Omicron Guidance Updates

Hospitals around the state are reporting low levels of hospitalization due to COVID-19. While that is encouraging, it is important to note that BA.2 is now the dominate strain of COVID-19 in the United States. We don’t know yet if the U.S. will see a surge of BA.2 cases as has been seen in other countries. As we monitor the data closely, below are our current recommendations regarding COVID-19 testing for patients who are hospitalized or scheduled for a surgery/procedure.

Isolation Guidance - October 26, 2022

Revised COVID-19 and Influenza Isolation Guidance

Pre-procedural Testing Guidance - April 14, 2022

  • Patients who are unvaccinated or not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination require pre-procedural testing within 72 hours of the procedure
  • Patients who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination and will be admitted to the hospital require pre-procedural testing within 72 hours of the procedure
  • Patients who are up to date with their COVID vaccination and will not be admitted to the hospital do not require testing
  • The procedural provider has discretion to test patients in this category
  • Patients with a past COVID-19 infection who are in the “viral shedding” phase do not require pre-procedural testing
  • Pre-procedural testing continues to require a PCR-based test
  • Those who require rapid testing the day of their procedure can wait in the buildings for test results (they do not need to wait in their car) 
  • All patients are still required to be screened for symptoms and recent close exposures

*Definition of “up to date” on vaccination

"Up to date" means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary COVID-19 vaccine series and any eligible booster dose(s). See this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Hospitalized Patient Testing Guidance

  • All patients who are admitted to Nebraska Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center will continue to be tested for COVID-19
  • Hospitalized patients who are to undergo procedures requiring aerosol generation: repeat testing would be recommended at intervals no more frequent than seven days
  • These patients should also not be symptomatic
  • Hospitalized patients who display symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested, regardless of vaccination status

We are monitoring community rates of transmission and anticipate this guidance may change.

Updated guidance due to omicron