What Nebraskans can do to Plan Ahead for Coronavirus Disease 2019

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News Release
 
For Immediate Release: 2/28/2020
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CONTACT
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356
leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov      

Lincoln – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread in communities globally increasing the potential for us to see more cases in the U.S. Confirmed cases have been reported in several states. So far there have been no cases of COVID-19 identified in Nebraska residents.

We have been afforded a period of time to plan and prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “We're encouraging Nebraskans to exercise caution and to take steps to enhance their own preparedness." 

Planning information is available at https://www.ready.gov.

Nebraskans can also can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by: 

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Follow the same family plans and kits that people may use for flu season or severe weather season – https://www.ready.gov.

DHHS and public health partners have been taking proactive steps to address this serious public health threat including sharing the latest guidance and information with Nebraska health care providers and health care facilities regarding recognition, management and reporting of patients with potential COVID-19, assessing our health care system's readiness, and monitoring Nebraskans returning from countries with community transmission of COVID-19.

Other actions being taken by state and local public health officials to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Nebraskans include:

  • Engaging in active and ongoing communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other state and federal partners as part of the overall national response to this emerging public health threat.
  • Reviewing and enhancing response plans to be ready for the detection of COVID-19 in our state.
  • Facilitating confirmatory testing, isolation and monitoring of Nebraskans experiencing symptoms to identify cases as soon as possible.
  • Updating dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus with the latest information and resources.
  • Having a system in place to track and monitor people who have contact with a confirmed case in an effort to immediately detect secondary cases and minimize the potential for ongoing, undetected, person-to-person transmission.

DHHS and public health partners continue to closely track the unfolding outbreak of COVID-19 and anticipate its impact on Nebraska and its health care systems. The virus that can cause severe respiratory illness, originated in China and is now reported in 53 countries including the United States.

We will continue to update Nebraskans through our website http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The CDC's website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information - https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.

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