New statewide DHMs in place
McCOOK, Neb. -- Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department has received updated Directed Health Measures for the health district that will apply to all counties in Nebraska. Some of the changes include 25% capacity for indoor gatherings and events, 6 feet required between groups of 8 people or less in any setting, and masks required for any indoor business where people will be closer than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. These changes will be in effect from November 11th to November 30th, 2020.
SWNPHD had 184 new cases of COVID-19 reported from November 2nd to November 9th. A breakout by county includes: Chase 25; Dundy 8; Frontier 6; Furnas 36; Hayes 2; Hitchcock 10; Keith 26; Perkins 9; Red Willow 62. This brings the totals for the health district to 1131 cases with 686 cases recovered. Many of these cases are linked to direct contact with another positive case; however, community spread is occurring across all nine counties. An additional four deaths due to COVID-19 were also reported.
The spread of COVID-19 in Nebraska has reached the point that additional action must be taken in order to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Other areas are already seeing delays in care due to lack of hospital beds or difficulty arranging transfers to other hospitals. While the hospitals in SWNPHDs nine-county health district are currently handling the extra patient load, the situation could change very quickly. The effect of this change would be felt throughout the area and goes beyond just COVID-19 patients. A lack of hospital beds, especially trauma beds, would mean delays in care for victims of accidents or others with immediate needs.