10 new cases, one death reported; businesses urged to have COVID-19 plans in place

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

McCOOK, Neb. -- Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) has had 10 new cases of COVID-19 reported since September 8th. SWNPHD has also received confirmation of one additional death due to COVID-19 in the health district. This brings the totals for the health district to 174 cases with 151 cases recovered.

SWNPHD encourages all businesses to have a plan in place for if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to a positive case. Plans should include how to identify close contacts within the business, how to continue operations if several employees are isolated or quarantined, extra sanitation measures, and policies for when to allow return to work. Each business should have their own policies in place now that Nebraska has moved to Phase 4 of the reopening statewide. This continues the transition away from government mandates and return of control to local employers and individuals, to make decisions with information now widely available and to be responsible for protecting the safety of their communities.

This transition to individual responsibility is also the reason SWNPHD is moving away from reporting individual case data towards following the risk dial guidelines for the week. At this point in time, the preventive actions to reduce the spread to ourselves and those around us should be a part of everyday life. This includes the three Ws: wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands. These three actions will help everyone to be safe at home and at work.

The COVID-19 Community Risk Dial for the week of September 14th is yellow, meaning residents of southwest Nebraska have a moderate risk of contracting COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who would like to be tested can call their medical provider or sign up for a free TestNebraska event. Locations are listed after completing the health assessment online at testnebraska.com.

COVID-19 information is available at CDC.gov and swhealth.ne.gov. You can also follow SWNPHD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 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 Arbys) in McCook.

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