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UNO dorms opening up for those needing to quarantine Saturday

Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 23:17:23-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — 690 beds across three university campuses will now be available to those that need to quarantine themselves.

Dorms at UNO will be the first to open up, with 18 people moving in Saturday.

“There will be a place where you can go and quarantine those 14 days or whatever you need to do so you’re not infecting anybody else,” says Governor Pete Ricketts.

The people staying in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney will get food provided to them and will either have their own restroom or have a specific fixture inside a communal bathroom with the goal of not coming into contact with the other inside the facility.

To make sure nobody comes in that shouldn’t, the Nebraska National Guard will be there.

“What the National Guard will be doing is actually providing that security, were asking people to isolate and quarantine, which means we don’t want other people coming into those dorms, so they’re going to be preventing people from going in,” says Dr. Gary Anthone, chief medical officer of Nebraska.

So who's eligible? Any healthcare worker or first responder that needs to separate from their residence can get a bed. As can those that have the virus and are either not showing symptoms, have mild symptoms or that no longer need to be in the hospital.

But medical staff will be on site at all three campuses.

“Should patients specifically in isolation start feeling symptomatic, so can either assess them personally or make the assessment that they need to be transferred to a hospital,” says Anthone.

Still over 670 beds are available, Anthone expects plenty of them to be taken up.

“I think as word gets out and people know it’s available to them. It’s there to protect their loved ones and their other personal contacts,” says Anthone.