DHHS Friday COVID-19 Update

News Release
For Immediate Release: 8/21/2020

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

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

Remember to stay home if you're sick, New Test Nebraska locations added

LINCOLN – The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. CT today, is 31,626 an increase of 1,638 from last Friday. There were 15 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, for a total of 376. A total of 23,608 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.

The daily average of positive cases for Aug 15-21 is 234 compared to 269, 270 and 291 in prior weeks.

“We recognize the many Nebraskans who are following prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and encourage them to keep it up," said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “With greater movement happening in communities as schools are back in session and colleges reconvene, these actions help protect everyone and preserve our hospital capacity.

“Parents of students are asked to pay particular attention to possible signs of COVID-19 and keep their children home if they are running a fever or displaying other symptoms. Parents should contact their health care provider for an assessment and consider scheduling a test."

Signs of COVID-19 can include a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tiredness, muscle aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Masks matter in the fight against COVID-19. DHHS, Gov. Pete Ricketts, local health department leaders, and medical experts across the state continue to stress the importance of masks and ask Nebraskans to wear them along with taking the preventive actions listed below:

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

  2. Wear a face covering - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends avoiding masks with an exhalation valve or vent, which allow respiratory droplets to be expelled - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html 

  3. Wash your hands - https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

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

  5. 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
  6. Get tested - if you've been exposed or have symptoms via TestNebraska.com or TestNebraska.com/es for Spanish, or another testing site in your community

New Test Nebraska Locations Continue to be Added

Test Nebraska lab capacity continues to expand and more appointments and locations have been added as testing scales up. More testing is intended to help long-term care facilities, schools and communities identify COVID-19 cases and respond to slow virus spread. Testing services offered through Test Nebraska are free.

Test Nebraska will open a South Omaha testing location on Monday. Hours will be 1-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The new test site is located at Metropolitan Community College, South Omaha Campus, Mahoney Lot, 28th and Babe Gomez Avenue.

If Nebraskans are concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, they can receive a test through Test Nebraska. 

To reserve a test, complete an online assessment at TestNebraska.com, or TestNebraska/es for Spanish, and schedule a visit at one of more thaqn 50 locations across the state.

Residents who have general questions about testing or need help completing the online assessment can call the Test Nebraska hotline at (402) 207-9377.

The CDC suggests three key steps to take while waiting for COVID-19 test results - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/php/318271-A_FS_KeyStepsWhenWaitingForCOVID-19Results_3.pdf?deliveryName=USCDC_964-DM35163

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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