Nebraska is currently reporting 29 cases of COVID-19 as of March 14, according to The New York Times. Nebraska’s governor, Pete Ricketts, declared a state of emergency on Friday, March. 13, allowing the state to mobilize across agencies to fight the spread of the virus.
Eight people are being treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center National Quarantine Unit. Several of those patients were passengers onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, one was allowed to go home after testing negative for the virus. One is a 16-year-old boy who was in serious condition.
The first confirmed case found through community surveillance is a 36-year-old Omaha woman who is in critical condition at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The woman went on a trip to London in mid-February with her father and began feeling ill on Feb. 24. Two of her family members have tested positive as well, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Public health officials are now tracking down hundreds of people who may have had contact with the woman at a Special Olympics basketball event and a veterans supper, as well as health care workers who treated her before she tested positive, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Later, a man who shared a connecting flight with the woman between Minneapolis to Omaha tested positive, according to KOLN.
On March 13, officials announced that a child had tested positive for COVID-19; in total, seven members of the Douglas County family have tested positive. Officials suspect the first family contracted the virus after traveling to California and Nevada, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Omaha public schools will remain closed for an additional week after spring break, or a total of two weeks.
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