Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) has launched its COVID-19 Community Risk Dial. The color-coded dial depicts the phase of the pandemic in the nine-county health district of southwest Nebraska and provides specific guidance for residents to protect themselves and others and prevent the spread of the virus. The dial is located on the health department website at www.swhealth.ne.gov under the COVID-19 information. The dial for the week of July 13th is in the yellow.
“The risk dial was developed by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), which shared their dial tool with other local public health departments to customize for their communities,” states Myra Stoney, Health Director at SWNPHD. “The dial is a valuable tool to make informed decisions about COVID-19 risk.”
The COVID-19 Risk Dial was developed by a team from LLCHD, Lincoln Fire and Rescue and City Communications to provide a simple tool to help residents know what actions and behaviors they can take to protect their own health and the health of others. The dial for southwest Nebraska will be updated every Monday using local data to determine the risk. The main factors that will be considered include the following:
- The increase or decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases
- The increase or decrease in the percent of tests that are positive
- The availability of testing
- The ability of the Health Department to conduct investigations and contact tracing
- The number of people hospitalized from COVID-19
- The capacity of the local health care system
- The availability of personal protective equipment and critical medical equipment
The COVID-19 Risk Dial shows the level of risk using four colors to represent the phases described in the Federal Guidance on Reopening America, Johns Hopkins University Guidance for Governors on Reopening States, and guidance documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For each risk color, specific recommendations are provided for physical distancing, face covering, hand washing, illness monitoring and disinfection, both for outside the home and at home. Specific guidance is included for people at risk for complications due to COVID-19.
For more information on COVID-19 in southwest Nebraska, visit www.swhealth.ne.gov. You can also follow SWNPHD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. SWNPHD serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins, and Red Willow counties. SWNPHD is located at 404 West 10th St (1 block north of Arby’s) in McCook.