The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

COVID Cases Continue to Advance in Panhandle


November 11, 2020 | View PDF

The cumulative positivity rate for the western Panhandle has reached 15 percent, according to Panhandle Public Health District.

Unified Command announced Thursday, Nov. 5, 338 more cases of COVID in the Panhandle region.

Scotts Bluff is seeing the highest number of cases at 184, followed by Morrill County at 33, Cheyenne County at 30, Box Butte at 29, Dawes at 25, Sheridan County at 20 and Kimball County at 12. Garden County reported three cases, Grant two, and Banner, Deuel and Sioux Counties have no new cases as of this report.

In information published Nov. 2, the PPHD reported 20,114 people tested since March 2. Of that number, 3,114 returned positive with 1,772 having recovered. There are 1,326 active COVID-19 cases in the region and 73 active hospitalizations.

There have been 484 cases in the 20 to 29 year age span, 488 in the 40 to 49 year-old group, 467 in the 30 to 39 age group, 414 in the 50 to 59 age group, 385 in the 10 to 19 age group, 353 in the 60 60 69 age group, 191 in the 80 and older age group and 49 in the birth to nine years old group. There have been 1,666 females with confirmed COVID-19, 1,336 males and 112 of unknown gender.

The majority of the cases are attributed to close contact, 1,290 cases, followed by community contact at 1,100, unknown at 695 and travel related to 29 cases.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Panhandle Public Health District announced four Scotts Bluff County COVID-related deaths, bringing the total number since March to 21.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the City of Sidney announced that Gov. Pete Ricketts had updated the state's Directed Health Measure (DHM) effective, today, Nov. 11. Under the updated DHM, six feet of separation must be maintained in public places and events including gymnasiums, bars, restaurants, churches, weddings and funerals. Businesses where close contact will be maintained for 15 minutes or more — including salons, massage parlors, bowling alleys, pool halls — must require masks. Restaurant and bar capacity will remain at 100 percent, but six feet of separation must be maintained. Groups in restaurants will be limited to eight people per table; larger groups must split. Patrons at restaurants and bars must remain seated unless ordering, using a restroom or playing a game (masks are required if playing a game). Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent of occupancy with a 10,000 limit, and outdoor gatherings remain at 100 percent capacity. Indoor carnivals and dances are prohibited. Dancing at weddings is allowed as long as people remain at their tables. Dance recitals are allowed, but are subject to social distancing requirements.

The City of Sidney has decided to close the library to the public effective today, Nov. 11 while the risk dial for Cheyenne County is in the red. Curbside service will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The curbside checkout care will be placed by the front door of the library. Virtual services including Video Storytime and Toddler Tales, and the library's eBooks, will continue to be available.


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