Scotts Bluff County sees its first confirmed case of COVID-19

President Trump approves Florida Disaster Declaration to supplement efforts related to the coronavirus. (MGN)
President Trump approves Florida Disaster Declaration to supplement efforts related to the coronavirus. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Mar. 29, 2020 at 5:46 PM CDT
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Scotts Bluff County Health Department confirms it has its first case of COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Unified Command states it is a male in his 30’s who received a positive test Sunday afternoon. The individual has been isolating himself at home since March 24th. There is an investigation underway into identifying the people who he had been in close contact with over the past 14 days to prevent further spread.

They also detailed the individual was exhibiting a fever, cough and shortness of breath with conditions worsening.

Scotts Bluff County Health Department Director Paulette Schnell states all identified close contacts will self-quarantine and be actively monitored twice a day by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Schnell further details that this case is not connected to the recent case confirmed in Goshen County.

As of Sunday afternoon, the entire Panhandle had 13 different tests including this one out. They won't know for another couple of days if there is a community spread.

The presence of one COVID-19 case in the community suggests the possibility that more patients will be diagnosed. For your health, please follow these guidelines:

• Practice good hand hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing and proper use of hand sanitizer

• Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth

• Be sure you have all needed medications and supplies on hand as if you were preparing for a severe snowstorm

• Practice social distancing – no closer than 6 feet from others

“Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, according to the CDC,” stated Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District. “It is very important that those individuals and their families observe strict isolation practices.”

Regional West asks anyone in the area who has potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and has a fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath to call before going to any healthcare facility. Healthcare providers will determine if the person can be cared for at home or if screening is necessary. You may call your provider or public health at:

• Scotts Bluff County Health Department: 308-630-1580

• Panhandle Public Health District: 308-262-5764

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