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342 Gretna High students tested for coronavirus after cluster reported
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342 Gretna High students tested for coronavirus after cluster reported

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More than 300 Gretna High School students were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday.

The mass testing effort by the Gretna Public Schools, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska Public Health Lab followed reports that more than 40 cases among students were traced to one event.

A note sent to families by Superintendent Rich Beran said the cases have been traced back to a large gathering on Oct. 3.

On Wednesday evening, Beran declined to identify the event attended by Gretna students.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour cited a homecoming party attended by 200 people, hosted by a parent outside Omaha, that has been linked to a “huge outbreak” of the virus.

Pour did not say specifically where the party occurred.

In total, 342 Gretna students were tested, according to a press release from HHS.

Tests were offered for free at the school and were not mandatory.

According to the school’s website, Gretna High has 1,450 students.

Beran said there were “a few glitches in the morning,” but as the day went on, the process went smoothly.

Students can expect their results within 48 hours, Beran said.

In a press release, Beran asked that parents continue to follow appropriate mitigation procedures.

“I certainly understand the want for students and parents to take part in social activities, especially those that are considered a rite of passage; however we must remain vigilant in our efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community,” he said.

Photos: Our best staff images of October 2020

jwade@owh.com, 402-444-1067

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