New Lincoln lab ready for thousands of tests per day

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 19:23:09-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The TestNebraska program was launched on Monday with Grand Island and Omaha being the first cities to start the testing. But all the testing samples are sent to CHI Saint Elizabeth’s in Lincoln, where they recently set up lab in just a matter of days.

The Lincoln lab will eventually be able to take in thousands of tests a day.

“Working around the clock with our staff, with state resources, to get this laboratory ready,” says Derek Vance, President of CHI Saint Elizabeth’s.

Governor Pete Ricketts says within the next few weeks the lab will take in samples from six sites around the state.

Some have raised questions about the accuracy of TestNebraska, which uses tests obtained by several Utah based companies.

Last week, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article where medical professionals showed concern about the testing process.

But Governor Ricketts said the process TestNebraska is doing is almost identical to what they’ve already been doing at the state public health lab.

“The public health lab has a process, the run through to see if they’re positive or negative, that’s the same thing that’s going to happen with this test lab too. It’s not a different technique, it’s new machine and that sort of thing, but it’s not fundamentally different than what we’re doing in a public health lab,” says Ricketts,

CHI Saint Elizabeth says they’ve moved staff from other departments of the hospital to work in the lab. And at any point in the day, 15-25 people will be inside.