Ricketts Warns Public Against Overreacting To Coronavirus Threat


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska officials have issued a warning for residents who recently traveled to one of 10 countries that have experienced an outbreak of coronavirus/COVID-19 and are asking them to self-report to state or local public health officials through an online portal.

Governor Pete Ricketts is urging people to maintain perspective in the face of the warning and self-reporting request, emphasizing that COVID-19 has claimed no lives in the U-S while the flu kills 12,000 Americans each year.

He says the request to have travelers register their return on the database is meant to be a prudent step in efforts to track and combat spread of the disease.

The Nebraska Dept of Health and Human Services is tracking the virus that originated in China, and is also seeking people who have traveled within the last 14 days to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam.

Officials says they haven’t identified any COVID-19 cases in Nebraska residents, although the state is providing quarantine locations for people who were exposed elsewhere in the world.

A Health Advisory released Tuesday by Nebraska DHHS provides new guidance to healthcare professionals to help identify and track potential cases of the illness involving people returning to the state from nations with Covid-19.