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Second COVID-19 Related Death Reported in the Panhandle

Second COVID-19 Related Death Reported in the Panhandle

The second COVID-19 related death in the Panhandle has been reported in Scotts Bluff County. A male in his 80s with underlying health conditions has passed away.

“We share our deepest condolences with the family of this gentleman. We all must remain careful in taking increased precautions against this virus, especially to protect our most vulnerable in the community,” said Paulette Schnell, Director of Scotts Bluff County Health Department. 

Public health urges all Panhandle residents to continue the following:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others that are not in your household. Exposure is considered less than six feet for 15 minutes or more. Social distancing is one of the best prevention strategies we have against this virus.
  • Wear a mask when social distancing is not possible or when in public spaces or areas.
  • Frequent handwashing or sanitizing is critical.
  • Monitor your symptoms and immediately call your doctor, clinic, or our 24/7 line at 308-262-5764 before going anywhere if you are experiencing any of the following: cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, body chills, headache, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Please use extra caution if you are over 60 or have any underlying health conditions.

Unified Command also confirms seven new cases, bringing the total number of positives to 200 since early March, with 94 active cases and 104 recoveries. The new cases are as follows:

County Demographics Exposure Type
Scotts Bluff Female in her 20s Unknown
Scotts Bluff Female in her 30s Close Contact
Scotts Bluff Female in her 40s Community Spread
Scotts Bluff Female in her 40s Close Contact
Scotts Bluff Female in her 70s Close Contact
Scotts Bluff Female in her 70s Close Contact
Scotts Bluff Female over 80 Close Contact


Exposure is defined as at least 15 minutes, less than six feet apart. There are no community exposure sites identified. The investigations are complete, all close contacts will be quarantined and actively monitored twice daily for fever and respiratory symptoms by public health officials. 

Please see the attached news release and for more information, contact: Kim Engel, Director, 308-760-2415, Join us for Daily Afternoon Briefings with Unified Command weekdays @ 430pm, register now.

Since March 2, 4,106 tests have been conducted with a cumulative positivity rate of 4.7%, a total of 26 hospitalizations, eight of which are currently active.

Scotts Bluff County has 89 active cases, followed by Cheyenne County with two, and one active case each in Banner, Box Butte and Morrill Counties. Kimball, Garden and Dawes County cases of ten, four and one, respectively, have recovered.

COVID-19 testing is now available at Community Action Health Center Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7a-8a.  Testing is open to those that are symptomatic. Sign up today

In addition, Governor Ricketts announced Thursday that TestNebraska would be returning to the Panhandle next week to Chadron, Alliance, Scottsbluff and Sidney.

Panhandle Public Health District, Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Management, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department are working as a unified command on this evolving situation. Essential updates will be regularly communicated to the public and community partners. 

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