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Three Rivers reports ‘huge increase’ in COVID-19 cases

Three Rivers reports ‘huge increase’ in COVID-19 cases

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FREMONT – The Three Rivers Public Health Department is reporting two new COVID-19 related deaths while seeing a substantial increase in cases.

“This past week we have seen a huge increase in cases,” said Terra Uhing, executive director.

Between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4, there have been 409 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the health district. The positivity rate for the week of Oct. 25 was 27.32%.

In light of the increase, Uhing urges everyone to avoid the ‘Three Cs’: Crowded places. Close contact. Confined spaces.

“We are at a critical time where we need people to wear their mask and follow the above guidance as it could save someone else’s life,” Uhing said in a press release issued Wednesday.

Uhing reported the COVID-19 related deaths of a Dodge County woman and a Washington County woman. Both were in their 90s and had underlying health conditions.

This brings the total death count to 24 deaths in Dodge County, four deaths in Saunders and eight deaths in Washington County for a total of 36 deaths in the health district.

The community risk dials for the Three Rivers jurisdiction and all three counties increased.

This week, health department’s jurisdiction increased to 2.63 due to an increase in the positivity rate, the number of cases, community spread and regional hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

“Each of our county risk dials increased substantially this week due to the above factors addressed and we are needing everyone to take social responsibility and stay home if you are sick or if you have been tested for COVID-19,” Uhing said.

Additionally, there was a decrease in contact tracing as the public health department was not able to contact all of its cases.

The risk dial, which debuted in mid-July, is updated each Wednesday to show the risk of COVID-19 in Dodge, Washington and Saunders counties, as well as the entire jurisdiction.

The dial is color-coded, with green being low, yellow being moderate, orange being high and red being severe. The dials are also given a number range, with low being below .5, moderate being .5 to 2, high being 2 to 3.5 and severe being 3.5 to 4.

Dodge County moved from 2 to 2.50, while Saunders County moved from 2 to 2.63. Washington County moved from 1.88 to 2.25.

Factors considered in the risk dials include the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases during the past three weeks and in the percent of positive tests.

Also considered is the capacity of the district and local, including numbers of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and ventilators being used by suspected and confirmed COVID patients and the availability of testing in the district and local communities.

Testing is available through Test Nebraska all across the state of Nebraska. Visit https://www.testnebraska.com/en to get scheduled for a COVID-19 test.

Uhing emphasizes that there is no cost for this test through Test Nebraska.

For questions or more information about COVID-19, please call Three Rivers at 402-727-5396, email info@3rphd.org or visit www.threeriverspublichealth.org.

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