Mar 16, 2021 2:44 PM

PPHD: 1 in 4 Panhandle adults has received vaccine, 3 more deaths reported

Posted Mar 16, 2021 2:44 PM

By PPHD

As of today, 16,866 or 25.7% of Panhandle adults have received the COVID vaccine. People are urged to help friends, family, and neighbors sign up for theirs. This can be done by going to https://vaccinate.ne.gov or calling 833-998-2275.

“The Panhandle’s COVID case fatality rate is double that of the state. With the risk of COVID variants increasing the chances of spread coupled with the Panhandle’s high case fatality rate, we can’t urge Panhandle residents enough to get vaccinated,” said Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District Director.

The Panhandle’s case fatality rate is currently 2.15% and the state overall is 1.04%. There are several reasons for the higher rate, but it remains critical that we understand the severity COVID presents to our most vulnerable residents with age as the biggest predictor in outcome.

“We are hopeful with each resident choosing to get vaccinated and watching the COVID cases continuing to decline but we can’t be too cautious as we get into spring activities like Easter, Mother’s Day, and graduation,” added Engel. “The best way to prepare for those celebrations is to get vaccinated now.”

COVID vaccines are currently available for Panhandle residents 50 or older and phase 1b employees to include educators, childcare providers, grocery and convenience store workers, railroad employees, truckers, public transit, postal service, cooperatives, and meat and food processing facility employees. Residents within these phase 1b categories can register here: https://tinyurl.com/3este7ka.

There’s no need to wait, if you are in any of the currently eligible populations, register now so local vaccine providers can determine when to move to the next critical phases who are anxiously awaiting getting theirs. Please help your family, friends, and neighbors sign up now.

Studies are showing the COVID vaccines provide 100% protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Vaccines are one of the single greatest achievements in public health, be sure to get your COVID shot when it’s your turn. People who are fully COVID vaccinated will not be required to quarantine due to close contact.

If you have had COVID, you are still encouraged to get the vaccine once you no longer have symptoms and after you have been released from isolation. If you received the monoclonal antibody treatment, it is recommended to get the vaccine no sooner than 90 days after treatment.

Three Panhandle residents were announced as the most recent COVID deaths, a Sheridan County female in her 80s and two Cheyenne County residents, a male in his 80s and a male in his 90s, bringing the Panhandle total to 189.

“We share peace and comfort with the friends and loved ones in the loss of our fellow Panhandle residents,” said Engel.

Unified Command confirms 43 more cases of COVID in the Panhandle since last reporting on Monday, March 8. The investigations are underway, all close contacts will be quarantined.