COVID-19 Home Test Kit Now at Kearney Area Libraries | Local news
COVID-19 Home Test Kit Now at Kearney Area Libraries |  Local news

COVID-19 Home Test Kit Now at Kearney Area Libraries | Local news

KEARNEY – Free COVID-19 home test kits are now available at some public libraries in this region.

The kits made available through Two Rivers Public Health Department can be found at the libraries in Cozad, Franklin, Gothenburg, Holdrege and Minden.

Each set comes with basic, easy-to-read instructions on how to perform the test correctly and how to read the results.

People who get the free kits should give the libraries their zip codes and the number of test kits they take. Two Rivers also prefers that people get sets close to their home libraries.

“It’s a good thing for people to have a COVID test in their house. If the test is positive, they can stay home while they are contagious,” said Susan Puckett, a health nurse. “If the test after five days is negative, they can go back to work. That means they do not have to miss a lot of work or reveal a lot of colleagues.”

She added that the free, hands-on home test gives people who are positive the opportunity to find out quickly so their families can take precautions.

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Katherine Mulligan, planning section manager at Two Rivers, said kits will also be available at the Two Rivers office at 516 W. 11th St. People with questions can call Two Rivers at 888-669-7154.

Brady Beecham, a Lexington doctor who sits on the Two Rivers board, called the home test kits “a giant game changer.” “Even if the test is negative, if you are not feeling well, stay home and put on a mask and do not share your illness with others,” she said. The remarks came during Friday’s Two Rivers Community Conference.

She noted that this time of year, flu and respiratory viruses circulate, and “whatever you have, stay home. Given our growing concern about respiratory viruses, put on a mask, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick. We is back to basic common sense. “

As for COVID-19, Puckett said the daily rate of new cases is around 12, far from the 200 cases a day and more in late January and early February. Since March 20, 2020, 3,954 Nebraskans have died from COVID. In Two Rivers’ seven counties, 200 people have died from COVID in the past 23 months. These counties include Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps.

In other topics discussed Friday, Puckett said teenage girls have experienced the greatest general distress from COVID-19. At the national level, the number of emergency room visits from this age group increased between January 2019 and January 2022.

“Eating disorders were doubled and tic disorders tripled,” Puckett said. “Tenge girls also visited the emergency room more often for a wider range of mental disorders. These can be triggered by pandemic-related risk factors and exacerbated by pandemic-related reduced access to mental health care.”

She said the lack of structure in daily routines, emotional disorders and changes in the availability of food were all exacerbated by the effects of COVID. “We see fewer problems in young boys,” she said.

On a similar topic, she noted that 140,000 U.S. children lost parents and caregivers to COVID-19, including grandparents. Children who have lost a relative to COVID need a trusted, caring adult to talk to.

“Many of their peers have no experience dealing with death. They often talk to teachers, but teachers often start with a series of questions about how or why a person died, and that can be a challenge for a young child, ”she said.

Puckett urged parents to recognize when and if children need support services. “The death can be a crisis as much for parents as a child, so the home may not be the best place to get general support,” she said.

Stay home

Both Puckett and Beecham said people should stay home when they are sick, even if they do not have COVID.

“Just because you do not have COVID does not mean you have to be at work. People have to stay home when they are sick and stay home with sick children. That leaves employers in a desperate situation, but it’s important.” said Beecham.

“It means staying home, not just from work, but from the grocery store. People may have changed their mindset about staying home. That may be a good thing at COVID.”

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