WAYNE – As the fight against COVID-19 continues to be a hot topic, Health Director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, Julie Rother joined the “View from Wayne America” earlier this week.
Each week the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department is posting COVID-19 data that includes information across the health district of Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne counties.
Rother said some concerning numbers are coming forward locally along with across the state and nation.
“We’re seeing cases increase,” said Rother. “The hospitalizations are gradually increasing and granted some of those hospitalizations are not COVID, but when I talk about numbers of hospitalizations increasing, I’m referring to the COVID hospitalizations and those are increasing.”
A Directed Health Measure has returned to hospitals limiting them to the number of elective procedures that can happen as this time. This is an attempt to again slow the curve.
When the emergency order concluded, local health departments had to adjust their data shared. NNPHD can only report health district totals and as of last week, there were three active hospitalizations for individuals who live in the NNPHD Health District.
Deaths have also been minimal with a total of 55 as of last week in the local health district. Some investigations continue to figure out the actual cause of death.
Research studies show that the Delta Variant spreads more easily than previous virus variants and cause twice as many infections.
“So, what we’re seeing with the Delta Variant is that there’s a lot more of the virus present in people,” Rother added. “The science has shown us that even people who are fully vaccinated could be carrying that Delta Variant in their respiratory system and they can spread it to people who they come in contact with.”
NNPHD officials are encouraging residents to mask up especially indoors with people outside your household. Rother has also had conversations with school districts.
With Test Nebraska no longer around, there are still testing options out there.
“Check with your doctor and see about getting tested with your doctor,” Rother mentioned. “But then there are also some free testing options. There’s a website that you can go to (hhs.gov) that you put in your zip code and it’ll tell you where to find some free testing in the region. Of course, there are home testing kits that you can purchase now.”
Roughly 43% of the NNPHD Health District is fully vaccinated as local health officials are still looking to reach the goal of 70%.
Visit nnphd.org, like Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department on Facebook or call 402-375-2200 for more information.
Complete View Interview: