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Gage County has first 'presumed positive' case of COVID-19
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Gage County has first 'presumed positive' case of COVID-19

Officials suspect the first case of COVID-19 in Gage County has been identified.

A press release from Beatrice Unified Command stated that while there has yet to be a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in the county, there is a “presumed positive” case.

With the limited availability of state laboratory testing, a press release stated that providers have been instructed by the State of Nebraska to clinically diagnose patients as “presumed positive” if presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are testing negative for other common viruses including influenza.

Patients who are designated presumed positive have been instructed to return home under quarantine and to monitor their symptoms. If symptoms worsen they are instructed to contact their provider for next steps. Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center is prepared to provide hospital care if necessary.

“We share this information to encourage everyone to continue to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect those at high risk,” said Beatrice Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Daake. “We support and emphasize the need for everyone to continue to wash their hands, to practice social distancing and to stay home if not feeling well to protect their health, their family’s health and the health of our community.”

Officials ask that anyone in the community who is suffering with a fever, cough, sore throat or troubled breathing to call the Beatrice Community Hospital hotline number, 1-800-859-0240. A registered nurse will assist in determining next steps.

Beatrice Unified Command, which was activated earlier this month, met Monday morning to review the latest information. The group is led by Daake, and includes the mayor and other city and county officials, and representatives from the city, school, Southeast Community College, Homestead National Monument, YMCA, Gage County Emergency Management, Public Health Department, Beatrice Community Hospital and city and county law enforcement.

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