Patients undergoing elective procedures at CHI Health hospitals will no longer be required to take a pre-surgery COVID-19 test.
The change was announced Tuesday as a way to preserve limited testing supplies.
A problem in the supply chain is causing delays with COVID-19 testing at CHI Health’s Core Lab.
Abbott, the manufacturer that supplies a chemical substance needed for testing, cannot meet the current demand and has informed CHI Health that the supply will be limited for the next four to five weeks, according to a press release from CHI Health.
Since resuming elective procedures, fewer than 1% of the pre-surgical patients tested came back positive, CHI Health officials said. The suspension does not affect surgeries, and surgeons and staff will continue to wear proper N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.
The early July surge of coronavirus cases in states like California, Texas and Arizona has created a shortage of supplies for some health care providers and testing sites in Nebraska.
Nebraska Medicine previously reported having trouble procuring enough processing plates and tips for pipettes (dropperlike instruments) used in laboratories to test samples for the coronavirus. Private labs like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp are currently processing several hundred thousand coronavirus tests each day and have warned that backlogs could result in people having to wait longer to receive results.
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