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Omaha woman staying in South Korea despite growing number of Coronavirus cases

Posted at 10:40 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 23:40:04-05

An Omaha woman is in the middle of the Coronavirus outbreak half a world away.

The school in South Korea where Catherine Brackett teaches shut down for more than a week due to the disease.

But, Brackett tells 3 News Now she doesn’t plan to leave the country any time soon.

"I mean, we feel very comfortable and safe. Like I'm out right now, people aren't really freaking out about it -- they're just kind of waiting for it to pass,” Brackett said.

Brackett has been in South Korea for the past 7 months.

The private school where she teaches closed on February 24 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

"The week before school closed on February 17th, we were taking a lot of precautionary measures,” Brackett said. “We had people come in and disinfect our entire school, we have hand sanitizer placed throughout the entire school and any time students would come inside we would have them immediately wash their hands before they did anything else."

Brackett told 3 News Now she’s been spending this time brushing up on her Korean and trying to stay as active as possible.

"The first week, we were really trying to stay indoors as much as possible now we feel a little bit more comfortable going outside,” she said. “I mean, a lot of people are just going about their normal day."

But, Brackett said she’s not thinking about traveling back to the United States right now because she worries about the condition of the airports. However, she said the Korean government has worked to stop the spread of the virus.

"The Korean government is taking very proactive measures, they've built a lot of establishments, drive-thru clinics specifically built for Coronavirus, and pop up testing centers in different local neighborhoods."

Brackett’s also heard about the researchers at UNMC/Nebraska Medicine taking steps to develop a treatment for the Coronavirus.

She remains optimistic they can provide hope for the rest of the world.

"I'm really excited to see what they find out and what they can do to help the cause,” Brackett said.

Brackett told 3 News Now she plans to come back home to Omaha in September, unless the spread of the virus gets worse.

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