Voluntary Quarantine Requested of Special Olympics Basketball Tournament Participants to Prevent Potential Spread for Coronavirus Disease 2019

News Release
For Immediate Release: 3/7/2020

CONTACT Leah Bucco-White, Office of Communications, (402) 309-4157

Khalilah LeGrand, Ed.D, Office of Communications, (402) 853-1320 


Lincoln – Out of an abundance of caution and as a result of initial contact investigation results of the first Nebraskan with a presumptive positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19), The Three Rivers Public Health Department, Douglas County Health Department, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, and other local health departments, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are investigating possible exposure to a presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019. 

State and local health officials are requesting for basketball players, coaches and team staff who participated in the Special Olympics event at the Fremont Family YMCA on February 29, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to self-quarantine to limit exposure to others and monitor themselves for development of COVID-19 symptoms as listed below until Saturday, March 14, 2020. The Fremont Family YMCA is located at 810 N Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE 68025.

“We're asking for basketball players, coaches, and team staff who participated this event on February 29, 2020 to either self-report to the Nebraska public health online system at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx  or contact their local health department for guidance and next steps. Informing the local health department is the most direct way to ensure timely medical care if needed and to minimize the potential risk to others." said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. A map of Nebraska's local health departments can be found here at http://dhhs.ne.gov/CHPM%20Maps/NE_Health_Dept_Map_Dec_2016.pdf .

Symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms reported are:

  • Fever of greater than 100.4F
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficult breathing

Spectators of the Special Olympics events and other people who were in the YMCA facility that same day are at much lower risk than the direct participants. Non-participating individuals can self-monitor and contact a local health department or their health care provider if they develop symptoms.

Evidence to date suggests that this virus doesn't stay in the environment for an extended period of time. Without ongoing contamination from ill people, the facility where the event was held isn't a risk for ongoing exposure.

Currently there is not a vaccine or an antiviral (medicine) to protect against COVID-19. Most people with mild illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever reducing medications to relieve symptoms while isolating to prevent spread to others.  However, people can develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

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

  • Avoiding close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

State and local public health officials continue to take action to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Nebraskans including:

  • Sharing the latest guidance and information with local health departments, hospitals, health care providers, first responders and local and state labs through our extensive Health Alert Network to ensure a well-coordinated response in Nebraska. DHHS Health Alert Network - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Health-Alert-Network.aspx.
  • Assessing our health care system's readiness to identify, monitor and treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019.
  • 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.
  • With our local health department partners, we have 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.

Nebraskans are also encouraged to review their family preparedness plans in the event that coronavirus disease 2019 continues to spread in the United States. More resources will be available soon at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.

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.


Go to
All News Releases