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State, local officials advise coronavirus preparedness

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    Omaha, NE (WOWT) — State, county, and local officials are asking residents to be prepared amidst a possible spread of the coronavirus in Nebraska and Iowa.

Some have issued releases with advice for preparedness, while others outlined measures they themselves are taking.

In a Douglas County Health Department news conference Thursday, officials advised coronavirus preparedness, suggesting residents stock up on two weeks’ worth of canned food, water, and medical supplies.

DCHD officials said some residents have begun to self-report if they felt they might have symptoms of the virus. But officials noted that the best defense against the spread of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene — and to stay home if you’re sick.

Several school districts in the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas have been planning ahead in case of an outbreak.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other health partners are anticipating an impact on Nebraska and are expanding the list of recent countries traveled that require residents to self-report.

According to a release, if you have traveled to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, along with China in the last 14 days, you should self-report to the
Nebraska Public Health online system or contact your local health department.

A map of the local health departments in Nebraska can be found on the DHHS website.

The DHHS also reminds residents that people who become ill after traveling overseas are more likely to have other respiratory illnesses such as the flu.

To date, no one has tested positive for coronavirus, but Mills County is asking residents to be prepared in case it spreads.

“Since the start of this outbreak, Mills County Public Health has worked closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to monitor potential cases of COVID-19,” Mills County Public Health Director Julie Lynes said. “We have and will continue to work with our local, state and national partners to be ready in case the virus does come to Iowa.”

Mills County recommends covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm, cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water, and containing germs by staying home when ill.

They also recommend preparing for the potential spread just like you would for severe weather.

The release recommends asking these questions when preparing:

What would you do if you could not go to work or school because of illness?
What if your daycare provider was ill?
How would you get groceries if you were ill?
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website, symptoms of the virus can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The county is planning to offer preparedness sessions for:

Iowa hospital administrators
Iowa K-12 schools
Iowa community colleges and universities
Iowa businesses
Iowa childcare homes and centers

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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