DHHS Friday COVID-19 Update

News Release
For Immediate Release: 9/18/2020

Leah Bucco-White, Communications, (402) 309-4157,
Khalilah LeGrand, Communications, (402) 853-1320,


Get your flu vaccine during COVID-19. New testing partnerships.

LINCOLN – The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. CT today is 40,387, an increase of 2,546 from last Friday. There were eight new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, for a total of 442. A total of 30,509 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.

The daily average of positive cases for Sept. 12-18 is 364 compared to a daily average of 311 last week, and 318 and 259 in recent weeks.

Continue COVID-19 Prevention

All Nebraskans are urged to continue taking the following preventive actions below to help limit COVID-19 transmission:

In addition, all Nebraskans are encouraged to get flu vaccine this year to help limit the spread of respiratory illnesses, lower the need for medical visits and hospitalizations, and reduce strain on the health care system during the pandemic.

The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone age 6 months and older, especially those at high risk for influenza complications, including infants and young children, children with neurologic conditions, pregnant women, adults age 65 and older, and those with certain underlying medical conditions.

More information on this year's flu vaccine is available at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm.

New COVID-19 Testing Partnerships

The state is launching new partnerships to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing through Test Nebraska. This week, DHHS announced collaborations with the state's largest school district, Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha to support easy testing access in and around Omaha.

The partnership with Children's Hospital will provide mobile COVID-19 testing within a 200 mile radius of Omaha. The mobile testing team staffed by Children's pediatric experts can be dispatched by the state to support schools, child care centers and other educational institutions seeing a rise in COVID-19 symptoms or cases.

The OPS partnership will provide regular testing of teachers and staff as the district begins a phased return to in-person classroom learning over the next month.

Test Nebraska will provide the test kits to supply both partnerships.

Those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms can receive a free test through Test Nebraska. Symptoms 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. 

Visit Testnebraska.com, or use TestNebraska/es for Spanish, to schedule a visit at one of more than 60 locations across the state.

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

DHM Update – Counties Move to Phase 4

Monday's move to Phase 4 of the state's Directed Health Measures applies to every health department jurisdiction in the state, but Lancaster County is keeping some Phase 3 restrictions in place. Phase 4 will continue until Oct. 31 unless hospitalizations change dramatically.

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, http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.


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