The Nebraska National Guard conducted Coronavirus testing in Lexington this past Friday and Saturday. Two Rivers Public Health Department Director Jeremy Eschliman says it was conducted in cooperation with the City of Lexington and Dawson County Emergency Management. Eschliman says the enhanced testing was being conducted to better understand a recent uptick of Coronavirus cases in Dawson and Gosper counties, “it allows us to get a better handle on potential cases that we don’t know about.”
The testing targeted healthcare workers, emergency responders and Tyson employees. Eschliman commended Tyson as being “one of the first businesses in the area to increase their screening and surveillance of employees coming in.: Tyson was also proactive in some of the safety steps they were taking along with other Dawson County businesses.
Eschliman says that while 156 individuals were tested, they could have tested more. “But the limiting factor right now for us is our laboratory testing”, he says. Eschliman says reagents and swab kits have been “a real challenge for the State of Nebraska to acquire.” He adds that he knows the State is working behind the scenes to acquire those supplies. He says that they have been transparent from the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak that the testing capability wasn’t where it needed to be.
Nineteen positive cases were recorded in Dawson County on Saturday and Sunday according to Two Rivers. The total number of cases in Dawson County as of Sunday evening was 124 according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Dawson County now has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska. It is followed by Hall and Douglas counties respectively.