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Khalilah LeGrand, Communications, (402) 853-1320, firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't unknowingly put lives at risk, take action to protect yourself and others
LINCOLN – The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. CT today, is 26,211, an increase of 2,037 from last Friday. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) dashboard continues to show an increase in positive cases this week over last week. There were 16 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, for a total of 332. A total of 19,172 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.
DHHS asks every Nebraskan to do their part to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. You may not know who is more vulnerable around you and you don't want to unknowingly put your loved ones or someone else's life at risk.
While confirmed cases continue to remain manageable for the state's health care system, the daily average of positive cases has been increasing. For July 25-31, the average daily case count was 291, up from 259 the prior week, and 226 two weeks ago.
Protect yourself and others:
Test Nebraska is expanding its daily COVID-19 testing capacity from 3,600 to 7,000 tests a day in the coming weeks. More test appointments are being added as lab capacity expands. More testing 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 Test Nebraska site. Dates and times for over 30 test locations across the state are listed on the site.
Three Health Districts in Reopening Phase 4
Effective tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 1, two new regions serving a total of 18 counties will move to Phase 4 of the state's reopening plan established by a series of Directed Health Measures (DHM).
North Central District Health Department and Southwest Public Health Department will join the Loup Basin district already in Phase 4, totaling 27 counties.
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 may operate at 75 percent capacity, though organizers of events of 500 or more people must still receive local health department approval prior to reopening.
While restrictions are fewer, recommendations remain to continue social distancing, as well as using face coverings, hand washing, and staying home when sick to help limit virus transmission. Anyone with close contact to someone testing positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to isolate and get tested.
Phase 3 Restrictions Extended
Phase 3 DHM restrictions have been extended through Aug. 31 for Nebraska's remaining 66 counties.
Phase 3 limits capacity for 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 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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