First Responders, Targeted Community Members Tested Monday


WAYNE – Select first responders in the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department Health District were tested for the second time in about a month as members of the media were once again invited to gather information as well as get photos and video from the event for about 30 minutes.

The NNPHD Health District consists of Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne county. The April 15 testing event allowed the health department to test up to 68 first responders as Monday’s two-lane drive-thru operation allowed up to 125 first responders and other targeted community members to be tested from the Wayne Fire Hall. Those being tested ranged from symptomatic and asymptomatic.

Health Director and Public Information Officer with NNPHD, Julie Rother said the state level organized the Army National Guard for these testing events.

“They identify different sites across the state to come out and do a mass testing site,” said Rother. “They try to get around to the different areas of the state so that we can have an equal amount of testing across the whole state of Nebraska.

Officials with the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department again worked with the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory and the Nebraska National Guard to offer the COVID-19 testing event.

The April 15 testing event saw no positives from the about 60 first responders tested. The goal of those being tested Monday is to get those results in about 48 hours. The numbers will be added to the regular evening totals that are being released by the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department daily.

Updated totals in the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department Health District through Monday evening show 393 COVID-19 tests resulting in 47 positive cases (Cedar – 6, Dixon – 22, Thurston – 16 and Wayne county – 3), 298 negatives and 48 tests currently pending results.

Rother is still encouraging residents of the NNPHD Health District to keep on social distancing.

“Wear your masks when you’re out in public and places where you cannot maintain a six-foot distance from other people,” Rother added. “Keep that six-foot distancing going. Do not relax your social distancing even though the Directed Health Measure are relaxing a little bit. Protect your neighbor and yourself.”

Stay up to date with the Coronavirus situation on the CDC website at Nebraska DHHS has a COVID-19 call in line where you can get your questions answered about the virus. The phone line operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days per week at 402-552-6645. Follow NNPHD on Facebook to get the latest local testing numbers and results as additional information can be found on including the new Directed Health Measures for northeast Nebraska.