There’s a lot of unknowns at this time about COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus. Because of the unknowns, people are understandably being cautious and practicing social distancing. This is going to have a huge, negative impact on our local community as the medical advice has been saying, it will help “flatten the curve.”
Updates: I thought I was going to be able to update this post daily, but things are changing faster than 24 hours.
To get up-to-the-minute information, keep tabs on the Omaha Tourism Update on COVID-19. Additional resources locally include Nebraska Medicine, Douglas County Health Department (this one is helpful as it lists where community exposures have occurred) and Nebraska Department of Health.
I encourage you to keep tabs on what local health officials are recommending, as well as following your own gut. If you don’t want to go out, don’t go out. If you do…and wash your hands. The current advice, as of March 16, is to avoid crowds of 50 or more people.
Things to do in Omaha when there’s a pandemic
Well, not surprisingly, there isn’t much recommended. Many attractions and tourist destinations, from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium to Omaha Children’s Museum, and many performing arts venues have halted shows at least through the end of March. Most theaters and arenas are offering refunds or will be rescheduling the shows.
With the weather starting to warm up, I’m making plans to be outside with my kids more.
Here are some go-to parks in Omaha that my family likes and kid-friendly trails and hikes near Omaha. I’m also partial to the nearby state parks, including Platte River State Park and Mahoney State Park.
We’re also big on biking, so if you’re looking for a couple of bike trails to explore with your kids, I’ve got you covered.
Omaha events that are cancelled due to Coronavirus
So in a matter of 24 hours, things change quite a bit. Here’s just some of the Omaha events that have been canceled:
- – Opera Omaha has postponed the 2020 ONE Festival slated to begin March 25. Patrons with tickets are encouraged to can contact the box office at 402-346-7372 x2 between the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to discuss options. Subscription sales will continue for our 2020-2021 Season.
- – NCAA canceled the entire men’s basketball tournament, which was going to have first- and second-round men’s basketball games on March 20 and 21 at the CHI Health Center.
- – NCAA’s Men’s College World Series has been canceled. It was going to be from June 13 through June 23/24 at TD Ameritrade Park.
The fate of the U.S. Olympic Team Swim Trials from June 21-28 at CHI Health Center is still unknown. From what I’ve heard, it’s still going as planned.
Precautions you can take if you need to go out
OK, let’s say you have to run to the pharmacy or you’re out of toilet paper (good luck with that). Now what?
Here’s what the CDC is recommending to protect yourself if you go out:
– The best way to avoid getting COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to it. Sound advice. But if you have to go out, what can you do. Well:
– Keep calm and wash your hands.
– Seriously. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. No soap and water available? Use hand sanitizer.
– Follow regular preventative measures:
- Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing – DON’T cough or sneeze into your hands. Wash your hands afterward.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home and car.
– If you are part of a high-risk group (or your child is), stay home.
– If you’re sick, stay home.