Flu and strep season, holiday season lead to uptick in COVID testing

Posted at 6:23 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 07:23:51-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Coughing, sniffles, achiness — things we may have treated with some cold medicine two years ago — now have people rushing to get a COVID-19 test.

This is in part why Kohll’s Pharmacy is seeing an uptick in testing, but the timing of the holiday season is also playing a role.

"Before travel or before they’re going to be around a group of people, they want to make sure they’re not potentially spreading COVID to their friends and family," said pharmacist Andrew Schleisman.

Across all of the Kohll's locations, they’re administering around 500 tests, 200 of those happening at their Millard location. About 20%, 1 out of every 5 tests, are coming back positive.

More patients who test positive or are at high risk and exposed to COVID-19 are getting the monoclonal antibody treatment.

"The main overall goal is that it’s going to reduce the severe disease," Schleisman said. "So reducing the chance that someone is going to be hospitalized or pass away.”

At their Millard location, they're also offering strep and flu testing.

"A lot of the symptoms of COVID cross over with flu and strep as well, so if the patient would like to, we can test them for flu and strep if the COVID test is negative," Schleisman said.

Regardless of the illness, the pharmacists are encouraging those who are symptomatic to social distance and get tested.

"We just ask for everyone’s patience during this time," Schleisman said. "We know that everyone wants to get their test results as quickly as possible, we know they’re trying to travel and want to be around their family and friends.”


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