COVID-19 Test Results Slow Returning To Panhandle

 Public health officials in the Panhandle say this has been a frustrating week for them because of delays in getting results from the TestNebraska coronavirus testing program.

        Panhandle Public Health District Director Kim Engel told a twice-a-week briefing that her staff is just now getting results from tests given a week ago, and they’re trying to understand why it’s taking so long.

        Engel explained that “it’s just not helpful” when test results don’t come back in a timely fashion. For those who test negative, it’s an unnecessary time of worry while those who are positive could be spreading COVID-19 without knowing in. 

       Engel said that those who showed symptoms of the disease but are still waiting for test results should stay home until 10 days have passed since the last time they had symptoms.

     Panhandle Unified Command reported 14 recoveries and only 5 new COVID-19 cases in the region on Thursday.  The Panhandle totals now stand at 674 cases, 594 recoveries, 6 deaths, and 74 active cases, including 6 who are hospitalized.

       The number of active cases in Dawes County fell again yesterday with 8 recoveries and just 3 new cases. The count totals are now 94 cases, 84 recoveries, and 10 active cases – 8 of them at Chadron State College.

     CSC has 33 total cases – 28 students and 5 employees – with all but 8 students recovered. There were 5 more recoveries at the college yesterday and just 2 more positives, all students.

       There remains one positive case in the Chadron Public Schools with 11 recoveries, but the number of students and employees under quarantine has fallen to 8 

        Statewide, the number of deaths topped 400 on Thursday with 5 more deaths, 474 news cases, and 300 more recoveries. The 5 deaths put the count to 404 along with 35,464 cases with 26,766 recoveries. Nebraska has 8,290 active cases with 162 hospitalized.