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Two River’s COVID-19 risk dial increases

The Two Rivers Public Health Department has updated its weekly COVID-19 risk dial on Thursday,...
The Two Rivers Public Health Department has updated its weekly COVID-19 risk dial on Thursday, September 9.(Two Rivers Public Health Department)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:11 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Two Rivers Public Health Department has once again increased its COVID-19 weekly risk dial. As of Thursday, September 9, the dial has moved further into the orange “elevated” level of risk.

The health department is reporting 340 cases of COVID-19 within its seven-county district between September 1 to September 7. They said over 2/3rd of those cases are among people who are less than 40 years of age. Cases have increased by about 30% per week since August 1.

TRPHD said about 1200 positive cases were detected in Buffalo County in the past 6 months. Over 60% of those positive cases (747 positive results) were recorded since August 1. Around 390 COVID-positive cases were detected in Dawson County in the last month, of these 247 (60%) tested positive since August 1.

COVID-related hospitalizations account for almost 20% of Medical/Surgical bed occupancy; meanwhile ICU staffing capacity has fallen by 10% across the district in the last 2 months.

Limited supply of COVID testing reagents across the nation have created additional barriers and delays in ensuring universal testing even as contact tracing activities have been scaled down across the state.

As of Sep 6, 2021, 43% of TRPHD’s total population and over half of the eligible population (12+ years) has been fully vaccinated across the district. In light of rising incidence rates connected to the newer delta variant, TRPHD strongly urges all unvaccinated vaccine-eligible residents to avail of the COVID vaccination through their healthcare provider, pharmacy or TRPHD.

For these reasons, the risk dial is further raised within the ‘elevated risk’ section this week. The raised dial level reflects the continuing increase in cases and hospitalization rates, reduced testing availability, constrained contact tracing and the rising incidence among younger residents.

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