Pour: Douglas County Health Department monitoring 267 people for COVID-19 symptoms

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Douglas County Health Department Director Dr. Adi Pour said Thursday afternoon that the county is monitoring 267 individuals who may have coronavirus.

In a live news conference with Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and other city and county officials, Pour announced four new cases in Douglas County. Out of 44 total cases, nine are community-spread — meaning health officials are not sure how the patients contracted the virus.

The monitoring process includes making temperature checks, among other things, Pour said.

Stothert and health officials are pleased with those numbers and said staying away from big groups and social distancing is working.

RELATED: Continuing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Drive-through testing

Pour said calls and questions from the public are getting more specific, too, with many questioning why they can't get tested.

The situation remains fluid. Health experts keep watching our numbers, just in case something needs to change with how we live our lives.

"I think we're lucky we caught it early," Pour said. "And hopefully, now we can open the channels for more testing."

Stothert said she's prepared to issue more special-use permits to allow for drive-through testing.

The site closed down last week has cleared up its issue with authorities and is due to re-open soon, along with others, the mayor said.

Corrections update

Douglas County Corrections is also one of the potential hotspots, with more than a thousand men and women confined there. But the preventative measure of isolating new inmates — and banning visitors — seems to be working.

"Despite rumors to the contrary, we do not have any current or have we had any COVID-19 cases among inmates or staff," said Mike Myers, Douglas County Corrections.

Parks deparment

As county residents try to find ways to self-isolate and practice social distancing, the parks department is encouraging using parks to help with physical — and mental — health. But there's one exception:

"We have 197 playgrounds in our parks system, which — for us to clean on a daily basis — would be impossible," parks director Brook Bench said. "So we're recommending people don't use the playground at this time. But everything else will be able to use."