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COVID-19 in Local News: April 9

Health Records laws have, in the past, prevented first responders to know of communicable diseases of those they come in contact with during emergency situations. That’s now changed in Nebraska. Governor Pete Ricketts Wednesday signed an executive order allowing law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs to be informed if they are responding to an emergency where Covid-19 may be a factor.

Matters relating to the Covid-19 pandemic are on the Blair City Council agenda this coming Tuesday, including declaration of an emergency, which will make funding available, consideration of a $5,000 grant from Keno funds for the Washington County Food Pantry, and considering establishing a grant program for members of the Blair Volunteer Fire Department exposed to Covid-19 in the line of duty who must quarantine. Those are just a hand full of the agenda items for Tuesdays meeting, a complete agenda can be found online at

The number of people in Iowa that have succumbed to the Covid-19 Virus now stands at 29. Two elderly adults – both from Linn County died. 125 newly confirmed cases are also reported in the Hawkeye state. None in Harrison County.

Two more Covid-19 Virus deaths reported in Nebraska – a man in his 50’s died from the virus in Lancaster County, and a man in his 70’s in Madison County. Nebraska has 19 deaths from the virus, none in Washington County so far.

The change in routine, the stress brought on by reduced income into a household, and too much togetherness can make family members feel edgy and less patient than normal. Many area law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in domestic disturbance and child abuse calls. If your kids are starting to get on your nerves, remember to walk away and cool off before responding to them. April is Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness month, the national hotline is 1-800-4 a Child or 1-800-422-4453

Wearing a cloth face mask that covers your nose and mouth and shopping alone just one time per week are some of the latest recommendations coming from Three Rivers Public Health Department. In addition to earlier guidelines , the recommendations include avoiding hosting people who do not live with you, including family members, and checking in on neighbors and others who may be alone and in need. Read more online at

Many businesses have altered their schedules or closed due to the Corona Virus. One however, that is still trying to keep normal hours – Blair’s Memorial Community Hospital and Health Systems. CEO Manny Wolf says appointments made prior to the virus outbreak are still valid. She asks that if you aren’t able to keep your appointment, please do properly cancel it to avoid tying up doctor and clinic time. This includes the hospital and clinics in Blair, Fort Calhoun, the Cottonwood Clinic in Tekamah, and the Specialty Clinic.

- Reported by Connie Green.

Listen here to Connie's interview with Pastor Stan Latta regarding the impact Covid-19 is having on churches.

For more coverage of the Coronavirus and local community response, including news from Connie Green and guest host interviews with Kelly Johnson, click here.

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