Public health officials in the Panhandle say a Box Butte County man is the 9th person in the region to pass from COVID-19.
During Monday’s Panhandle COVID Unified Command briefing, Scotts Bluff County Health Director Paulette Schnell said the man was in his 50’s, and had an underlying health condition.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of his death. We wish his family and friends peace and comfort during their time of loss,” expressed Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District Director.
PPHD officials also said the area’s risk dial remained in the yellow, or moderate, category, but the indicator did rise slightly over the past week.
16 new cases and 18 recoveries were reported, with a total cumulative positivity rate of 5.9%. The area currently has 85 active cases, six of which involve hospitalization. Since early March, 81 people have been hospitalized in the Panhandle out of 810 total positive test results.
Schnell also shared a new graphic available in both English and Spanish on how to differentiate between COVID symptoms and those of other seasonal illnesses and allergies.
Engel also said Governor Pete Ricketts issued a new Directed Health Measure for the entire state, effective now through the end of October. Engel said the primary changes deal with how public health districts should consider mask usage in schools when it comes to determining quarantines.
She says the system the Governor has now placed in the DHM is what PPHD has been using in the Panhandle area, so any additional impact on our area should be slight.