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COVID 19

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced the first death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual was an older adult, 61-80 years of age, and a resident of Dubuque County.

Officials for the Ralston Public School district are confirming that a staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus.  District officials say the staff member works at Ralston High School, and they began to have symptoms on March 16th.  Students were last in the building on March 12th, and the Douglas County Health Department says staff members who had direct contact with the employee have been notified.

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt, and Department of Labor Commissioner John Albin will host a press conference.  Gov. Ricketts and the commissioners will announce new steps they are taking to provide relief to Nebraskans as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.   The Governor and commissioners will make brief remarks before taking questions.  

When: 3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. CT on Monday, March 16, 2020

Local Food & Education Resources

Mar 16, 2020
Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt

OPS Announces COVID-19 Preemptive Measures

Mar 12, 2020
OPS.org / Omaha Public Schools

Omaha Public Schools says that beginning Monday, March 16th, all of its schools will be closed for at least one week to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

In today's announcement, OPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan says the decision to close was made after careful consultation with the Douglas County Health Department, as well as state and local officials. 

LINCOLN – On Friday, Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt, education leaders, and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry will host a press conference.  Gov. Ricketts and education leaders will announce the guidance they will use for school closures.  Additionally, leaders will make remarks on how the Nebraska business community is preparing for the coronavirus pandemic.

This press release just arrived from the Douglas County Health Department:

The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) continues to investigate the most recent cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. These investigations involve tracing the activities of individuals who are sick in our continuing efforts to contain the disease.

Our epidemiologists have identified two locations as the site of possible low-risk exposures. Those exposures would have occurred during the following times at these locations:

The University of Nebraska Lincoln has just announced that classes have been canceled from March 16 to March 20, and classes will be held March 30 onward remotely, not in person, .  The university and housing units will remain open while students are encouraged to return home if they can.  Students who cannot go home will be supported in residence halls.

The university's statement reads that all non-essential university domestic and international travel has been suspended through the end of the semester.  All summer study-abroad programs through June 30 are canceled.

The NCAA has announced that although March Madness basketball tournament games will carry on as scheduled, only essential personnel and family members will be allowed to attend due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

This press release just arrived from the Douglas County Health Department:

"The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) has launched a contact investigation into the county’s latest case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.  This involves tracing the activities of the individual who is sick in a continuing effort to contain the disease.

Our epidemiologists have identified the Advanced Auto Parts store at 17140 Evans Plaza as a location where members of the public may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Methodist Health System announced that 26 employees are on self-quarantine following possible exposure to COVID-19.  In response to the news, the organization has created a community hotline to help residents with questions about the disease.

Of the 26 employees, the majority work at Methodist Women's Hospital. Five employees of Methodist Health System were tested negative but will remain in self-quarantine until 14 days have passed, officials stated.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Health officials say two more Nebraska residents have tested positive for the new coronavirus disease, bringing the Nebraska total to five. A Douglas County woman was added to the list Tuesday. Officials say she had recently traveled to California and Nevada and is recovering at home. State officials say a person from northeast Nebraska will be treated at the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus in Omaha. It's unclear whether the case is travel related or related to any of the other four cases.

Nebraska State Boys basketball tournament will be played this week but fans will not be allowed to attend in hopes of preventing the spread of coronavirus.  Only immediate family members will be allowed to attend the games.

The decision was announced during a press conference with Lincoln and Nebraska officials today.  The games remain on schedule but officials said there is work to be done concerning the logistics.

Having current information and guidance is a significant part of world-wide efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.  Agencies, governments, and health care professionals are urging everyone to stay abreast of the latest information regarding prevention and recognition of symptoms.

You can find updated information here from: