OMAHA - Creighton University and CHI Health will be working with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to perform COVID-19 variant testing.

During a news conference Wednesday, it was explained that Creighton University has the expertise and capacity to test all positive COVID-19 samples from CHI Health Lab.

CHI Health Technical Director of Microbiology Dr. Stephen Cavalieri said with this recent collaboration, positive samples are sent to Creighton for variant analysis and once complete, CHI gets that info back as to what of the samples contained variants.

"Then what we do back in our lab is add back the patient demographic information to each of the specimens on the list and send that to the public health department for contact tracing and follow-up. It is hoped that the collaboration between CHI Health and Creighton will be of assistance to the health department in mitigating further spread of the pandemic."

Dr. Cavalieri said there are currently 180 variants of COVID-19 in Nebraska and 140 of them are the B.1.1.7 UK variant.

In other news