Nebraska announces first coronavirus case outside of National Quarantine Unit

Coronavirus

LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) – Nebraska has announced its first travel-related case of coronavirus that’s outside of the National Quarantine Unit.

A woman from Douglas County who recently returned from England tested positive for COVID-19.

The 36-year-old woman was transferred to Nebraska Medicine/University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)’s Biocontainment Unit.

Nebraska Medicine said that she’s in critical condition.

England is not one of the countries in Europe with widespread community transmission.

The woman didn’t present concerning symptoms until her last medical visit, so the need for personal protective equipment for the healthcare providers treating her wasn’t readily evident.

The medical visits happened days before she was admitted to the Biocontainment Unit.

Now, those community healthcare providers are being told to self-quarantine in their homes for 14 days.

One healthcare worker was unable to self-quarantine due to living arrangements and was placed at the National Quarantine Unit on the UNMC/Nebraska Medical Center campus.

The individual will be monitored there until public health officials can determine if it is safe for this person to return to their home and work.

Nebraska public health officials continues to identify more people who have came into close contact with her.

“Ensuring the health of Nebraskans is our main priority. These actions are meant to help reduce the spread of disease in the community. However, even with these actions, we most likely will see additional cases,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) is leading the investigation and DHHS disease experts joined their team on Friday to provide support and assistance.

“DCHD and DHHS epidemiology staff have interviewed family members of the patient to collect a solid history of where this individual has spent time since her return to the U.S. up to the time she was diagnosed with COVID-19 yesterday,” said Dr. Adi Pour, Director of DCHD.

DHHS said it’s important to remember that they haven’t identified COVID-19 spreading in Nebraska communities at this time.

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