Public Health officials in the Nebraska Panhandle say that the number of new positive COVID-19 cases continues to skyrocket at a record pace.
During their Monday afternoon briefing, it was announced that the Panhandle has seen 326 new cases and 150 new recoveries since Thursday.
The new cases by county include:
- Scotts Bluff: 168
- Box Butte: 60
- Dawes: 39
- Cheyenne: 18
- Sheridan: 17
- Morrill: 12
- Kimball: 5
- Garden: 5
- Banner: 1
- Sioux: 1
The new recoveries include 48 in Scotts Bluff County, 37 in Box Butte County, 16 in Sheridan County, 13 in Cheyenne County, 12 in Kimball County, 9 in Dawes County, 9 in Morrill County, 3 in Deuel County, 2 in Garden County, and one in Grant County.
PPHD officials also announcing on Monday that a male in his 70’s is the first COVID-related death in Dawes County, which brings the total deaths in the Panhandle to 12.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of his death. We wish his family and friends peace and comfort during their time of loss,” expressed Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District Director.
Through Monday afternoon, the Panhandle has seen 1,957 total positive cases, 1,236 recoveries, 11 deaths and 18,750 tests have been administered. That leaves 712 active cases- including 33 active hospitalizations- and 11 COVID-related deaths.
Panhandle Public Health District Executive Director Kim Engel says the number of new cases has skyrocketed in October. Currently the doubling rate for the virus is 22 days. Engel says it took 189 days (March 29th through October 4th) for the Panhandle to reach 965 cases. From October 5th through today, an additional 992 cases were confirmed in just a 22 day period.
“So we bring this to your attention just to demonstrate the growth that what’s happening here with the COVID cases and the intensity in which infections are happening,” says Engel.
She says the Panhandle Risk Dial advanced further into the orange category this weekend, but at this time has refrained from reaching the red, or severe, category.