Nebraska Now At 5 COVID Cases, No Fans For Boys State Tourney

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska Dept of Health and Human Services says two more Nebraska residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease, bringing the state total to five.

An Omaha-area woman in her 40s who’d recently traveled to California and Nevada is in self-quarantine and recovering at home while a student at Crofton High School in the northeast part of the state is in the Biocontainment Unit of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

It’s unclear whether the student’s case is travel related or related to any of the other four cases. The first 3 cases are related – a 36-year old Omaha woman who’d traveled to Great Britain and her father and brother. She’s also in the Biocontainment unit while the men are self-quarantined at home.

The Crofton student attended two games at the girls state basketball tournament last Thursday in Lincoln, Hartington Cedar Catholic versus Weeping Water at Lincoln Southwest High School and Crofton against Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur Northeast at Lincoln North Star High School

To limit exposure, classes and activities in Crofton have been cancelled at least through Friday, when officials will re-assess the situation.

Because of the Crofton case, the Nebraska School Activities Association has decided that the boys state tournament, which starts tomorrow in Lincoln, will go ahead but without fans except for immediate family. Details and logistics are still being worked out.

The No Fan decision was based on a recommendation from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and NSAA Executive Director Jay Bellar says the association is “very saddened” the tournament can’t go on as normal, but understands the health department’s concerns – adding that attempts will be made to provide live video from most or all games.

State Education Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt says the tournament wasn’t cancelled because officials want to respect all of the hard work that players and coaches have put in to qualifying for the state tournament.

The NSAA is defining immediate family as parents, stepparents, guardians, siblings, other members living in the athlete’s household, and grandparents. Administrators from the participating schools will be required to provide a list of those meeting the qualifications and to be at the entrance of each venue to identify and grant entry to those on the list.