GRAND ISLAND — With schools closed and parents at work, Marcia Uden is leading story time in a circle of grandchildren in the back yard.
Grand Island, in a very short span of time, became one of Nebraska’s hot spots for the coronavirus. Hall County has far more cases than places with much larger populations, and life in the city in the middle of the state has changed drastically.
“We are just trying to have as little contact as possible,” Uden said.
Across the city, streets are empty, businesses are closed, people are working from home and parks are closed.
But in some parts of the city, life goes on, albeit differently. One is Fonner Park, a live horse racing track. One of the few sports that has not been cancelled due to COVID-19 is horse racing. Employees follow strict guidelines and cleaning schedules to minimize risk.
Another is JBS Beef. Ten workers at the plant tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. During a briefing, the plant manager, Zack Ireland, said the plant would continue to operate.
“JBS Grand Island is not forcing anyone to come to work for any reason, especially those who are sick,” he said. “We want all workers who are sick to stay home.”