The Nebraska National Guard held a testing event last week in McCook hosted by Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) that screened 102 people for COVID-19. All test results from this event were negative. Individuals from the nine counties in the health district were contacted and given an appointment based on their level of risk. Three levels of risk were prioritized: persons with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who were not seen by a provider for testing, persons with travel history within the past 14 days to an area of high transmission (aka hotspot), and high risk healthcare workers and first responders. An additional testing in North Platte hosted by West Central District Health Department screened 6 people from the SWNPHD health district.
Mass testing is an important strategy to help identify hidden cases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), data has shown that 25% of all cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning they do not show any symptoms. Asymptomatic carriers may be spreading the disease without knowing it, which is also why wearing a mask in public is important to protect the people around you.
While no cases of COVID-19 were discovered during this event, three other cases were identified through medical provider testing. COVID-19 testing is being done daily at area clinics and hospitals. The following 3 positive cases have been identified:
- Case 1 – a male in his thirties in Red Willow County, by community transmission.
- Case 2 – a male in his twenties in Furnas County, related to travel outside the health district.
- Case 3 – a male in his twenties in Furnas County, by direct contact with Case 2.
Community transmission is when someone has COVID-19 and public health officials are unable to identify how or where the individual became infected.
Direct contact is when someone has been around a person with confirmed COVID-19 for longer than ten minutes and within 6 feet or less. Being at a local grocery store at the same time while shopping with someone who may be infected would not be considered direct contact.
If you have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of being tested. This is also recommended for anyone who is experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever, sudden onset of cough and/or shortness of breath, fatigue, and sore throat.
This virus is spreading in the community through person to person spread, and now is the time to use extra caution. Please limit your contact with people who live outside of your home. Maintain social distancing when you are out and about, and make sure to keep 6 feet apart from others. Wear a mask in public. Use hand sanitizer after public contact, and then wash your hands immediately after returning home.
DHHS has a statewide coronavirus (COVID-19) information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.
For more information on COVID-19 in southwest Nebraska, visit swhealth.ne.gov. You can also follow SWNPHD on Facebook and Twitter. SWNPHD serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties. SWNPHD is located at 404 West 10th St (1 block north of Arby’s) in McCook or at 501 Broadway in Imperial (5th St. entrance); 308-345-4223.
(Grand Island, NE) - A candidate aiming for a seat on the Hall County Commissioners has been cited for Misdemeanor theft. At about 10:00 am Monday the Grand Island Police Department took a complaint of a theft of a campaign sign from 1911 North Rd. The campaign sign belonged to Karen Bredthauer. After interviewing the victim, suspect, and witness in this case, a citation was given to her republican opponent in May’s upcoming Primary election Todd Morgan. Morgan admitted to removing the signs.
Bredthauer, the incumbent in the district 2 County Commissioners race says the entire incident calls into question the morals of her opponent.
As of now, charges have not yet been filled by the Hall County Attorney’s office.
This is a developing story and KRGI news will continue to follow the story and provide updates as they become available.
North Platte, Ne - Staff and members of the NEBRASKAland DAYS Board of Directors continue to communicate and gather as much information as we can in an effort to make the best decisions possible about the upcoming 2020 Festival, currently still scheduled for June 17-27, 2020. “We’ve been in contact with State officials, industry partners, and our national contacts throughout the course of the last month,” says Executive Director David Fudge. “At the moment we’re working through a number of scenarios.”
NEBRASKAland DAYS is complying with the Governor’s Directed Health Measures to keep our team safe. While the office remains open, the lobby has been closed to the public. “The sooner we get this behind us the sooner we can get people back to work,” says Fudge. “Right now our prayers are with the frontline medical staff who are working hard to keep people healthy.”
As the situation evolves, information will be released to the public through local media, our social media channels, and our new app, which will be released in the coming week. “When we have a direction, we’ll let everyone know as quickly as possible. We’ll communicate with all of our stakeholders, including those who have tickets purchased. We will not leave you hanging.”
Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) has been notified of an additional person from SWNPHD’s health district that have tested positive for COVID-19.
New cases include:
• One Furnas County resident - A man in his 20s who is currently self-isolating.
Contact investigations are underway to identify people who came into close contact to help prevent further spread. All identified close contacts will self-quarantine and be actively monitored daily by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms.
COVID-19 is active in the communities of southwest Nebraska and not related to any specific location. SWNPHD recommends everyone practice the same protective measures when they go to any location outside their own home.
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 including older adults and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, or organ transplantation.
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
For more information on COVID-19 in southwest Nebraska, visit www.swhealth.ne.gov. You can also follow SWNPHD on Facebook and Twitter. SWNPHD serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties. SWNPHD is located at 404 West 10th St (1 block north of Arby’s) in McCook or at 501 Broadway in Imperial (5th St.entrance).