Panhandle COVID-19 risk dial moves up after higher positivity rate over last week

Health officials in the Panhandle are continuing to keep residents updated on COVID-19 in the region. 

Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) says there were 34 positive cases of COVID-19 reported over the past week. Scotts Bluff County reported the most with 17 cases. Cheyenne County had the next most reported cases with six. Elsewhere, Sheridan County reported four cases, Morrill and and Dawes each had three and there was one new case confirmed in Kimball County.

Banner, Box Butte, Deuel, Garden and Sioux counties all reported no new cases. 

No deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the Panhandle over the past week. 

The 34 cases confirmed by health officials this week is up from the 18 that were confirmed last week. The positivity rate for the Panhandle went up as well. The positivity rate for the week of April 4, was 10.2 percent — up from 3.6 percent the week of March 28. 

Those two factors led to an increase in the Panhandle's COVID-19 risk dial for this week although the dial remains in the yellow or moderate risk category. At the county level, the risk map shows an array of colors. Garden, Deuel, Box Butte and Sioux counties are in the green or low risk category this week. Kimball, Banner, Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Grant and Sheridan counties are in the yellow range. Cheyenne and Dawes counties are in the orange or high risk category. 

Cheyenne County's risk value is at 2.0 this week, meaning any move downward would put the county back into the moderate risk category. 

On the vaccine front, health officials say over 36 percent of adults in the Panhandle have been vaccinated. This week, the region will receive 1,800 more first doses and the number of needed second doses. 

If you have not received the vaccine, are 18 or older, and would like to do so, you can find information on how to sign up here