KEARNEY – Much of the state will remain in Phase 3 of the Governor’s Directed Health Measures until Aug. 31, even though a move to Phase 4 was anticipated for Saturday.

This includes the Two Rivers Public Health Department’s seven counties of Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps.

The rate of positive cases has been steadily rising since mid-June, from .83 percent to 14.35 percent this week, according to Jeremy Eschliman, Two Rivers health director

On Thursday, the Two Rivers COVID-19 Risk Dial was moved to elevated after being in the moderate level since its inception in mid-March.

Younger people, most under the age of 39, are testing positive. There is also limited accessibility to testing and a rising number of hospitalizations, Eschliman said.

Phase 3 means event plans need to be completed and submitted to the health department for review and approval. Parades, street dances, beer gardens and other activities, remain limited or not allowed. Two Rivers will work with those planning events to help meet guidelines so events and activities can still safely occur.

Two Rivers strongly encourages citizens to practice proper social distancing, use face masks, and to wash hands often and use hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of the virus.

For more details regarding the risk dial and COVID-19 statistics, visit