COVID Risk Level Down In Panhandle; Vaccine Now Open To All Over 18 After Registration

      The Panhandle Public Health District’s COVID-19 Risk Dial is down to halfway through the yellow or moderate range for the first time since September with the risk level for Sioux and Garden Counties in the green or low-risk category.

     In a related development, vaccinations in the Panhandle are now available to everyone 18 years old and older, regardless of medical condition or history. Registration is still required at

      Once registered, residents of Dawes and Sioux County can go to another website to get an appointment time for this Friday’s immunization clinic at the Assumption Arena in Chadron.

    The Federal Pharmacy vaccination program across Nebraska is now also vaccinating those 18 and older, with the same registration requirement at

     Nearly 828,000 doses of vaccine have been administered, including 20,923 in the Panhandle, to over 570,000 Nebraskans. More than 310,000 or 20.9% of all residents over 16 are now fully vaccinated

     The number of people in Nebraska hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to drop. Only 103 were hospitalized Monday morning, the fewest since July and nearly 900 under the peak of 987 in November.

      The state website has finally updated recovery numbers, showing the state with 

46,327 active cases. The state has 208,553 total cases and 2,175 deaths.

     Panhandle Unified Command reported 7 new confirmed cases over the weekend, bringing the total to 8,894 with 85 in the last 14 days and 2 hospitalizations. 

     There were also 2 more COVID-19 deaths, one in Dawes County, bringing the Panhandle count to 191 and the county total to 18.

    Dawes County had 1 new case over the weekend, just its 2nd in 11 days and the 4th in the last 14. Chadron State College remains at 1 active case, a student, with 244 total cases, 204 of them students.