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Nebraska DHHS releases weekly COVID-19 statistics

Julie Rach
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. CT Aug. 7, is 28,104, an increase of 1,893 from last Friday. There were 13 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, for a total of 345. A total of 20,333 Nebraskans diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered.

The daily average of positive cases has decreased for Aug 1 to 7 to 270, compared to 291 the prior week, but remains above the daily average of 259 two weeks ago.  

Limiting the potential for COVID-19 spread is essential as students head back to school and the state looks ahead to fall.

Masks matter in our fight against the virus. DHHS, Governor Ricketts, local health departments and other partners across the state continue to stress the importance of masks and ask Nebraskans to wear them along with taking other preventive actions like those listed below:

Keep your distance - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html

Wear a face covering – new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends avoiding masks with an exhalation valve or vent, which allow respiratory droplets to be expelled - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html   

Wash your hands - https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

Know your risk - https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/7-steps-to-identify-risky-covid-19-situations?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MIM07012020 .

Stay home - if you're sick or if you've been exposed to COVID-19 - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html

Get tested - if you've been exposed or have symptoms via TestNebraska.com or TestNebraska.com/es for Spanish, or another testing site in your community

Getting ready for school

The CDC's back to school decision-making tool designed to help families think through going back to school and the choices their child's school is offering –

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/decision-tool.html

The CDC also offers planning checklists for in-person, virtual or at-home learning -

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/parent-checklist.html

TestNebraska update

TestNebraska completed more than 55,000 COVID-19 tests in July, nearly doubling the number of tests conducted in June.

TestNebraska continues to expand its daily COVID-19 lab capacity from 3,600 to 7,000 with more appointments being added as capacity increases. More testing is intended to help long-term care facilities, schools and communities identify COVID-19 cases and respond to slow the spread of the virus.

Those participating in any group activity where masks were not worn and social distancing did not occur are encouraged to get a COVID-19 test.

To reserve a test, complete an online assessment at TestNebraska.com , or TestNebraska/es  for Spanish, and schedule a visit at one of the 32 TestNebraska sites. Dates and times for each location are listed, including 2 sites in Lincoln and Omaha, as well as Columbus and Norfolk.

DHM restrictions continue

Phase 3 Directed Health Measure (DHM) restrictions continue through Aug. 31 for 66 counties, and 27 counties are in Phase 4.

Regardless of their county of residence, recommendations remain for all Nebraskans to continue social distancing, as well as using face coverings, hand washing, and staying home when sick to help limit virus transmission. Anyone with close contact to someone testing positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to isolate and get tested.

A summary of DHM phases is available online at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/COVID-19-Outline-of-Changes-to-DHMs-ALL-Phases.pdf .

Nebraskans seeking information or help with general questions can call the DHHS COVID-19 information hotline at (402) 552-6645, or toll-free (833) 998-2275. The COVID-19 hotline is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CT, 7 days a week. DHHS will continue to share new information via the DHHS website, as well as Facebook and Twitter.