For most Nebraskans, COVID-19 will be like a cold, however this illness is anything but the common cold or flu. For our parents and grandparents, it could be very severe, and could result in death. Recent data shows that the virus is also affecting younger people. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said 20% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. were 20-44 years old. Even if you're healthy, you can pass COVID-19 on to people who could be severely affected. Help protect those you love by avoiding crowds, distancing yourself from other people and isolating yourself even if you think you just have a case of the sniffles.
Community transmission is now identified in several areas of the state. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials can't identify how or where they became infected.
We want to slow the spread of disease in our communities. By doing that, our hospitals and clinics won't be overwhelmed and can continue to provide care to families, friends and neighbors who need it. Flattening the curve means everybody does their part to reduce spread of COVID-19 for as long as possible. If we slow it down enough, our hospitals might just be able to keep up.
As Nebraskans, we face our challenges together and we all have a role to play this response. Staying home and staying away from groups of people will slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Here's what being done in Nebraska and what you can do right now to protect yourself, your family and your community:
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
People in these higher-risk groups should: