Health officials work to determine if first Norfolk COVID-19 case was contracted overseas

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NORFOLK, Neb. (KCAU) – Health officials announced additional testing is underway to attempt to determine where the first positive COVID-19 case in Norfolk was contracted from.

The Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department received an update Wednesday regarding the woman may have acquired the infection. The update includes 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 out out-ofstate, and once that specimen is received back in Nebraska, it will undergo further testing.

If suitable for testing, those laboratory results will not be available until early next week. ELVPHD immediately initiated the contact investigation.

The woman has not left her home since her symptoms began on March 18. Two weeks prior to that, the woman had been participating in active monitoring with ELVPHD 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, officials said.

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 very 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, officials said.

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

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