Updated: Ricketts Speaks About Nebraskan with COVID-19, Impacts & Preparation

UPDATE – In a Saturday morning press conference, Governor Pete Ricketts confirmed to reporters that the Nebraskan infected with the COVID-19 virus had attended a basketball game at the Fremont Family YMCA on Saturday, 2/29. “She may have been there all day, so we certainly want people to think about monitoring their health if they were at that basketball game,” he said.

Ricketts also mentioned that the patient also attended a VFW dinner on Wednesday, March 4th.(He did not specify the exact location of that VFW dinner in his comments.) Ricketts encouraged Nebraskans to be prepared with two weeks of food and necessities, to practice disinfection and good hygiene, and to wash their hands diligently.

Above all, he stressed that anyone with an illness should stay home. “If you’re sick, stay home. We don’t want you exposing other people,” he urged. He also encouraged employers to be prepared. “Your people may not be able to come to work. Be prepared for that. We also want employers to really help us out. If somebody shows up to your company, who is sick, send them home.”

Ricketts also encouraged parents to make a plan for childcare in case schools or daycare centers are impacted. “People should be planning ahead for some of these things to happen,” he said.


Fremont Schools Close, Activities Canceled in Effort to Supress Spread of COVID-19 in Community


OMAHA – Nebraska now joins a list of over a dozen states with cases of confirmed COVID-19 infections, after a 36 year old woman sought treatment for pnuemonia-like symptoms in an Omaha hospital.

The woman had recently traveled to the United Kingdom before experiencing symptoms of the illness, according to Governor Pete Ricketts. She was reportedly ill for 12 days, before checking herself into Methodist Hospital in Omaha, where she was isolated and transferred to the biocontainment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. This particular individual is described as “special needs” and has chronic lung issues, which her family and routine doctor mistook the COVID-19 symptoms for.

A Methodist Hospital doctor with knowledge of the situation described the woman as gravely ill.

The UNMC biocontainment unit has treated patients with serious communicable diseases like ebola in the past. The woman diagnosed today will join one person from the infamous Diamond Princess cruise ship in the specialized treatment unit.