21 more COVID-19 cases in district brings total to 70; one death

Monday, July 27, 2020 ~ Updated 1:31 PM

McCOOK, Neb. -- Twenty-one more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department District, bringing the total to 70 in the district.

They include a male in his 70s in Frontier County, related to community spread, a Furnas County female in her 30s related to direct contact, eight Keith County residents, a female in her 20s and a male in his 80s, both related to community spread, a female in her 30s and a male infant, both under investigation, and four others related to direct contact with a case in Perkins County: a female in her 20s, a male in his 20s, a male in his 60s and a female in her 60s.

Nine Perkins County residents one male and eight females, all over the age of 80 and related to direct contact, and two Red Willow County residents, a male in his 30s related to community spread and a female in her teens related to community spread.

Twelve of 40 residents at the Golden Ours nursing home and assisted living were found to test positive for COVID-19, and seven were sent to area hospitals because they could not be cared for in the Grant hospital.

The seven include three sent to Community Hospital in McCook, two to Ogallala Community Hospital, 1 to Great Plains Health in North Platte and one to Chase County Community Hospital in Imperial.

“This has been wonderful collaboration of Southwest Nebraska hospitals and public health departments to support the Grant community,” said Molly Herzberg, CNO/Vice President of Patient Care Services and current Community Hospital Incident Commander.

“The situation in Grant, with a number of residents and nursing home staff affected by COVID-19, depleted the staff resources to care for these patients. The surrounding hospitals stepped up to support the community at their greatest need.”

The Perkins County seat, Grant has closed its city hall, library and swimming pool to the public and ended its American Legion baseball season.

Of the 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department District, 42 have recovered, and there has been one death.

Forty-three cases have been reported in the 2 weeks since July 12; before that there were 28 cases reported in 3 months.  About half of these recent cases are related to the 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 27 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.  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 in McCook.

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