PPHD risk dial shows big drop after criteria update

Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) officials continue to keep residents updated with the latest information regarding COVID-19. 

Monday afternoon, health officials said they had updated the measurements they use to calculate the risk of COVID-19 spread. The updated criteria led to a big drop on the risk dial. 

The panhandle's dial now sits right at the border between the green (low risk) and yellow (moderate risk) categories on the dial. 

You can learn more about what precautions PPHD recommends you take based on the category the risk dial is in by clicking here.

PPHD officials now use the following to calculate risk values: testing access and turnaround time, case rate is now a 7 day rolling average per day per 100,000, ICU bed availability shifts to beds with a COVID patient, new deaths per week and overall Panhandle vaccination rate.

Health officials say there have been 31 new cases of COVID-19 since April 19, in the Panhandle. Scotts Bluff County was the only county in the area to report more than four cases. Banner, Sioux and Grant counties reported no cases. 

No new COVID-19 related deaths were reported over the past week. PPHD has not reported any COVID-19 related deaths since March 29. 

To date, 25,699 Panhandle residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not registered for the vaccine and would like to, go to vaccinate.ne.gov. You can then self-schedule an appointment at pphd.org.