Aug 24, 2021

PPHD: 152 more virus cases reported in the Panhandle

Posted Aug 24, 2021 2:00 PM


Jon Hansen, Dean of Student Affairs at Chadron State College, joined the Monday briefing to share strategies the college has implemented towards the success of a high COVID vaccination rate among their student athletes and staff, ultimately protecting themselves, their fellow teammates, and other teams they play.

Jon Hansen.
Jon Hansen.

After a low vaccination rate was seen in the spring, the college started working with the student athletes this summer.  They followed NCAA guidance for student athletes and what students that were vaccinated wouldn’t be required to do. To date, over 80% are either fully vaccinated or have received their 1st dose and awaiting their 2nd dose.

  1. Make it easy.
  2. They brought the vaccination to students on campus and also made it easy to get to off-campus vaccine locations by providing transportation or allowing them needed time, for example, if they were at camp, to go get their vaccination. The students didn’t have to do anything except show up.
  3. Appeal to them about their own health and, most importantly, about the health of their fellow teammates, coaches, and those around them.
  4. Promote the perks of being vaccinated.
  5. If an individual is vaccinated, they’re not required to wear a mask around campus. This is even more important because last year the only time athletes were allowed to remove their masks was when they had their helmets on and were on the field. Volleyball players even practiced with masks on the court. This was an incentive if they were vaccinated, we were not going to ask that they mask.
  6. If vaccinated, there’s no automatic quarantine or weekly testing unless a student is symptomatic. Last year, students were being tested at minimum weekly or even twice a week in some cases.
  7. Last year, the college had around 200 COVID positive students and 400 students quarantined for close contact. They reminded students if they don’t get vaccinated, based on their previous year’s data, they have a one in three chance of being in quarantine and it could happen repeatedly.
  8. Availability.
  9. Are you available when it comes time to practice? Are you available when it becomes time to play? The college talked to students about what happens if they are COVID positive, making it almost certain they will miss at least three games - two from being isolated and one missed from waiting to be cleared by medical staff.
  10. If they are a close contact, they are probably going to miss two games due to quarantine and if they come out of quarantine and are not vaccinated, they could go back into quarantine two days later and may not ever get to play during the season.

As a retired Lieutenant Colonel in United States Army, Hansen bluntly stated, “Do you want to play? If you want to play, get vaccinated. If you don’t really want to play, then you’re showing me that by not getting vaccinated because you’re probably not going to be available. Do you want to win? If we are not all vaccinated and all available, one week we may only have three really good linemen to play, and the next week we may not have a quarterback. And you go down the list.”

Hansen also shared they are seeing all universities and colleges in Colorado requiring vaccinations of their athletes.

“Our competition is going to be ready, we need to be too,” Hansen concluded.

Updated recommendations for a 3rd dose for the general public were also shared. Everyone that has received an mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) vaccine, eight months after receiving their 2nd dose, can get a 3rd dose as soon as September 20, 2021. More information will be issued by the CDC as the date draws near. The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Vaccinations have protection against all known variants, including Delta. For any youth age 12 and older preparing to return to school, make sure getting your COVID vaccine is on the list. COVID vaccine is available across the Panhandle. There is no charge for the vaccine.

  1. Box Butte/Grant: |
  2. Walk-ins welcome
  3. Dave's Pharmacy Hemingford & Alliance, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5:30 PM (Pfizer 2 PM- 5:30 PM)
  4. Alliance Community Pharmacy, Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM - 6 PM
  5. Cheyenne/Deuel: | |
  6. Walk-ins welcome
  7. During COVID clinic hours visit for days and hours
  8. Dawes/Sioux: | |
  9. Walk-ins welcome
  10. Western Community Health Resources, Monday-Friday, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
  11. Garden: To schedule an appointment visit - provider will call you
  12. Walk-ins welcome
  13. Regional West Garden County Clinic Front Desk, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM
  14. Kimball:
  15. Walk-ins welcome
  16. Kimball Health Services, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 4:30 PM
  17. Morrill:
  18. Walk-ins welcome
  19. Morrill County Hospital Clinic, Wednesdays, 8 AM - 4 PM
  20. Sheridan:
  21. Walk-ins welcome
  22. Gordon Rural Health Clinic, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM- 9:30 AM
  23. Scotts Bluff/Banner: | | |
  24. Walk-ins welcome
  25. Gering CAPWN Health Center, Monday-Friday, 9 AM-12 PM & 1 PM-4 PM
  26. Scottsbluff County Immunization Clinic, Monday-Friday, 9:40 AM-12:30 PM & 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

If you are homebound or have a condition that makes it hard for you to access a COVID vaccine, please call Kim Engel at 308-633-2866 ext 101.

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

Unified Command confirms 152 more cases of COVID in the Panhandle since last reporting on Monday, August 16.