UPDATE: 3 New Public Exposures-Latest Nebraska Covid-19 Case Confirmed To Be "Community Spread"

Mar 16, 2020

UPDATE (03-20-20): Three New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Douglas County Three travelers are the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County.  The Health Department (DCHD) reports these three individuals recently returned from areas in the Southeastern United States where COVID-19 is circulating. They are two men in their 40s and a woman in her 30s. These three individuals traveled to different areas and the cases are not connected.

All were tested earlier this week and confirmed March 18 or 19. None of them have been hospitalized. Douglas County now has 26 confirmed cases of the disease.

New guidance has been provided for people who have been asked to self-isolate at home due to symptoms of COVID-19 or a confirmed diagnosis. You are asked to remain in isolation at least three days after your fever has ended without the use of fever-reducing medications and your symptoms have improved. It also must be seven days since your diagnosis.

Community exposures may have occurred at the following times and locations:

 Nebraska Furniture Mart. 700 South 72nd Street, Sunday, March 15 from 2-5 p.m.

 Pearle Vision Center, 147th and West Maple, Monday, March 16 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.,

 At Home Store, 130th and West Center, Monday, March 16 from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

The Health Department is advising that with the development of community spread in Douglas County, precautions to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19 need to be taken everywhere, not just in locations listed as having the potential for exposure. However, DCHD also feels it is important to note that many people who are sick have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The CDC reports that four out of five people who have become ill acquired the disease from someone who didn’t know they had it.  That means there are likely many more people in the community who are infected with COVID-19 than have been reported.

Please increase your awareness of COVID-19 symptoms, which include a fever, cough, sore throat, or  difficulty breathing. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, or develop symptoms, contact your health care provider and tell them how you are feeling. Please notify them of any potential exposure to a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. We ask that you call ahead before you go to the doctor’s office or an emergency room.

DCHD’s information line remains open to anyone with general questions about COVID-19. That number, (402) 444-3400, is answered seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nebraska DHHS has a COVID-19 information line open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily at (402) 552-6645. Any person who has questions outside those hours is asked to call the United Way’s 2-1-1 Resource Hotline.

Nebraska health officials have identified the state's first coronavirus case that was transmitted through “community spread” of the disease along with four new cases. The Douglas County Health Department said Saturday that a woman in her 60s who was previously diagnosed with COVID-19 started having symptoms before she traveled. Community spread of the virus indicates it is becoming more common in Nebraska because the origin of the case can't be identified. Gov. Pete Ricketts said gatherings of more than 250 people should be avoided now that the coronavirus is spreading in the community.