Nebraska To Increase Number Of COVID-19 Tests

LINCOLN- Nebraska will dramatically increase the number of people tested for the coronavirus over the next few weeks using a program that was recently launched in Utah and Iowa.

Governor Pete Ricketts is urging residents to visit, a website that will allow them to get a free, voluntary health assessment. People who have symptoms, have been exposed to the coronavirus or have traveled to hot spots will be eligible for free drive-thru tests. The partnership with a coalition of private companies will allow the state to test up 3,000 residents per day in about five weeks, up from its current average of 600 to 800 tests.

State health officials are reporting a one-day jump of nine COVID-19 deaths, bringing the state’s total deaths from the disease to 42 since the outbreak began. Three of the deaths reported late Tuesday by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services were from Hall County and included a man in his 70s, another man in his 90s, and a woman in her 70s. Another four deaths were reported out of the Omaha area in Douglas County — all men in their 60s and 70s with underlying health conditions. The other deaths were a woman in her 50s from Seward County and a woman in her 80s from Adams County.

Officials said both had underlying health conditions.