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Panhandle COVID Risk Dial Remains High, 19 Add’l Deaths

Panhandle COVID Risk Dial Remains High, 19 Add’l Deaths

Nineteen additional COVID-related deaths in the Panhandle were confirmed Monday by area public health officials, bringing the total deaths in the region to 155.

The deaths are being announced as follows:

  • Box Butte County female in her 90s
  • Cheyenne County: two males both in their 90s
  • Grant County male in his 70s
  • Morrill County: one female and one male both in their 60s
  • Scotts Bluff County
    • Three females: One in her 50s, one in her 60s, one in her 90s
    • Nine males: One in his 50s, two in their 60s, four in their 70s, two in their 80s
  • Sheridan County female in her 80s

“We extend our sincere condolences with the friends and loved ones in the loss of our fellow Panhandle residents and wish you peace and comfort,” said Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District Director.

Unified Command confirms 56 more cases of COVID in the Panhandle since last reporting on Thursday, Jan. 7, with the risk dial remaining in the orange, or high category, and at the same level was the previous week. 

All Ages: 56
County Cases
Banner 0
Box Butte 10
Cheyenne 6
Dawes 8
Deuel 1
Garden 1
Grant 1
Kimball 4
Morrill 0
Scotts Bluff 18
Sheridan 7
Sioux 0


March 2, 2020-January 11, 2021

  • Total Tests Conducted: 31,153
  • Positive: 7,966
  • Last 14 days (active) cases: 405
  • Last week’s cases: 229
  • Last week’s positivity rate: 27.5%
  • Deaths: 155
  • Active Hospitalizations: 17
  • Total Cumulative Hospitalizations: 498
  • Doubling time (November 10, 2020-January 10, 2021): 61 days

Bev Hanks of Hemingford received her COVID vaccine last week and was anxious to get it because of her age and health issues like asthma and heart problems. As a former educator, she did her homework and made an informed decision. She found out it would be the Moderna vaccine offered locally and it was long-lasting so called to get on the list as a currently eligible population (75+).

“I feel blessed to be able to get it,” Hanks shared. “My arm hurt for a couple of days, but otherwise I have been fine and am looking forward to my follow-up dose in a few weeks.”

“When we have the opportunity to protect us from a virus that can be so deadly, we should take advantage and be proactive,” said Hanks.

Anyone that lined the halls of Hemingford High School in the late ‘70s through the ‘90s clearly remembers her as their history teacher with affectionate catchphrases like, “Tuesday @ 10” or “852 things.”

“As a former student of Hanks,” said Jessica Davies, Assistant Health Director with Panhandle Public Health District, “I’m proud to see her and other eligible populations so ready to be leaders in the area in getting their COVID vaccine. This is how we continue getting back to as close to normal life as possible.”

Vaccine reminder: Anyone 75 and older and interested in getting a COVID vaccine, please complete the form at or call 308-262-5764 or 308-633-2866 ext. 101 with your name, date of birth, county, and phone number.

Nearly 2,500 people 75+ have signed up so far! Be sure to help your elderly family, friends, and neighbors get signed up! This will put them on an aggregated list that is being coordinated with local hospital, healthcare, and vaccine providers, they will be called by a local provider when vaccines are available. It may be several weeks. 

To date, 3,761 people in the eligible populations have received the COVID vaccine in the Panhandle. This number will continue to increase with each weekly vaccine allocation to the eligible populations at the corresponding times.

Avoid the three Cs:

    • Avoid Crowded Places – Avoid gathering in groups where you cannot maintain 6-feet of distance from others
    • Avoid Close Contact – Wear a mask over your nose and mouth or maintain 6-feet distance when you are spending more than 15 total minutes with people you don’t live with
    • Avoid Confined Spaces – Avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation

Current COVID testing access can be found at

The Panhandle COVID dashboard is updated weekdays at 4:30 pm MT and available at For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit

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