COVID testing resources strained under volume of patients, staffing shortages

Even if they did get more tests, there isn't enough staff to run the clinics, say Douglas County officials
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 19:36:11-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Lines at COVID testing sites are, in some cases, hours long. But even before you get in a line, you may have struggles finding an appointment.

Clinics are overwhelmed with the demand for testing.

"Daily volumes have gone from — in November, 300 — to 800, now 900s even and some days surpassing that," Nomi Health's Mario Cuartas said.

County officials said they're looking at all options to better expand testing.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said the counties can use ARPA funds to do that, but county officials say getting more tests isn't the only issue. Even if they did get more tests, they don't have enough staff to run the clinics.

"Well, we’d have to have those dollars approved by county administration before we do that but there still isn’t anyone to hire to run a clinic," Phil Rooney, Douglas County Health Department Resource specialist, said. "We’re pursuing all the options at this time. There's no fast answer for it."

With testing appointments scarce and at-home COVID tests selling out, there are not many alternative options for those seeking answers right now. Health officials continue to suggest practicing good hand hygiene, mask-wearing and social distancing.

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