Two UNK students report symptoms; one isolated on campus

Two UNK students report symptoms; one isolated on campus

University of Nebraska at Kearney

University of Nebraska at Kearney

One student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney remains quarantined in a vacant residence hall floor on campus after reporting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 last week.

A second student who also reported feeling ill last week while at home during the first week of an extended two-week spring break has been self-quarantining since Thursday, according to UNK.

"We contacted people who may have had direct contact or possible exposure to these students directly," spokesman Todd Gottula said Monday.

Anyone who further develops symptoms is asked to contact the Two Rivers Public Health Department in Holdrege, which covers seven counties in south-central Nebraska, Gottula said.

It's unclear how either student, both college-aged males who lived on campus, may have been exposed to the coronavirus, however, which led the health department to forego testing last week.

Neither student recently traveled abroad or to areas of the U.S. with a high-concentration of cases. Neither reported coming into contact with any individuals confirmed to have COVID-19. And neither student has underlying health risks that have been linked to higher chances for infection.

Once it learned of the possible infections, Gottula said UNK worked to move the student still living on campus to an unoccupied floor of Centennial Towers inaccessible by other members of the campus community.

That student, who ultimately was tested for the disease late last week and may learn the results of that test in the coming days, is being provided three meals a day "room service style."

In an email on Friday, UNK urged students who remained on campus to return home.

Normally, there are as many as 1,500 students living on UNK's campus. When the announcement went out late last week, 950 students remained.

Gottula said 500 students moved out over the weekend.

Students who leave are eligible to receive a 60% refund of their remaining room and board costs for the semester -- similar to programs offered to students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In addition, a Doane University student has been diagnosed as a "presumed positive," after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

The student is self-isolating after visiting a health care provider and being diagnosed based on symptoms. This was not a laboratory-confirmed case. 

The individuals that the student interacted with in a residence hall the day before have been contacted and they are self-monitoring their symptoms. To date, they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms. As a precaution, local health officials have advised that all students remaining in Smith Hall self-monitor their symptoms for the next seven days.

Latest updates on coronavirus in Lincoln and nearby

See the latest news as more coronavirus cases are identified in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported late Thursday night that an 11th Nebraska resident has apparently contracted the coronavirus. HHS is waiting for confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Legislature

Hy-Vee at the Capitol had a contract to supply lunch meals and sandwiches weekdays until the end of the legislative session, but because of COVID-19 concerns it has decided to shut down its operation early.

The Zoo Bar, Duffy’s Tavern, Bourbon Theatre, 1867 Bar and Bodega’s Alley — the downtown live-music venues — have all closed and canceled shows for at least two weeks in an effort to battle the spread of the coronavirus.

“At this point, everyone should just take a deep breath and wait till we announce procedurally how we will address these things,” said Matt Larson, associate superintendent of instruction.

As bad as the losses from major event cancellations are, economists say the economic damage they cause is likely to pale compared to the effects of the widespread closings of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses.

The mall announced in a news release that it would suspend its hours, starting at 7 p.m. Monday, with plans to reopen April 6.

Many companies have pledged to pay employees for at least the next two weeks, ranging from large retailers such as Kohl's and The Buckle to small local businesses such as Sandy's. But plenty of people are finding themselves out of work with no pay.

Marcus Hotels & Resorts on Tuesday announced it will close a number of hotels it owns temporarily, including the Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.

  • Updated

Topping the list is more than 5,800 sets of gloves, with 2,500 of those coming from Iron Brush Tattoo, which decided earlier this month to shut down and donate all of its supplies to health care workers.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS

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