despite the fact the number of cases has remained relatively low. Department director Teresa Anderson said Tuesday morning that a number of factors go into determining where to place the risk dial. She said positivity rate, whether cases are increasing or decreasing, hospital capacity including ICU beds and ventilators and testing availability are all considered in determining which category a district falls into.

Anderson said she was also concerned about the lag time in getting test results. She said Tuesday that the response time to get results after a test has been improving, but is still in the three to five day range, which she said hinders efforts to contain the spread of the virus if someone tests positive.

Grand Island mayor Roger Steele also encouraged people to respect mask-wearing policies in local businesses. He said if a store asks a customer to wear a mask. Steele said that ignoring a store’s mask requirement is not an act of freedom, but rather it is inappropriate.

Both Steele and Anderson encouraged people to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and perform good personal hygiene.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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