Two Panhandle counties in green on PPHD risk map

A pair of Panhandle counties are in the lowest category of Panhandle Public Health District's (PPHD) COVID-19 risk map as the number of new cases announced per week remains low. 

Health officials said Monday that Garden and Sioux counties are in the green or low risk category of the risk dial. All other counties in the PPHD's jurisdiction are in the yellow or moderate risk category. As a region, the risk dial also remains in the yellow category, with a risk value of 1.53 for the week. 

At the community level, Sidney is in the orange or high risk category. Health officials say despite the low number of cases recently in the county, positivity rates and the number of community spread cases, meaning health officials can't determine when or where someone contracted the virus, can lead to the higher risk assessments in some towns. 

Elsewhere, Big Springs, Oshkosh, Hemingford and Harrison are in the green or low risk category at the community level. All other towns are in the yellow or moderate risk category. 

PPHD announced 37 new cases at Monday's briefing for the past week. Deuel, Garden, Kimball, Box Butte, Grant and Sioux counties all had zero positive cases over the past week. Only Scotts Bluff County had more than five positive cases. 

Health officials also confirmed two more COVID-19 related deaths in the past week. They say a Box Butte County woman and a Dawes County woman, both in their 80s, have passed away. This brings the number of COVID-19 related deaths in the Panhandle to 191. 

On the vaccine front, 20,923 adults in the region have received the COVID-19 vaccine. That's nearly 32 percent of all Panhandle adults. This week, the region is set to get 2,700 more first doses plus the needed number of second doses. 

Everyone over the age of 18 is now eligible to get vaccinated. If you have not yet signed up to receive the vaccine and would like to, you can sign up at vaccinate.ne.gov or can call 833-998-2275.

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