Tag Archives: Coronavirus

On Wednesday, April 1st, Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department received confirmation of the first COVID-19 death in Madison County. This death was that of a woman in her 70s that was previously reported as a confirmed case in Madison County. The woman had multiple underlying medical conditions.

ELVPHD was in the process of conducting a contact investigation at the time of the death. All community contacts identified were reached, and all are self-quarantining per our department’s recommendations.

In addition, ELVPHD staff initiated and completed the contact investigation of the Cuming County case that was reported yesterday. After a very thorough interview and investigation, all identified contacts were called and all are self-quarantining per our department’s recommendations. There were no public points of exposure. This case is being labeled as community spread in that it cannot be linked to any known source or point of exposure.

Last, one additional COVID-19 case was confirmed in Madison County today. This third case is a woman in her 70s with multiple underlying medical conditions. This investigation is underway.

As cases continue to appear in the ELVPHD district, and across the state and nation, it is imperative that the public partake in personal protective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Those include social distancing, frequent handwashing, avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding touching of mouth, nose and eyes, and clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces daily.

The entire ELVPHD district was placed under Directed Health Measures on Sunday, March 29th, and will continue at least through Mary 6th, unless otherwise extended.


Madison County reported a new case of COVID-19, which has been identified as community transmitted. It’s a man in his 70s who currently resides at a long-term care facility in Norfolk. He is self-isolating. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials are unable to identify how or where they became infected – https://elvphd.org/.

A state Directed Health Measure (DHM) will be issued and go into effect Sunday, March 29 at 9:00 a.m. for Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton Counties.

First cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gosper and Platte Counties – https://www.trphd.org/ and https://ecdhd.ne.gov/.

Tonight’s state case total is 109. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched a new data dashboard that provides daily updates to the state’s COVID-19 case totals. You can find it at http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.

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. People in these higher-risk groups should:

– Stock up on supplies, including extra necessary medications.
– Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
– When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
– Avoid crowds as much as possible.
– Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
– If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Recent data shows that the virus is also affecting younger people. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said 20% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. were 20-44 years old.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. People who are concerned they may have COVID-19 should self-isolate and call ahead to their primary care provider to be screened over the phone.

Everyone can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by:

– Avoiding close contact with sick people and stay home if you 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.
– Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
– Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
– Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Here’s where to find tools and resources for individuals and families, schools, communities, businesses, healthcare facilities, and first responders on the DHHS website – http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and CDC’s website – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.

DHHS opened a statewide coronavirus (COVID-19) information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The CDC’s website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.



On Saturday, March 28th, Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department (ELVPHD) learned of a positive COVID-19 case, deemed to be community spread, in Norfolk. A man in his 70s, a resident of St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Care Center, has contracted COVID-19.

After thorough interview and investigation, it is unclear as to how the resident became exposed. St. Joseph’s enacted policies on March 10th to protect their residents and teammates from potential COVID exposure and spread, and has thus been observing visitor restrictions in the facility since that date. Due to the health condition of the resident, two immediate family members were permitted into the facility. Both are quarantined in their homes according to health department recommendations.

St. Joseph’s administration has been very helpful throughout this investigation process. St. Joseph’s residents and staff are being closely monitored, according to ELVPHD. “It is the health department’s and St. Joseph’s mutual priority to prevent this virus from affecting other teammates and residents of the facility,” said Gina Uhing, Health Director of Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department. Rita Raffety, Administrator of St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Care Center states “The resident was immediately placed in droplet isolation and is being cared for within the facility by an assigned team. We remain optimistic that the measures that we have in place will prevent further spread within the facility.”

Community spread cases spark the governor to order Directed Health Measures. The measures, when announced, will go into effect for the entire ELVPHD district—Burt, Cuming, Stanton and Madison Counties. More information on these measures will be announced Sunday.



Lincoln, Nebraska– U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Centers are encouraging visitors to take proactive protective measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Beginning Monday, March 23, USDA Service Centers in Nebraska will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. In the event a Service Center is closed, producers can receive assistance from the closest alternate Service Center by phone.

Producers can find Service Center phone numbers at farmers.gov/service-center-locator. FPAC agencies continue to look at flexibilities to deliver programs on behalf of producers, just as they have in past situations, such as natural disasters. Farmers and ranchers are resilient and FPAC agencies will continue to deliver the farm safety net programs and resource conservation programs that keep American agriculture in business today and long into the future.

Online services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal where producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. Online NRCS services are available to customers through the Conservation Client Gateway. Customers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at farmers.gov/sign-in.

For the most current updates on available services and Service Center status visit farmers.gov/coronavirus.

The first approved coronavirus bill includes several nutrition provisions. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Donald Trump Wednesday.

Among other things, the legislation provides more than $1 billion to provide food to pregnant women and mothers with young children, help food banks, and provide meals to families and seniors. The bill creates a Health Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to allow states to increase benefits for families who need additional food assistance during this crisis.

The legislation also lifts certain restrictions that make it harder for families to continue to get food during this time. The legislation also Improves child nutrition programs to allow schools and nonprofits to serve children during closures and allows multiple meals to be taken home or delivered. The bill allows alternative meal distribution methods such as mobile delivery.

Additionally, the bill expands eligibility to schools and nonprofits, establishes a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer for families that rely on school meals, expands food distribution through food bank funding, and allows states to waive burdensome requirements.

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts issued an executive order on March 19, to provide relief to restaurants and bars as they continue to serve Nebraskans during the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  In keeping with federal guidelines, the State of Nebraska has issued guidance that restaurants and bars are currently limited to 10 patrons as part of a nationwide social distancing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On March 19, the State of Nebraska directed restaurants and bars in Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties to close their dining/seating areas and move to takeout, carry-out, or delivery only.  This action came after the Douglas County Public Health Department reported its second case of COVID-19 that officials could not trace to its origin (commonly known as a “community spread” case).

The Governor’s executive order will permit restaurants and bars statewide greater flexibility to serve Nebraskans during the current public health emergency.

  • Liquor Licensing – Establishments such as pizza parlors (Class A license holders) will be able to sell beer to customers on take-out or delivery orders.  Restaurants (Class I license holders) will be able to sell beer, wine, and spirits to customers placing take-out or delivery orders.
  • Sale of Alcohol – To encourage social distancing, restaurants and bars will be permitted to sell alcohol on the drive-thru or curbside orders without customers having to exit their motor vehicles.
  • Temporary Operating Permits – Temporary operating permits will be extended from 90 to 180 days.
  • Waiver of Excise Tax Penalties – Excise tax payees still have the duty to file and pay the excise tax according to the statute.  However, the executive order will waive penalties for late payments.
  • Payment of wine and spirit deliveries – Under normal circumstances, wine and spirit deliveries must be paid within 30 days.  The executive order will give restaurants and bars 90 days to pay for wine and spirit deliveries for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.  The requirement that beer deliveries be paid upon delivery is not changed.

Livestock limit down as it was on expanded limit.  Not a lot of proteins moving with cancellations because of Coronavirus.  How does the cattle & pork producer try to focus & find the positive?  Basis continues for the corn steady.  Feed demand will have added pressure to the grains-almost a domino effect.  How will the slow down and fuel issues effect the ethanol plants.  March planting intentions report outlook.

ARLINGTON, VA – In response to the continued spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus) in the United States and the virus’s potential impact on domestic and international markets, National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said the following:


“As the organization representing U.S. dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own, the National Milk Producers Federation stands ready to assist its members in addressing coronavirus challenges. From possible damages to domestic and world markets, to supply chain labor disruptions on the farm, at the processing plant or in transporting milk, the potential ramifications for dairy are wide-ranging. We will devote our resources to the best of our ability to helping dairy farmers and cooperatives respond to whatever challenges they may face.


“The good news is that the U.S. dairy supply is safe, and production of high-quality products continues unimpeded. The FDA has confirmed that heat treatment kills other coronaviruses, so pasteurization is expected to also inactivate this virus. In addition, there is no evidence that this strain of coronavirus is present in domestic livestock such as cattle.


“Still, all producers will remain vigilant as what has now been labeled a pandemic continues its path. We will continue to answer questions and offer information to help our members. Policy solutions also may be needed for producers whose operations have been affected by the virus. In keeping with our mission of serving our members, regardless of the challenge, we will work with lawmakers and regulators to ensure a safe and adequate supply of milk and to mitigate potential economic harm to dairy farmers.”


European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan canceled plans to travel to the U.S. and Canada next week due to the coronavirus. An EU spokesperson told Politico, “The trip has been canceled and will be rescheduled as soon as possible,” adding, “If necessary, contacts will continue through other means.”

Hogan was scheduled to visit the United States while the U.S. and EU are working on a mini trade deal, one that U.S. agriculture interests hope will successfully include agriculture provisions.

However, his visit next week was for a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event. Hogan also canceled his planned trip next week to Canada to discuss World Trade Organization reforms. Both events are postponed or canceled. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced U.S./EU travel restrictions for 30 days, requiring foreign nationals to test for COVID-19 before flying. Last week, Hogan reported the U.S. and the EU were “taking slow, small steps” toward a mini trade deal.

One of the largest agricultural-based events of the year closed Wednesday for public safety reasons, amid the spread of the new coronavirus. In a statement, organizers of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo said, “In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to close.”

The statement continues, saying, “Having to close early is extremely difficult as guests, volunteers, exhibitors, rodeo athletes and entertainers look forward to the 20 days of the Rodeo each year. In 2019, there were more than 2.5 million visitors to the event from 75 countries.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic Wednesday, sparking a chain reaction of events getting postponed or canceled because of the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The American Farm Bureau Federation also announced the cancellation of its Young Farmer And Ranchers conference set for this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.