Five additional COVID-19 cases were identified Wednesday in Nebraska, including two in Douglas County that are  reported in a separate article..

The latest known Nebraska victims are in their 30s-60s.

The new Nebraska cases:

• A woman in her 40s from Dodge County who is self-isolating at home.

  • A woman in her 60s from Washington County who is self-isolating at home. Contact investigations were completed in both of these cases and those who were  identified as close contacts were notified. All identified close contacts will self-quarantine and be actively monitored twice daily by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • A woman in her 50s from Saunders County who is self-isolating at home. A close contact investigation is underway.
  • Two cases are Douglas County residents. One is a woman in her 30s. The other is a woman in her 40s and a close contact investigation is underway.

Also, three cases reported on previous days are thought to be community-transmitted — one each in Lancaster, Saunders and Sarpy counties.

Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials cannot identify how or where they got it.

According to plans, Gov. Pete Ricketts placed tighter restrictions on gatherings in Lancaster, Dodge, Washington and Saunders counties, which will be in effect at least until May 6.

Restaurants and bars in these areas to close their dining areas immediately and move to takeout service, delivery, and/or curbside service only.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department took similar steps to further limit the opportunity for community spread of the virus.

Gatherings in Lancaster County are prohibited for any reason of less than 10 people in single spaces where a minimum of six feet between everyone cannot be maintained including, but not limited to, tattoo and massage parlors, barber shops, and beauty and nail salons.

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.said, “Each of us has a heroic role to play in preventing our health care system from becoming overburdened and saving lives.”

The state total as of Wednesday night is 68.

One previous case was removed from the state total because the person lives in a different state.

People who are concerned they may have COVID-19 should self-isolate and call ahead to their primary care provider to be screened over the phone.

Here’s where to find tools and resources for individuals and families, schools, communities, businesses, healthcare facilities, and first responders on the DHHS website – http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and CDC’s website – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.

DHHS opened a statewide coronavirus (COVID-19) information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

People are advised to: 

  • Stock up on supplies, including extra necessary medications.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Recent data shows that the virus is also affecting younger people. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said 20% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. were 20-44 years old.