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Two Rivers reports additional COVID deaths, drop in risk dial

The weekly risk dial has dropped in the orange for the Two Rivers Public Health district.
The weekly risk dial has dropped in the orange for the Two Rivers Public Health district.(Two Rivers Public Health Department)
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 10:43 AM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Two Rivers Public Health Department has now reported 200 COVID-related deaths within its seven county district.

This latest number comes after TRPHD announced three more deaths due to the virus. The individuals who died ranged in age from their 70s to 90s. These deaths occurred February 2022.

On the same day the health department announced these latest deaths, they also updated its weekly risk dial.

The risk dial decreased within the orange “Elevated” level of risk.

The reasons for the decrease include a drop in new COVID cases, falling test positivity rates and consistent ICU bed availability.

175 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in TRPHD between February 9 - February 15. This is the fourth successive week in a row that cases have dropped, positive cases have declined by 35-55% every week since 19 January, 2022.

Two Rivers Public Health Department received a large amount of COVID-19 test results on February 14th, 2022 which is affecting the test results on the department dashboard. The results, although reported Monday, date back as far as October 2021.

Test positivity rate is under 20% in every county, and as low as 14% in Buffalo County, which accounts for about 65% of the tests conducted in non-long term care facilities in the past week. Positivity rates have fallen across all age groups in the last month.

As of Feb 15, a little over 51% of the total population of TRPHD has received the minimum prescribed dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination rates have shown little appreciable difference in the past month, perhaps predictive of long-term trends. The risk of hospitalization or serious illness following infection is significantly higher for unvaccinated persons.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 7 ICU beds available in TRPHD (out of 33 overall). Over 40% of ICU beds were occupied by COVID positive patients.

Two Rivers Public Health Department encourages a layered approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your mouth when you cough using a tissue or the bend of your elbow
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with anyone who has fever or cough
  • Seek medical care early if you have a fever, coughs, and difficulty breathing- please call ahead
  • Get information from trusted sources\

COVID testing is available in Kearney at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. starting Monday, February 21, 2022. Those interested are required to register at https://login.registermytime.com/tw/2rphd for scheduling.

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