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Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19

  1. What are the plans for shutting things back down when the cases begin to skyrocket in our community like they're doing statewide?

    A: The DHM issued for our jurisdiction aligns with COVID-19 activity in our area. If that activity changes and increases past our capacity, then we would work with the governor on updating the DHM to reflect the prevalence in our area.

  2. I'm having symptoms of COVID-19. Can I be tested? 

    A: Individuals interested in being tested should contact their healthcare provider or West Central District Health department at (308) 696-1201. They can also go to to complete an assessment and sign up to be notified when drive-through testing offered through the State of Nebraska becomes available. 

  3. Is antibody testing available? 

    A: Yes, antibody testing is available. The test is open to the public with a physician's order. Contact your provider for additional information. This testing is also available through Great Plains Health and Pathology Services.

  4. I'm having symptoms of COVID-19. Do I need to see my doctor or go to the ER? 

    A: We want to make sure that our healthcare system has the capacity to handle severe cases of COVID-19.  If you are having symptoms that are mild enough that you wouldn’t normally call your doctor, then you can simply stay home and isolate until you’ve recovered. 

    On the other hand, if you feel sick enough that you normally see your doctor, please go ahead and call your doctor.  Make sure to let your doctor know you are having COVID-19 symptoms before going to the doctor’s office.  Similarly, if your symptoms are so severe that you would normally go to the ER or call 911 – especially if you are having trouble breathing – please go to the ER or call 911 immediately. Please register with your local health department to notify them that you are experiencing symptoms. Register here if you live within the WCDHD jurisdiction:

  5. I might have been exposed to COVID-19. What do I need to do?

    A:  If you were in direct contact (closer than 6 feet for approximately 10 minutes or longer) with a person confirmed by a laboratory test or clinical diagnosis to have COVID-19, then you need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of the last exposure.

    If you had indirect (contact of a contact) exposure to a positive case, you are not required to self-quarantine but should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and engage in strict social distancing.

    In either case, if you start to develop COVID-19 symptoms, then you need to self-isolate until you’ve recovered.  You are consider recovered after: At least 3 days (72 hours) since you’ve had a fever without the use of fever reducing medications AND improvement in respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath; and, At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

    Please register with your local health department to notify them that you might have been exposed to COVID-19. Register here if you live within the WCDHD jurisdiction:

  6. A person with COVID-19 might have exposed people at my office or business? What do we need to do?

    A:  A suspected case of COVID-19 is anyone who has any two of the following symptoms: fever 100.4 or above, cough, runny nose, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath.  Once a person is positive either through a laboratory test or clinical diagnosis, then all the people with direct exposure (closer than 6 feet for approximately 10 minutes or longer) should be sent home to self-quarantine. Everyone else can continue to work but should self-monitor for symptoms. You should also follow the CDC’s guidance to clean any parts of the facility where the person suspected of having COVID-19 spent time, but you do not have to close the entire facility. 

  7. I just returned from out-of-state travel. Do I need to do anything?

    A:  Please see the Nebraska DHHS COVID-19 Traveler Recommendations for this time at:

  8. My business has had to close.  What can I do to get by?

    A:  The following are some of the options if your business has had to close due to this public health crisis:
    1. Check your insurance for a clause about being shut down by a government entity to see if you can file a claim
    2. Consider filing for unemployment since restrictions for self-employed individuals have been waived.  WIC and SNAP benefits are also options.
    3. Work with your bank to see if you can access small business loans made possible through stimulus funding
    4. Legal Aid of Nebraska has also set up a COVID-19 legal assistance hotline at 1-844-268-5627.  

  9. If someone isn’t following the Directed Health Measures, who do we need to tell?

    A:  You can contact the non-emergency number for the respective police or sheriff, who will provide education, a warning, or a citation depending on the circumstances.  Violations of the order may be subject to a Class V Misdemeanor for each offense. Email concerns of not following the DHM to