By Signal Staff
The first cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported in the following counties in Nebraska since Thursday: Custer, Johnson, Logan, Phelps and Seward. There are now two COVID-19 cases in neighboring York County. In the Public Health Solutions (PHS) area, the situation is worse in Gage county with seven new COVID-19 cases being added to the one reported last week in an assisted living facility in Adams. The patient, a woman in her 90s with multiple underlying health conditions, was hospitalized and passed away on March 31. Confirmatory lab results were received by PHS on April 1. PHS is working with the facility to help control the situation.
“We are deeply saddened to report a death in our district,” PHS health director Kim Showalter said. “Our entire team at PHS extends our sympathy to the family and friends of this individual.”
All 93 Nebraska counties (including Fillmore County) are now covered by state Directed Health Measures (DHMs) until May 11. Reports indicate that Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office deputies curtailed activities on Friday night at establishments in the villages of Ohiowa and Fairmont. State officials report that it’s critical that Nebraskans follow these enforceable state Directed Health Measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. They state that these measures help protect each other and those who are more vulnerable to severe illness and death, and help hospitals and clinics from being overwhelmed so they can continue to provide care to families, friends and neighbors who need it.
“Now that we have seen community spread across the state, the State is applying directed health measures for all 93 counties until May 11,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday. “The next several weeks will be key to slowing the spread of the virus in Nebraska. We are asking Nebraskans to further limit social interactions, work, go home, and shop once a week.”
State-Issued DHM Provisions (Apply Statewide)
• Imposes an enforceable, 10-person limit on public gatherings.
• Prohibits medical and dental elective surgeries and procedures.
• Requires schools (public, private, and parochial) to operate without students through May 31.
• Cancels all school-related extracurricular activities through May 31.
• Requires restaurants and bars to close their dining areas and move to takeout, delivery, and/or curbside service only.
• Requires individuals to home quarantine for at least 14 days if: they have tested positive for COVID-19; they have a fever of 100.4° F or above; they have experienced sudden onset of a cough and/or shortness of breath or they reside or have resided with individuals who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have the above symptoms.