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The Antelope

What to expect from area health systems

There have been no known cases of COVID-19 in the Kearney area.


With COVID-19 on the public’s mind, Kearney area health systems have a plan in the event of an outbreak. 

Jeremy Eschliman, the health director at Two Rivers Public Health Department, said that people should stay calm.

“We have some of the best technology in the world when it comes to treating disease,” Eschliman said.

Two Rivers Public Health Department covers health systems in Buffalo County, Dawson County, Gosper County, Phelps County, Kearney County, Harlan County, and Franklin County. 

Eschliman said the department held infectious disease training for the health systems in these counties, so they will be able to put that training to use in the event of an outbreak in the area. In addition to the health systems, area schools also have plans in place. 

According to Eschliman, one of the biggest concerns regarding COVID-19 is the possibility of overcrowding hospitals.

“This has the potential to overwhelm our health systems,” Eschliman said. “We are trying to effectively slow the process down of [people] acquiring COVID-19 to a point where the health systems can handle the spread.”

If hospitals are full, the health systems will have to resort to transporting patients to other hospitals. 

Eschliman explained that this virus is contagious, but not anywhere near as bad as diseases like Ebola. He said that a majority of the population is expected to experience little to no symptoms. A main goal is to protect Nebraska’s vulnerable populations, which includes individuals over 60 years of age, pregnant women, infants, and those with pre-existing conditions. 

There are a number of practices that can slow the spread of the virus and help protect individuals that are at risk for complications. It is important to regularly wash hands and cough into a tissue rather than the hands or elbowa. Social distancing and standing approximately six feet away from others can also help. Most importantly, those that are sick need to stay away from others.

A number of people in the area have been tested, and there are no known cases in the seven aforementioned counties. If these conditions change, Two Rivers Public Health Department will issue a press release and post this information on their website at 

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