CONTACTSLeah Bucco-White, Communications, (402) 471-9356, firstname.lastname@example.orgKhalilah LeGrand, Communications, (402) 471-9313, email@example.com
LINCOLN – The state case total, as of today, is 59,409. There were 35 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state over the last seven days, for a total of 565. A total of 39,687 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.
The daily average of positive cases for the last seven days is 838, compared to a daily average of 684 and 530 in prior weeks.
Hospitalizations continue to rise this week, which underscores the ongoing need to take preventive actions. Avoid the Three Cs to help slow the spread of the virus:
Efforts to support hospital capacity
DHHS is working alongside the Governor's Office to maintain hospital capacity statewide and communicating with hospitals daily about bed and staff availability. The department is continually monitoring hospital capacity and evaluating the measures in place.
The State is allocating up to $40 million in CARES Act funding to support hospital capacity across Nebraska. These funds will be provided to General Acute Care Hospitals as they demonstrate the need and ability to increase capacity to care for COVID-19 patients.
Nebraska received $1.25 billion through the CARES Act to aid coronavirus relief efforts.
Changes to State Directed Health Measures effective today
The State Directed Health Measures can be found at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/COVID-19-Outline-of-Changes-to-Upcoming-DHMs-10-2020.pdf.
The DHM changes listed above are scheduled to remain in effect through November 30, 2020.
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.
Say Boo to the Flu – Get your flu vaccine by Oct. 31
This season, flu vaccine is more important than ever. Getting a flu shot now helps protect against the flu and also preserves hospital capacity during the pandemic. Protect yourself and others by getting your flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
Nebraskans are encouraged to adapt celebrations such as trick-or-treating and fall activities in light of the ongoing pandemic. The CDC offers recommendations that lower the potential for COVID-19 exposure during Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations. Ways to modify favorite traditions and celebrate safely this fall are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween.
Costume masks are not a substitute for a protective cloth face mask and should not be worn unless made of two or more layers of breathable fabric covering the mouth and nose and doesn't leave gaps around the face. All other costume masks should not be layered over cloth masks because it can make it hard to breathe.
Anyone with COVID-19, or who may have been exposed to COVID-19, should avoid in-person celebrations.
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.