Two healthy women leave quarantine at Nebraska Medical Center

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 02, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After spending 14 days in quarantine at Nebraska Medical Center, two women who never tested positive for the coronavirus were allowed to leave.

Jeri Seratti-Goldman and Joanne Kirkland have both been quarantined in Omaha since February 17. Both of their husbands are still being quarantined at Nebraska Medical Center.

"I woke up this morning and thought I should be doing a happy dance and I wasn't doing a happy dance. I was doing a sad dance," said Seratti-Goldman. "This is not even like a flu because he has no symptoms other than a cough and other than the fever so it is very deceptive what this does."

"It was very scary," Kirkland said. "I imagine a few more days of this, I couldn't have taken it."

Over the weekend two more of the passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship left quarantine in Omaha. There are now 11 people in quarantine at Nebraska Medical Center.

"I wouldn't be able to tell you exact numbers and dates when they would go home," said Dr. Mike Wadman of Nebraska Medicine/UNMC. "That all depends on negative testing. But there are potentials that would be able to go home this week."

At Nebraska Medical Center, there are three tiers for the patients. The first is quarantine, which is for asymptimatic, non-infected patients. The second is isolation for people that are either symptomatic or infected but not sick enough to be hospitalized. The third level is biocontainment or hospital level care, which is in-hospital care.

"They're all out of the hospital in the quarantine unit in isolation there," said Wadman. "Up to this point, some symptoms, none severe."

"They're all confirmed to be infected but they're nowhere near sick enough to be hospitalized," said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UNMC's chancellor.

Officials are urging people to wash their hands, avoid going to work while sick and to stock up on any medications that they need. Gov. Ricketts on Monday said coronovirus prevention should be treated similarly to snow storm prevention.

"What are you going to do about childcare, have you stocked up on provisions, that sort of thing," Ricketts said.

"The whole reason we do this is to get ahead of it, not to play catch-up," Gold said.

With nearly 90,000 sick globally and 3,000 deaths worldwide, the coronavirus isn't going away any time soon. Officials want to mitigate the disease. But for Seratti-Goldman and Kirkland they're wanting to get home, be with friends and have life get back to normal.

"This place is special and you guys should be very proud," Seratti-Goldman said.

"Will my friends shun me, will they shun us, be afraid of us," Kirkland said. "I try to think how I would feel if it were them and they were coming. I don't know, that concerns me."

As of now there have been no more requests to bring more patients who test positive with coronavirus to Omaha. Nebraska Medicine officials said they're requiring any person who interacts with the coronavirus patients to log and track their symptoms and temperature twice a day via a texting software.

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