DHHS Friday COVID-19 Update

News Release
For Immediate Release: 7/24/2020

Leah Bucco-White, Communications, (402) 309-4157, leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov  

Khalilah LeGrand, Communications, (402) 853-1320, khalilah.legrand@nebraska.gov  

Limiting potential spread essential, TestNebraska reaches milestone 

LINCOLN – The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. CT today, is 24,174, an increase of 1,813 from last Friday. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Dashboard data also continues to show an increase in positive cases being reported this week over last week. There were 15 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, for a total of 316. In addition, 17,999 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.

DHHS asks each and every Nebraskan to do their part so cases don't continue to climb. Limiting the potential for COVID-19 spread is essential now and as the state looks ahead to fall. 

Protect yourself and others:

  1. Keep your distance - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html

  2. Wear a face covering - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

  3. Recognize risk - https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/7-steps-to-identify-risky-covid-19-situations?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MIM07012020.

  4. Stay home - if you're sick or if you've been exposed to COVID-19 - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html

  5. Get tested - if you've been exposed or have symptoms – TestNebraska.com or TestNebraska.com/es for Spanish or another testing site offered in your community
  6. Wash your hands - https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html 

Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

TestNebraska reaches milestone – 100,000 Nebraskans tested

Today, TestNebraska, which is currently the number one source of testing in the state of Nebraska, reached a milestone having tested more than 100,000 Nebraska residents since the program launched in April.

TestNebraska plans to expand its daily COVID-19 lab capacity from 3,600 to 7,000 tests a day in the coming weeks. More test appointments will be added as lab capacity expands. Expanded test capacity is intended to help long-term care facilities, schools and communities identify COVID-19 cases and respond to slow the spread of the virus.

To reserve a testing slot, complete an online assessment at TestNebraska.com, or TestNebraska/es for Spanish, and schedule a visit to the nearest TestNebraska site. Locations, dates and times for the coming weeks are listed on the site.

Loup Basin now in Phase 4 DHM, North Central moving to Phase 4 Aug. 1

Effective today, a nine county area in central Nebraska has moved to Phase 4 of the state's reopening plan established by a series of Directed Health Measures (DHM). Over the past month, COVID-19 cases have remained low in the region.

Phase 4 guidelines remove capacity restrictions on restaurants, bars, churches, child care centers, and other businesses, and allow outdoor venues to operate at full capacity. Arenas and event centers can operate at 75 percent capacity, though organizers of events of 500 or more people must receive local health department approval prior to reopening.

Recommendations remain in place for social distancing, the use of face coverings and other prevention measures to limit opportunities for virus transmission. Loup Basin Public Health Department includes Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Howard, Loup, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler Counties.

North Central District Health Department announced it will move to Phase 4 starting Aug. 1, 2020. The jurisdiction includes the nine counties of: Antelope, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Keya Paha, Knox, Pierce and Rock.

Phase 3 DHM restrictions remain in effect for the rest of Nebraska's counties, with limits on restaurants and bars, fitness and child care centers, salons, barbers, and other services. Indoor venues are limited to 50 percent capacity, 75 percent capacity for outdoor venues, and facilities hosting 500 or more people must receive submit a plan and receive approval from the local health department to reopen.

A summary of DHM phases is available online at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/COVID-19-Outline-of-Changes-to-DHMs-ALL-Phases.pdf.

Nebraskans seeking information or help with general questions can call the DHHS COVID-19 information hotline at (402) 552-6645, or toll-free (833) 998-2275. The COVID-19 hotline is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CT, 7 days a week. DHHS will continue to share new information via the DHHS website, as well as Facebook and Twitter.


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