Bryan Health sends 100 tests on from drive-thru for COVID-19 testing

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Over 100 tests from Bryan Health's drive-thru testing have been sent on to be tested for COVID-19. Bryan Health CEO John Woodrich confirmed in a press conference Thursday that between the two days of drive-thru testing, no patients tested positive for the flu, and 10 tested positive for respiratory issues.

"The COVID-19 testing is approximately 4 days from when we get the results, so the ones we did a couple of days ago, we're still a couple of days away from getting those," said Woodrich.

As for bed space, Bryan Health has a total of 538 beds, 378 of which are full. That is an uptick, but officials said there are still lots of other things going on in the hospital, aside from COVID-19.

Dr. John Trapp said doctors are still learning more about this virus. He said officials don't know how long patients can be asymptomatic and be a carrier.

"We do know that people can be asymptomatic and have COVID-19, but how long is unknown." said Dr. Trapp. "We just simply do not have that answer right now."

Dr. Trapp said COVID-19 can last for as long as 3 days in mild cases, to several weeks in more serious cases. As for being contagious, it is thought that as long as you have symptoms, you are contagious.

"As the disease resolves, as the temperature resolves, you become less contagious," Dr. Trapp said. "The belief right now is that you can build immunity. It is unknown how long those last. You can build immunity towards it, we just don't know if that lasts for several months or several years."

Dr. Trapp recommended that if you do show symptoms, you remain isolated until your fever is down without the use of medication or until at least 3 days after your symptoms are gone. He said for most people, that is a minimum of 7 days.

Woodrich said Bryan Health is currently working with other hospitals to prepare for when there is a surge in patients.

"We continue to work on plans for when a surge would occur here, and we're working with our hospitals across Nebraska that we have a strong relationship with, which is the Heartland Health Alliance, a lot of these critical access hospitals, there's about 50 of them," said Woodrich. "We're going to talk about alternatives from a telemedicine perspective and also if they have a person present at their facility that ends up being positive, how we would transfer them or take care of them at that facility."

On Thursday, Bryan Health said it's three day total of cars that came through the drive-thru testing is 166 cars.