Doctors Now able to Clinically Diagnose COVID-19

Doctors Now able to Clinically Diagnose COVID-19

HOLDREGE, Neb. — Two Rivers Public Health Department has not identified a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19.  Evidence suggests that >80% of COVID-19 infections are mild and might not warrant a healthcare visit or lab test. Capacity and supplies for COVID-19 laboratory testing are currently limited and being prioritized to highest risk individuals.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Health Alert Network Advisory (dated March 19, 2020) states that, “given the consequences of widespread transmission,” public health authorities have determined that a diagnosis of COVID-19 from a healthcare provider without testing is enough to warrant self-isolation. The following symptoms are enough to warrant self-isolation:

  • Temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

The practice of self-isolation means an individual is staying home, and limiting contact with other individuals in the household. Self-isolation should be practiced by individuals with the symptoms above, and individuals returning from China, Iran, Most European Countries, United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Nebraska Public Health Laboratory will attempt to test any patient in the following groups:

  • Inpatients: For suspected COVID-19, who have had negative test results on flu tests and respiratory panels
  • Outpatients: Vulnerable or high risk populations, including health care workers, public safety workers, nursing home workers and day care workers.

The notice also includes updated recommendations for travelers. Among the new guidelines:

  • All returning travelers, from any international or domestic location, should limit public interactions, practice social distancing and self-monitor.
  • If a returning traveler develops fever and respiratory illness, they need to IMMEDIATELY self-isolate and report to a health care provider or local health department.

Individuals who are practicing social distancing are encourages to avoid public places, but may still go if necessary. These individuals may attend work and run errands, but are highly encouraged to take measures to protect themselves and others by frequently washing their hands, covering their cough, and standing about 6 feet from other individuals. Movement within and between our communities should be limited to only important travel.