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The Two Rivers Public Health Department updates COVID-19 Risk Dial

Almost 40 percent of ICU beds in use are occupied by COVID patients.
Almost 40 percent of ICU beds in use are occupied by COVID patients.(KSNB)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 7:40 AM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Two Rivers Public Health updated the weekly risk dial on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. The risk dial remains in the red “Pandemic” level of risk.

384 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in TRPHD between November 10 - November 16. This is over 25 percent increase from the weekly average recorded in September and October.

Testing access has increased across Buffalo County, resulting in a steady lowering of the positivity rate, unlike in Dawson, Phelps and Gosper counties, where between a quarter and a third of all tests conducted outside long term care facilities were positive in the last week. The COVID case rate as a proportion of the population in Nebraska is twice the national average.

Only one out of 28 ICU beds are currently available across TRPHD, almost 40 percent of ICU beds in use are occupied by COVID patients. Across TRPHD, less than 25 percent of the medical and surgical in-patient beds are currently available. Staffing shortages continue to impede efforts to expand bed availability, both in Two Rivers district and across Nebraska.

A public COVID testing site is now open in Kearney city at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. Testing results will be available the same day and are offered Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Those desirous of COVID testing are requested to register at www.trphd.org for scheduling.

As of October 5, 2021, 47 percent of TRPHD’s total population and almost 59 percent of the adult population (18+ years) has received minimum doses as recommended (1 or 2 as indicated), compared to about 57 percent of the entire state population. TRPHD strongly urges all unvaccinated vaccine-eligible residents to avail of the COVID vaccination through their healthcare provider, pharmacy or TRPHD. For schedule of vaccination clinics, see www.trphd.org

For these reasons, the risk dial is increased slightly from last week in the ‘pandemic’ zone. The increased dial reading reflects weekly case incidence, drop in ICU availability and the higher hospitalization rates across the county.

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