NDN COVID-19 file

More testing is underway to try to determine where the woman with the first positive COVID-19 test in Norfolk may have acquired the infection.

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department released an update Thursday morning regarding the case.

Melanie Thompson, emergency response coordinator, issued a press release Thursday morning saying that includes a potential analysis of the virus itself to determine the likelihood of whether the illness was acquired overseas.

The original lab specimen was processed at a commercial laboratory from outside the state, and once that specimen is received back in Nebraska, it will undergo further testing, according to the press release.

If suitable for testing, those laboratory results will not be available until early next week.

The health department immediately initiated the contact investigation. The woman has not left her home since her symptoms began March 18, according to the health department.

Two weeks prior to that, the woman had been participating in active monitoring with the health department following her international travels.

“This definitive testing process is underway because the incubation period from the international travel had lapsed two days before her symptoms began — making it more complex and unclear whether this exposure was travel-related with an extended incubation period,” according to the release. “On Monday, March 16, two days before symptoms appeared, the social distancing recommendations were put into place in Nebraska and in the U.S.”

Due to this limited exposure, there were no immediate contacts identified outside of the household. The woman is self-isolating at home, and her family members are quarantined at this time, according to the health department’s recommendations.

More information will be released to the public when the laboratory testing is complete.

In other news

Lieutenant Dain Hicks of the Nebraska State Patrol has been promoted to captain of Troop B, based in Norfolk. Hicks will be in charge of patrol operations in Northeast Nebraska.

MIAMI (AP) — Two ships carrying passengers and crew from an ill-fated South American cruise are pleading with Florida officials to let them carry off the sick and dead, but Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida’s health care resources are already stretched too thin.