State COVID-19 death toll now 15
One new death related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Wednesday, bringing the state's total death toll to 15.
Douglas County announced its sixth death, a woman in her 60s with underlying health conditions – https://www.douglascountyhealth.com/latest-news.
Burt County reported its first COVID-19 case, a woman in her 70s with travel history – https://www.facebook.com/elvphd/photos/a.636279489787003/2941280055953590/?type=3&theater.
Polk County also reported its first COVID-19 case, a woman in her 40s who is self-isolating at home. Her case is under investigation – https://www.facebook.com/Polk-County-Health-Department-138669022826896/.
Tonight's state case total, as of 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time, is 577. 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.
All 93 Nebraska counties are now covered by state Directed Health Measures (DHMs) until May 11 – http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus. It's critical that Nebraskans follow these enforceable state Directed Health Measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. 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.
In addition to the state-issued DHM, some Local Health Departments have issued additional restrictions - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx#SectionLink1.
DHHS supports Governor Ricketts in urging Nebraskans to follow the Six Rules to Keep Nebraska Healthy.
- Stay home. No non-essential errands and no social gatherings. Respect the ten-person limits.
- Socially distance your work. Work from home or use the six-foot rule as much as possible in the workplace.
- Shop alone. Do this only once a week and do not take your family with you.
- Help kids social distance. Play at home, no group sports and no playgrounds.
- Help seniors stay at home. This can be done by shopping for them. Do not visit long-term facilities.
- Exercise daily. Do your best to stay as healthy and safe as you can.
Recent studies show that a significant portion of people with COVID-19 lack symptoms and those that eventually develop symptoms can pass the virus to others before showing symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM25135.
Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Public health officials continue to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing is crucial to slowing the spread of the virus.
Here's where to find tools and resources for individuals and families, schools, communities, businesses, healthcare facilities, and first responders on the DHHS website - http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and CDC's website – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19 .
DHHS opened a statewide COVID-19 information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CT, 7 days a week.
DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The CDC's website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information - https://www.cdc.gov/covid19