OMAHA — Two family members of the first Nebraskan with COVID-19 have also tested positive for the disease, the Douglas County Health Department said Sunday.
Health officials are working to notify people who may have had contact with the family members. In addition, Elkhorn Public Schools officials are working to notify parents of students who may have been in secondary contact — contact with those who had direct contact with an ill person.
The County Health Department announced Sunday afternoon the “presumptive positive confirmation of two more COVID-19 cases” related to Nebraska’s first case, a 36-year-old Douglas County woman.
“We expected this to happen,” said Adi Pour, county health director. “This demonstrates the importance of contact investigations and shows how well they work.”
The two family members have been in self-quarantine since Friday and remain there. They live in Douglas County, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Their symptoms have been mild and they are improving, according to the state.
The two had limited exposure to others in the community. The county has developed a list of people who were in contact with the two and will be reaching out to them individually, the Health Department said in a statement late Sunday afternoon.
The Omaha woman participated in a Special Olympics basketball tournament at the Fremont Family YMCA on Feb. 29. She is in critical condition and is being treated in the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit in Omaha.
Other close contacts of the woman have tested negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The Elkhorn Public Schools announced Sunday evening that students attending several schools were known to have been exposed to the ill woman: Arbor View Elementary, Hillrise Elementary, Elkhorn High School, Elkhorn South High School, the Young Adult Program and Elkhorn Grandview Middle School. The district said families will be contacted if their child was in a class attended by students who had contact with the woman.
“It is important to note that at this time, we have no reports of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Elkhorn Public Schools,” the district said in a statement Sunday evening. “We believe that the students with known exposure in Fremont on February 29th remain symptom-free.”
Special Olympics Nebraska has canceled several events this month and urged groups to suspend practices and gatherings.
State officials said basketball players, coaches and team staffers who participated in the Special Olympics event should self-quarantine because of the possible exposure.
About 500 athletes participated in the event, in addition to coaches and team staff that were involved, according to the Three Rivers Public Health Department.
Spectators of the Special Olympics events and other people who were in the Fremont Y on Feb. 29 can self-monitor, health officials say. They should contact a local health department or their health care provider if they develop symptoms.
Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms include fever of greater than 100.4 degrees, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.