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Risk dials remain low for Central Nebraska area

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 12:13 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, GRAND ISLAND, KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Health Departments in the central Nebraska area are all seeing their lowest risk dials since the pandemic began.

Central District Health Department is now in the green or moderate risk, with a 1.0 reading according to their recent data.

This is the first time the district has been in the moderate zone since the risk dial has been in use.

Central district reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

The district has about 30-39% of the total population in their district fully vaccinated according to the latest CDC data.

The district continues vaccinations for people 12 years old and up.

The South Heartland District Health Department’s risk dial needle dropped further within the yellow moderate zone to 1.3.

Executive Director Michele Bever reported the department logged just two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week, averaging 0.29 cases per day, same as the previous week.

Bever also reported hospital capacity remained excellent, with 55 percent of intensive care unit beds available and only one patient hospitalized due to COVID-19. She said case numbers and positivity metrics continue to improve.

“However, the vaccination rate metric hasn’t had much movement over the past two weeks, which is disappointing. Evidence shows the vaccines are very effective in reducing severe illness, hospitalization and death caused by the original version of the virus and the variants, so we are continuing to encourage residents to get their COVID-19 shots,” Bever said.

The Two Rivers Public Health Department’s risk dial currently sits in the green “low” level of risk.

Vaccinations throughout the district have reached 34.9% of the entire population. This number is lower than the previous week as reporting now includes the entirety of the population, not just those eligible for the vaccines.

As a result of decreasing cases and consistent level of low risk, the Two Rivers risk dial will now be updated bi-weekly unless there is an increase of risk.

The downgrade reflects expanded vaccination coverage to younger age groups in the district along with decreasing COVID-19 positivity rates, decline in disease cluster incidence, and stable ICU and bed utilization rates.

Two Rivers Public Health Department did report eight new COVID-19 cases in the seven-county region it serves for the week of June 4-10.

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