Douglas County officials provide update on COVID-19 cases, now at 35

Health officials warn to continue using precaution
Posted at 2:25 PM, Mar 22, 2020

Local officials held a press conference Sunday about coronavirus in Douglas County.

Dr. Audi Pour, director of the Douglas County Health Department, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, Board of Health President Chris Rodgers and other officials spoke.

Dr. Pour confirmed a 35th case of coronavirus in Douglas County, which is a travel-related case. At this time, there is no additional information available on the new case.

"Spread is taking place in our community. So you potentially are not going to see us report on special identified sites. It's all over," Dr. Pour said.

She urged people to treat every place as if there were a possible exposure and to continue good hygiene and social distancing.

The virus is causing financial strain for many, including local businesses. That's why County Commissioner Chris Rodgers is pleading with local landlords to ease off on evictions during the pandemic.

"Please consider the actions that you're taking in regard to evictions. Putting people out on the streets in this time, is a health matter," he said.

Omaha Chief of Police Todd Schmaderer mentioned a rise in domestic violence calls; however, those cannot be attributed to the coronavirus outbreak at this time.

Testing people for the virus is still limited. That's why two medical companies tried to team up for a drive-up testing clinic on 84th and Center, but were unsuccessful.

Mayor Stothert said she wants to see drive-up clinics start popping up across the city but that it has to be done correctly. She revoked the permit of the two companies that set up last week because they were not communicating with the city or law enforcement about how they would handle traffic and the testing kits.

"They need to coordinate much better if they're going to do something like this and secondly they need to be very honest with the community of what indeed they are doing there. Very little COVID-19 testing would've occurred there and I did not want people waiting in line for hours to think they will get tested," Mayor Stothert said.

University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor Dr. Gold said the next ten days will be very telling as to how Nebraska looks in regards to the virus. He said it all depends on how seriously the public takes all the different precautions.

"We will either end up looking like New York City and Northern Italy or we will be in a much better and much healthier place," Dr. Gold said.

See the full press conference below.

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