Local health directors encourage Nebraskans to stay vigilant in fight against virus

NEBRASKA — The state’s local health department directors are encouraging Nebraskans to remain alert in protecting against COVID-19.

14 of the state’s 19 health directors hosted a virtual press conference Monday to promote National Public Health Week. They stressed staying aggressive with prevention techniques like masking and physical distancing.

“We need to be vigilant and so those non-pharmaceutical interventions are talked about so much," Two Rivers Health Director Jeremy Eschliman said. "The policies that are put in place in a lot of our school districts, we’ve seen great success in those. We just need to hold the line a little bit longer.”

The health directors’ message comes as COVID-related hospitalizations are up statewide from 102 to 132 over the last week. The health directors say the greatest way to prevent another surge of infections is through vaccination.

No health directors voiced major concerns about people opting not to be vaccinated. Central District Health Department Director Teresa Anderson says more people are more willing to get shots now than earlier in the year.

“We’re seeing that folks that were maybe not early shot-takers are now lining up to get their shots," Anderson said. "Especially when we have the (Johnson and Johnson vaccine), which is one dose.”

The health directors encourage all Nebraskans to register to be vaccinated through the state’s website at http://vaccinate.ne.gov/.