KEARNEY — COVID-19 hasn’t loosened its grip in south-central Nebraska.
The Two Rivers Public Health Department’s weekly COVID-19 risk dial, issued Thursday, remains in the highest pandemic level. Some 316 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the seven-county region between Oct. 13-19.
In the past month, 1,229 new cases have been confirmed, with 50 cases at long-term care and other residential facilities.
In Phelps County, 34 new cases were detected last week, with more than half of those outside residential facilities. In the past month, Phelps County recorded 143 cases. More than 40% of those were among residents under the age of 40.
In Dawson County, 311 cases were detected in the past month, with nearly one-third of those in the last week alone. The weekly average of newly detected cases has remained steady for six weeks.
The risk dial reflects consistent disease numbers and high-test positivity rates, near-full ICU capacity, and the slow rate of increased vaccination coverage. Two Rivers includes Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps counties.
About one-third of the staffed hospital beds in Two Rivers are currently available, but only two of 30 staffed ICU beds in the district are available. COVID-19 patients occupy one-third of those beds. Eight COVID-19 patients across the district are on ventilators.
Two Rivers has a free drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Buffalo County fairgrounds at 3807 N Ave., but pre-registration is required. Testing hours are 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. To get a test, register at login.registermytime.com/tw/2rphd
As of Monday, 46% of the Two Rivers total population of 97,132, and 58% of people aged 18 and over, had been fully vaccinated. Visit trphd.org/covid-19/vaccination-reports.html for details.
Vaccines are available through medical offices, local pharmacies or Two Rivers mobile vaccine clinics. For a clinic schedule, see .trphd.org