Update on New Cases of COVID-19 in Southwest Nebraska

In the past seven days, Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) has been notified of 21 peoplefrom SWNPHD’s health district that have tested positive for COVID-19.

New cases include the following: •One Frontier County resident–a male in his 70’s, related to community spread. •One Furnas County resident –a female in her 30’s,related to direct contactwith another confirmed case of COVID-19. •Eight Keith County residents–a female in her 20’s and a male in his 80’s, both related to community spread, a female in her 30’s and a male infant both under investigation, and four others related to direct contact with a case in Perkins County:a female in her 20’s, a male in his 20’s, a male in his 60’s and a female in her 60’s. •Nine Perkins County residents–one male and eight females, allover the age of 80 and related to direct contact. •Two Red Willow County residents–a male in his 30’s related to community spread, and a female in her teens related to travel.

These cases bring the total to 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Forty-two of the cases have recovered, and there has been one death. Forty-three cases have been reported in the 2 weeks since July 12th; before that there were 28 cases reported in 3 months.About half of these recent cases are related to an ongoing outbreak in Perkins County.Individuals who had direct contact with the positive cases were notified of their exposure and given instructions to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. Direct contact means they were within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more.

Anyone who had brief or minimal contact is at low risk and is not required to quarantine and is encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms.There are free COVID-19 testing events being held throughout the health district, provided by 3 local healthcare agencies: Mark’s Pharmacy of Cambridge, Community Hospital of McCook, and Banner Health of Ogallala Community Hospital. Anyone interested in being tested can fill out the assessment at testnebraska.com or call 402-207-9377 and select a local testing site to make an appointment.The COVID-19 Community Risk Dial for the week of July 27th is yellow.Residents of southwest Nebraska should use caution when at gatherings or in public, including avoiding high-touch surfaces and wearing a mask. Choose outdoor activities when possible and avoid close contact in enclosed spaces.Those who are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 should stay home.For more information on COVID-19 in southwest Nebraska, visit www.swhealth.ne.gov.