Apr 20, 2021 12:30 PM

PPHD: Vaccines offer us the opportunity to protect ourselves and those around us

Posted Apr 20, 2021 12:30 PM

By PPHD

Our goal has always been to keep Panhandle residents safe and healthy, and that is especially true during the COVID pandemic. The COVID vaccines offer us the opportunity to protect ourselves and those around us.

We know you want to stay safe and keep your family safe, and part of that involves ensuring you have the information you need about the vaccines to make an informed decision. Our focus is on listening to your questions, providing clear, accurate, science-based information, and keeping the Panhandle’s health front and center.

Panhandle residents 18 and older can self-schedule for their COVID vaccine with two easy steps:

  1. Register on the vaccinate.ne.gov website.
  2. For the corresponding counties, pick a location, day, and time that works for you. Dates and times will be added to the links as they are made available.
  3. Box Butte/Grant: https://tinyurl.com/25mwaapu or safeway.com
  4. Cheyenne/Deuel: https://tinyurl.com/5b5uac8p,  walmart.com, or safeway.com
  5. Dawes/Sioux: https://tinyurl.com/x5d5nnbnwalmart.com, or safeway.com
  6. Garden: sign up at vaccinate.ne.gov – a provider will call you
  7. Kimball: https://tinyurl.com/d2u8txrs
  8. Morrill: https://tinyurl.com/sb8mvumm
  9. Sheridan: https://tinyurl.com/cvrmkv38
  10. Scottsbluff/Banner: https://tinyurl.com/w6b84fkfwalmart.com, or safeway.com

The two steps are encouraged to ease the vaccine process. Residents can easily get vaccinated this week. There is no charge for the vaccine.

For the Moderna shot, the second dose is needed to produce the best immunity results. Pfizer will be coming soon to the Panhandle. Teens ages 16 & 17 can register now at vaccinate.ne.gov.

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 lost your COVID vaccine card, go to https://tinyurl.com/2zh7uhhu.

COVID funeral assistance recently opened on April 12, 2021, there is no deadline to apply. FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020, under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Applicants may apply by calling 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) from 7am to 7pm MT, Monday through Friday. Multilingual services are available. If you receive a busy signal, please be patient as they are receiving thousands of calls and are working hard to answer each call.

To be eligible for funeral assistance, applicants must meet these conditions:

  1. The death must have occurred in the United States. The applicant must be a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  2. The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID.
  3. There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien. 

You can also visit fema.gov/funeral-assistance/faq with questions. The COVID pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. Free and confidential help is available if you need it:

  1. Nebraska Rural Response Hotline: 1-800-464-0258, MONDAY-FRIDAY 8AM TO 5PM
  2. Nebraska Family Helpline: 1-888-866-8660, 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK

Unified Command confirms 26 more cases of COVID in the Panhandle since last reporting on Monday, April 12. The investigations are underway, all close contacts will be quarantined.

March 2, 2020-April 19, 2021

  1. Total Tests Conducted: 37,503
  2. Positive: 8,970
  3. Last 14 days (active) cases: 52
  4. Last week’s cases: 27
  5. Last week’s positivity rate: 8.1%
  6. Deaths: 191
  7. Active Hospitalizations: 4
  8. Total Cumulative Hospitalizations: 543
  9. Doubling time (November 15, 2020 – April 19, 2021): 155 days

Avoid the Three Cs:

  1. Avoid Crowded Places – Avoid gathering in groups where you cannot maintain 6-feet of distance from others
  2. 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
  3. Avoid Confined Spaces – Avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation

Current COVID testing access can be found at www.pphd.org.