DHHS Friday COVID-19 Update

News Release
For Immediate Release: 9/25/2020

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


 Continued use of prevention measures critical to help prevent spread of virus

LINCOLN – The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. CT today is 43,162, an increase of 2,775 from last Friday. There were 26 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, for a total of 468. A total of 32,238 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.

The daily average of positive cases for Sept. 19-25 is 396 compared to a daily average of 364 last week, and 311 and 318 in recent weeks.

“We've also seen hospitalizations significantly increase this week and even though some of us may be experiencing COVID-19 fatigue, it's critical that we continue to take preventive actions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

COVID-19 preventive measures:

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 six 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.

COVID-19 Testing

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 an appointment at one of more than 60 Test Nebraska 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 in Phase 4

All counties are in Phase 4 of the state's Directed Health Measures, however Lancaster County has kept some Phase 3 restrictions in place. Updates to the DHMs related to quarantine and isolation requirements for the school-aged population went into effect this week. Phase 4 will continue until Saturday, 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.

Nebraska Accommodation Project Expands

The Nebraska Accommodation Project (NAP) provides short-term housing so that Nebraskans can safely quarantine or isolate while protecting household members with a health condition. Through a partnership with the Nebraska Department of Education, NAP is now providing temporary housing to teachers to mitigate the risk of the virus traveling between households and schools. More information about NAP is available at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Nebraska-Accommodation-Project.aspx

Additional Dashboard Enhancements

DHHS added enhancements to the COVID-19 dashboard this week including:

  • A box that reflects cumulative counts on total tests.
  • A weekly percent positive by specimen collection date using total tests. The specimen collection rate, which is the date the person was swabbed, offers a more accurate reflection of the number of cases in the community. 
  • The total COVID-19 death count was moved to the tabs section and is now alongside other mortality-related information.

The dashboard is available at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/ece0db09da4d4ca68252c3967aa1e9dd.

If using Internet Explorer, via https://nebraska.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/26d5a0dac95449d7813c9323d7a41c36.

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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