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DHHS releases weekly COVID-19 update

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

During the past seven days, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the state increased by 30 to 216, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) data dashboard.

The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. Central Daylight Time June 12, is 16,513, marking an increase of 1,320 from last Friday. Local health departments are reporting deaths and cases in their jurisdictions. In the event of a discrepancy between DHHS dashboard data and deaths or cases reported by local public health officials, data reported by the local health department should be considered the most up to date.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Two confirmed cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) were reported to DHHS earlier this week. The cases occurred in Dawson and Douglas counties. MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

Disease experts are working to determine the exact cause of MIS-C. But they do know many children with MIS-C had COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19.

Symptoms of MIS-C include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and fatigue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most children diagnosed with MIS-C have gotten better with medical care, though some deaths have been reported. If parents see potential symptoms of MIS-C in their child, they should contact their health care provider immediately.

Based on what is known about MIS-C, the best way to protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and other household members from getting COVID-19 - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/protect-children.html . More information on MIS-C can be found on the CDC's website - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/mis-c.html .

TestNebraska

In an effort to accommodate expanded testing efforts for all Nebraskans, testing continues to be phased in for the most highly populated counties. People aged 15 to 35 in Douglas and Sarpy counties can now schedule a test. This is in addition to the following priority categories already open for scheduling a test: first responders, health care providers, meatpacking workers, military employees, anyone working in a long-term care facility or nursing home, people 65 years old and over, and anyone who has been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Additionally, there is not limiting criteria for any individuals living in the state's remaining counties to schedule a test.

Individuals must still go to the website TestNebraska.com or TestNebraska/es for Spanish and complete an assessment to schedule an appointment for testing.

In May, Nebraska residents completed a total of 248,225 COVID-19 assessments through TestNebraska. A total of 886 Nebraska residents tested positive for COVID-19 that month. Negative test results during May totaled 23,170, and inconclusive results were shared with 45 people that month. The average turnaround time for tests to return results was 49.9 hours.

Additional DHHS Dashboard Enhancement Coming Monday

A new map showing COVID-19 cases reported in the state over the last two weeks will be added to the DHHS data dashboard on Monday. The map reflects a more recent view of COVID-19 activity across Nebraska. The dashboard is located on the DHHS coronavirus webpage – http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.

General Information

Here's where to find tools and resources for individuals and families, schools, communities, businesses, healthcare facilities, and first responders on the DHHS website - http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and CDC's website – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19 .

DHHS opened a statewide COVID-19 information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645 or toll-free at (833) 998-2275; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CDT, 7 days a week. DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The CDC's website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information - https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.