LINCOLN – Cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to increase in Nebraska and nationwide. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the state is critical. The actions below 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.
10 actions for Nebraskans to be taking now:
- Stay 6 feet away from others.
- Stay at home and only grocery shop once per week alone.
- Wear a cloth face covering in public (grocery stores, pharmacies etc.) when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others.
- Work from home.
- Hold conference calls or virtual meetings instead of in person.
- Stay home if you or someone in your house has a sudden onset of cough or shortness of breath or a fever.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Wash hands right before you eat.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially counters, handles, doorknobs, tabletops, remotes and keyboards.
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. The use of simple cloth face coverings can help people who may have the virus but not know it from spreading it to others says the CDC.
All 93 Nebraska counties are now covered by state Directed Health Measures (DHMs) until May 11. In addition to the state-issued DHM, some Local Health Departments have issued additional restrictions – http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.
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. CST, 7 days a week.