Second case of COVID-19 reported in Saunders County

By Suzi

WAHOO – Public health officials reported Wednesday night that a second case of COVID-19 has been identified in Saunders County.

The person is a close contact of the case identified on Tuesday, according to Three Rivers Health Department. The new case is a female in her 50s and she is self-isolating at home. Contact investigations are currently being completed.

The first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus is also a woman in her 50s. Officials with Three Rivers said they could not identify where the woman got the virus, and have categorized it as a “community spread” case.

The health department also identified two other cases of COVID-19 in its coverage area, which includes Saunders, Dodge and Washington counties.

A woman in her 40s in Dodge County has been diagnosed with COVID-19. She has been self-isolating at home since March 25. It is Dodge County’s first case.

The health department completed contact investigations and those identified as close contacts were notified. All identified close contacts will self-quarantine and be actively monitored twice daily by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms, the health department reported.

Community exposures may have occurred at the following times and locations and are considered low risk.

• Bakers at 1531 N. Bell St., Fremont on Sunday, March 22 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

• Dollar Store at 1957 E. Military Ave., Fremont on Sunday, March 22 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Another case in Washington County has also been identified by Three Rivers. It is a woman in her 60s. The health department said she has been self-isolating at home since March 15. It is the fifth case in Washington County.

Three Rivers reports that contact investigations were completed in this case. Those identified as close contacts were notified and they will self-quarantine and be actively monitored twice daily by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Symptoms of the disease include a fever, cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who has developed symptoms, should contact their health care provider. Be sure to notify them of any potential exposure to a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. Local health care providers request patients call ahead before going to the doctor’s office or an emergency room.

On Wednesday night, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced that Saunders, Dodge and Lancaster counties are under Directed Health Measures (DHM) until May 6. These measures impose enforceable limits on public gatherings and were effective on Thursday. Restaurants and bars have to close their dining/seating areas and must operate using take out, curbside pick up or delivery. Schools must remain closed to students during this period of time as well, but staff is allowed to work in the buildings, according to a press release sent on Wednesday.

“We understand the significance of the DHMs, and the disruption it will cause,” said Terra Uhing, executive director of Three Rivers Public Health Department. “However, we all need to do our part, to get through this pandemic and to save lives.”

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