NE: Health Officials Believe They Have Identified How COVID-19 Entered ALF


by Waverle Monroe

Mar 27, 2020

Washington County, along with the city of Blair, held a news conference Thursday morning to discuss COVID-19 issues in the city and county. Three Rivers Public Health Department joined.

"We now have five cases in Washington County," director of Three Rivers Public Health, Terra Uhing, said.

Carter Place is on lockdown due to an outbreak of COVID-19.


"This is the first nursing home outbreak in the state of Nebraska," Uhing said. "All community activities at the facility have ceased and residents are in their rooms... Family members can visit with residents via their room windows."

A spokesperson for Enlivant, Carter Place's parent company, issued the following statement:

"We have two Carter Place residents who have tested positive -- one is offsite at the hospital and another is isolated in their room. We are coordinating with local and state health departments. The safety and health of our residents and employees is our top priority."

Three Rivers said a health care worker at Carter Place is the entry-point for the virus.

"We believe it was a health care worker who acquired this within a community," Uhing said.

Uhing said they believe the health care worker acquired COVID-19 at an event. She would not say what event, but that it was outside Washington County.

Since Monday, two residents and that health care worker all tested positive for the coronavirus, but more people keep showing symptoms. A third resident developed symptoms this week, according to Uhing.

"This is a resident that we thought would potentially be coming down with symptoms so it was not a surprise to have this individual become symptomatic," Uhing said.

A second health care worker at the facility, who is also showing symptoms is undergoing testing for the virus. Uhing said one resident has been hospitalized. They were taken to Memorial Community Hospital.

"I believe they might be discharged today (Thursday)," Uhing said.

The patient did not show initial signs of the coronavirus, the EMTs who took them to the hospital did not properly protect themselves. The four first responders are now in quarantine.

"I have not got a report of any symptoms from those four that are in self-quarantine," Washington County Emergency Management director Dan Douglas said.

Douglas said he's asking all of his first responders to prepare.

"I am strongly suggesting that they go into every call assuming it's a COVID and like I said work backwards from there," Douglas said.

Uhing said there are COVID-19 cases in all counties Three River Health Department oversees.


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