Nomi Health testing site closing Wednesday and Thursday causes frustration

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – In the middle of a pandemic surge, Nomi Health is closing its testing site at Gateway Mall for another day. Out of the 16 days the site was scheduled to be open through January 20, it’s been open for 11 of them.

“It’s just really frustrating to have it cancelled at the last minute,” said Jennifer Hendren, who was scheduled for an appointment on Thursday.

Nomi Health is closed Sundays, was closed New Years Day, and shut down for cold weather on January 6, 7, 15, 19, and 20.

“We really take a look at the wind chill and how cold it’s going to be,” said Carolina Herrin, field operations director for Nomi Health. “It’s more of a safety factor, not only to the staff, but the clients as well.”

Nomi Health said it also runs into issues with generators staying on in cold temperatures. Over 2,000 appointments were scheduled for January 19 and 20.

“We reach out to each of those clients and make sure that we make contact,” Herrin said. “We let them know that the site is going to be closed and let them know that they can go to the two sites that are indoor that are still open.”

Hendren was scheduled to get tested today.

“To shut down for two days, especially right now when there is such a surge of new cases, it’s just scary and it’s frustrating,” Hendren said.

Nomi Health has two indoor locations, but none are in Lincoln. It closed its four other outdoor locations, three in Omaha and one in Grand Island.

“I was told to go to Council Bluffs or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. I mean how far away is that?”

Hendren ended up going to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department & Total Wellness testing site, which is also outdoors and just off O street. It was up and running as normal today and will be tomorrow.

“Locations that we have in Lincoln, Total Wellness, is bringing up additional slots,” said health director Pat Lopez.

Lopez said the health department is in discussions with Nomi Health about operations and closures.

Nomi Health said it’s actively searching for an indoor location in Lincoln, but said it has been difficult to find a place that has enough off-street space for a large number of cars, along with a place that can serve testing needs.

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