BROKEN BOW—The ever changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted worldwide precautions following the World Health Organization’s official designation of the novel coronavirus as a pandemic with it having spread into at least 114 countries and killed more than 4,000, as reported in a March 11 article by NPR.
In the state of Nebraska, District 36 Senator Matt Williams encourages the public to be prepared.
“This is very serious and people need to be careful, take precautions, and be prepared. I believe whole heartedly our state, from the state government to the containment center at UNMC are as prepared as we can be. But we as individuals need to think about and be prepared ourselves too. Better handwashing conditions, being sure we have some supplies of things at home in case we would have a serious outbreak in Nebraska,” Senator Williams said in an interview with KCNI/KBBN on March 5.
UNK and UNL have suspended in-person classes beginning March 30 due to coronavirus concerns. Local grocery stores are taking enhanced measures to disinfect surfaces and carts frequently and trying to remain stocked on household needs such as paper and cleaning products.
Central Nebraska Medical Clinic (CNMC) in Broken Bow will be offering extended hours for patient care beginning March 23. Extended hours will be until 6 p.m. Monday thru Thursday at the clinic for urgent care needs. CNMC announced in a March 12 Facebook post that anyone experiencing a fever of 100.4 or greater the last 24 hours, respiratory symptoms including cough or difficulty breathing or had had any close contact with anyone with a lab confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) should contact the clinic by calling 308-872-2486.
The Facebook post reads, “Our highest priority is the safety of our patients, staff, community and guests. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health care facility. DO NOT COME TO THE CLINIC (with COVID-19 symptoms).”
KCNI/KBBN reached out to Becton Dickinson Plant Manager Dave Berge who said “We’re doing the same thing everybody else is, trying to be smart, and get through it together.”
The Broken Bow BD plant employs approximately 585 people and operates 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Berge said operations are continuing as normal at this time but the local plant is following guidance from the government. Berge added that everyone should continue to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at a time.
Here are some ways to protect yourself and others as recommended by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services:
• Staying home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.
• Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Follow the same family plans and kits that people may use for flu season or severe weather season.