Panhandle COVID-19 Risk Dial Inches Up


     After dropping or staying steady for the past month, the Panhandle COVID-19 Risk Dial inched up slightly this week, going from on the line between the green and yellow or low and moderate categories to about a tenth of way into yellow with a 1.13 risk level 

      Panhandle Unified Command reports 6 new cases over the weekend and 28 in the last 14 days, resulting in 9,039 total cases with 1 hospitalized. 

      The region also had 3 deaths, its first in weeks: a Dawes County man in his 90s, a Scotts Bluff County man in his 40s, and a Sheridan County woman in her 70s. That brings the regional total to 194. Four other deaths are awaiting COVID-19 verification.

      Dawes County has had 758 confirmed cases, including 3 in the last 14 days, with 19 deaths while Sheridan County is at 524 cases with 6 in the last 2 weeks and 21 deaths

      Box Butte County has had 934 cases but just 2 in the last 14 days while Sioux County has gone more than 2 months since recording its 31st case.

      Tuesday morning’s statewide report had 411 new cases with 121 hospitalized and 1 death. There have been 221,911 total cases and 2,246 deaths since the start of the pandemic 

      Nearly 1,555,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Nebraska with almost 59% of the state’s adult population having at least one shot and nearly 741,000 – a fraction under half of the population now fully vaccinated.

     The pace of vaccinations in Nebraska has slowed significantly over the past month, though. Last week’s total of 49,016 doses is less than one-quarter of the mid-April peak of 211,057.