Panhandle COVID-19 Risk Dial Solidly In Severe Red Zone

   The Panhandle Public Health District’s COVID-19 Risk Dial ticked further into the red or severe zone and is now about halfway into it.

PPHD is urging residents to slow the spread of COVID and help preserve hospital capacity.

      Executive Director Kim Engel says the public health emergency requires the public to be caring citizens and to contribute to the solution for the sake of our communities and those we love by practicing safety tips out of an abundance of kindness and humility for others.

      Those include wear a mask when possible, stay at least six feet away from others, monitor for any symptoms, and stay home if you are not feeling well. 

      Panhandle Unified Command on Monday reported no new deaths since its last report on Thursday, but officials say there are 11 deaths that have been submitted but not yet recorded by the state.

       Another 551 new cases were confirmed since Thursday, bringing the total to 4,644 with 2,448 recoveries and 2,172 active cases and 84 hospitalizations. 

       Dawes County added just 3 new cases and 10 recoveries since Friday, dropping the number of active cases to 78. There have been 6 COVID-19 deaths in the county.      

       Chadron State College had 1 student test positive over the weekend, but 8 others and 1 CSC employee recovered to leave 18 active cases, 5 of them students. The 119 total cases include 99 students and 20 college staff. 

      The Chadron Public Schools are down to just 2 active cases, 1 each at the high school and middle school, with 11 students or staff in quarantine and 29 total cases.

     Sheridan County has 61 active cases and 235 total, Box Butte 111 active and 494 total, and Sioux County 2 active and 14 total.