Officials Confirm Fourth, Fifth COVID-19 Cases In Nebraska, Including First Outside Douglas Co.

(Joe McMullen, NET Nebraska)
March 10, 2020 - 10:05pm

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UPDATE 10pm CT: Health officials announced the fourth and fifth presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 in Nebraska late Tuesday. Both are awaiting final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The fifth person is from northeast Nebraska. Information from DHHS does not indicate whether the infection is related the first three, all in one family from Omaha, or the unrelated case of a Douglas County woman announced earlier Tuesday.

Those first four cases are all travel-related, and until this point health officials have said there are no community-spread cases in the state. It is unclear how or where this latest case was contracted. 

The fifth case will be transferred to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medicine/University of Nebraska Medical Center, where Nebraska's first patient is receiving treatment and is in critical condition. The other cases are all in self-quarantine at home. 

Officials have begun another contact investigation to identify individuals who have been in close contact with the two cases announced Tuesday. 

Original story: 8pm CT

The fourth presumptive positive case of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 in Nebraska is a woman in her 40s who lives in Douglas County, according to an update from the state Department of Health and Human Services late Tuesday. 

The woman had recently traveled to Nevada and California. The case has not yet received final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is self-quarantined at home. 

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Her case is unrelated to the first three in the state: a 36-year-old Omaha woman and her father and brother. The woman remains in critical condition at the National Bioncontainment Unit, while her family members are self-quarantined at home. 

None of the cases so far are considered community-spread; that means none of the Nebraska cases contracted the infection within the state. 

Health officials are monitoring hundreds of individuals who came into contact with the original case, including about 40 people on self-quarantine in Lancaster County.  

A new contact investigation for the most recent case will increase that number. 

According to a statement, contact investigations involve interviews with each person and their families members, and trained staff will "analyze all available evidence such as credit and debit card receipts, and construct a detailed history of where the person was and then follow the trail." 

Officials say measures to limit exposure will slow the spread of COVID-19, but they expect to see more cases in the state. 

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