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Fourth COVID-19 death announced in Nebraska

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

The fourth death related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on March 31. The person was a Buffalo County resident in his 90s - https://www.trphd.org/ .

“We are saddened by the death of another fellow Nebraskan," said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “Staying home if you're sick and distancing yourself from others are actions we must continue to take to help protect those around us who may be more vulnerable to severe illness or death."

Community transmission was identified in Adams and Buffalo Counties. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials are unable to identify how or where they became infected - https://southheartlandhealth.org/ and   https://www.trphd.org/ .

State Directed Health Measures (DHMs) were issued March 31 for the following 11 counties: Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, Webster, Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps counties - https://www.dropbox.com/s/k5n7bns767cydna/DHM%203.31.2020.pdf?dl=0 .

The quarantine measures included in the State DHMs are for individuals who are COVID-19 positive or develop fever, sudden onset of a dry cough, or sudden onset of shortness of breath without provocation (such as walking up stairs, running, choking, etc.).  This excludes those with seasonal allergies, COPD, or other diagnoses that may produce respiratory symptoms.  Additionally, the directive doesn't apply to patients who have an alternative non-COVID-19 diagnosis from a healthcare provider. These patients should follow the treatment and guidance provided by their healthcare provider for such conditions.

The March 31 state case total is 177. DHHS launched a new data dashboard that provides daily updates to the state's COVID-19 case totals. You can find it at http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.