Woman with COVID-19 visited YMCA in Fremont for Special Olympics event; players, coaches and team staff are asked to self-quarantine
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Woman with COVID-19 visited YMCA in Fremont for Special Olympics event; players, coaches and team staff are asked to self-quarantine

The 36-year-old Omaha woman who has tested positive for COVID-19 visited Fremont on Feb. 29 according to a release from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. 

State and local officials are requesting basketball players, coaches and team staff who participated in the Special Olympics event at the Fremont Family YMCA on February 29, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to self-quarantine to limit exposure to others and monitor themselves for development of COVID-19 symptoms as listed below until Saturday, March 14, 2020. 

“We’re asking for basketball players, coaches, and team staff who participated this event on February 29, 2020 to either self-report to the Nebraska public health online system at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx  or contact their local health department for guidance and next steps. Informing the local health department is the most direct way to ensure timely medical care if needed and to minimize the potential risk to others,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. 

Spectators of the Special Olympics events and other people who were in the YMCA facility that same day are at much lower risk than the direct participants. Non-participating individuals can self-monitor and contact a local health department or their health care provider if they develop symptoms.

Earlier in the day, the Fremont Public School district tweeted on their official Twitter page that they are monitoring the situation a statement.

The woman is believed to have contracted the virus while traveling with her father in the United Kingdom from Feb. 18-27, according to Dr. Robert Penn, an epidemiologist at Methodist Hospital.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms reported are fever of greater than 100.4F, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Evidence to date suggests that this virus doesn’t stay in the environment for an extended period of time. Without ongoing contamination from ill people, the facility where the event was held isn’t a risk for ongoing exposure.

Currently, there is not a vaccine or an antiviral (medicine) to protect against COVID-19. Most people with mild illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever-reducing medications to relieve symptoms while isolating to prevent spread to others. However, people can develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

Methodist Hospital in Omaha where the woman was first treated has asked more than 30 employees to self-quarantine for 14 days after being exposed to the patient, according to a press release from the hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control and state health officials recommended the move, and the hospital continues to work with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to identify employees and others who may have been exposed to the patient before they were placed in isolation, according to the release.

One health care worker was unable to self-quarantine because of living arrangements and has been placed in quarantine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Penn said the woman started developing symptoms Feb. 24, and that her illness remained mild until Thursday, when she was brought to Methodist Hospital and diagnosed with a pneumonia-like infection and low blood-oxygen levels.

Doctors put the woman into a negative-airflow room — similar to those available at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's biocontainment and quarantine units — and screened her for common community viruses.

Tests showed she was positive for COVID-19, Penn said, and chest scans showed she has pneumonia-like symptoms seen in other patients with the disease.

Working in conjunction with UNMC, the woman was moved Friday evening from Methodist to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit.

Nebraska Medicine said Saturday that she is in critical condition.

Of the eight remaining Americans evacuated to Omaha from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, one continues to be treated in the biocontainment unit and is stable, Nebraska Medicine said. Testing protocol continues for the seven in the quarantine unit, and one could be cleared to leave this weekend, pending test results.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. were at about 350 as of Saturday afternoon, with 17 deaths. Worldwide, cases stand at about 102,500, with nearly 3,500 deaths.

People can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by: 

• Avoiding close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.

• Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

State and local public health officials continue to take action to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Nebraskans including:

• Sharing the latest guidance and information with local health departments, hospitals, health care providers, first responders and local and state labs through our extensive Health Alert Network to ensure a well-coordinated response in Nebraska. DHHS Health Alert Network - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Health-Alert-Network.aspx.

• Assessing our health care system's readiness to identify, monitor and treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019.

• Engaging in active and ongoing communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other state and federal partners as part of the overall national response to this emerging public health threat.

• Reviewing and enhancing response plans to be ready for the detection of COVID-19 in our state.

• Facilitating confirmatory testing, isolation and monitoring of Nebraskans experiencing symptoms to identify cases as soon as possible.

• Updating dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus with the latest information and resources.

• With our local health department partners, we have a system in place to track and monitor people who have contact with a confirmed case in an effort to immediately detect secondary cases and minimize the potential for ongoing, undetected, person-to-person transmission.

This is a developing story

 

Voluntary Quarantine Requested of Special Olympics Basketball Tournament Participants and Attendees to Prevent Potential Spread for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Lincoln – Out of an abundance of caution and as a result of initial contact investigation results of the first Nebraskan with a presumptive positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19), The Three Rivers Public Health Department, Douglas County Health Department, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, and other local health departments, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are investigating possible exposure to a presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019. State and local health officials are requesting for basketball players, coaches and team staff who participated in the Special Olympics event at the Fremont Family YMCA on February 29, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to self-quarantine to limit exposure to others and monitor themselves for development of COVID-19 symptoms as listed below until Saturday, March 14, 2020. The Fremont Family YMCA is located at 810 N Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE 68025.“We’re asking for basketball players, coaches, and team staff who participated this event on February 29, 2020 to either self-report to the Nebraska public health online system at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx  or contact their local health department for guidance and next steps. Informing the local health department is the most direct way to ensure timely medical care if needed and to minimize the potential risk to others.” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. A map of Nebraska's local health departments can be found here at http://dhhs.ne.gov/CHPM%20Maps/NE_Health_Dept_Map_Dec_2016.pdf .Symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms reported are:• Fever of greater than 100.4F• Cough• Shortness of breath or difficult breathingSpectators of the Special Olympics events and other people who were in the YMCA facility that same day are at much lower risk than the direct participants. Non-participating individuals can self-monitor and contact a local health department or their health care provider if they develop symptoms.Evidence to date suggests that this virus doesn’t stay in the environment for an extended period of time. Without ongoing contamination from ill people, the facility where the event was held isn’t a risk for ongoing exposure.Currently there is not a vaccine or an antiviral (medicine) to protect against COVID-19. Most people with mild illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever reducing medications to relieve symptoms while isolating to prevent spread to others.  However, people can develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.People can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by: • Avoiding close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.• Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.• Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.State and local public health officials continue to take action to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Nebraskans including:• Sharing the latest guidance and information with local health departments, hospitals, health care providers, first responders and local and state labs through our extensive Health Alert Network to ensure a well-coordinated response in Nebraska. DHHS Health Alert Network - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Health-Alert-Network.aspx.• Assessing our health care system's readiness to identify, monitor and treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019.• Engaging in active and ongoing communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other state and federal partners as part of the overall national response to this emerging public health threat.• Reviewing and enhancing response plans to be ready for the detection of COVID-19 in our state.• Facilitating confirmatory testing, isolation and monitoring of Nebraskans experiencing symptoms to identify cases as soon as possible.• Updating dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus with the latest information and resources.• With our local health department partners, we have a system in place to track and monitor people who have contact with a confirmed case in an effort to immediately detect secondary cases and minimize the potential for ongoing, undetected, person-to-person transmission.Nebraskans are also encouraged to review their family preparedness plans in the event that coronavirus disease 2019 continues to spread in the United States. More resources will be available soon at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.We will continue to update Nebraskans through our website http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus 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.

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