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Health officials have confirmed the presence of COVID-19 in the Panhandle, announcing cases in Scotts Bluff and Kimball Counties.

The first case was announced by Panhandle Public Health on Sunday night. They confirmed that a male in his 30s, who resides in Scotts Bluff County tested positive for COVID-19, which was determined to be a case of community spread, leading Governor Pete Ricketts to issue a Directed Health Measure for 12 counties in the Panhandle: Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux Counties.

The measure imposes enforceable limits on public gatherings and requires all restaurants and bars to close their dining areas and move to takeout, delivery or curbside service only. The Directed Health Measure alliance to theaters, churches, gyms, social clubs and salons. It also includes social gatherings such as weddings, funerals, concerts and athletic events.

Panhandle Public Health District announced locations of possible community exposure from the Scotts Bluff County Case.

Location/Timeframe

Funeral at YMCA Trails West Camp 1918 S Beltline Hwy W Scottsbluff - March 7

Subway 814 W 27th Scottsbluff - March 11 from 9:30-11:30 am

Main Street Market 401 S Beltline Hwy W Scottsbluff - March 12 from 10-11:30 am

Staples 1711 Frontage Road Scottsbluff - March 9 from 12 pm-6 pm; March 10 from 12 pm-6 pm; March 11 from 12 pm-6 pm; March 12 from 12 pm-6 pm; March 14 from 10 am-6 pm; March 16 from 12 pm-6 pm; March 17 from 12 pm-6 pm; March 18 from 12 pm-6 pm

Safeway 601 Broadway Scottsbluff - March 12 from 9:30-11am; March 19 from 1-3 pm; March 20 from 1-3 pm; March 24 from 3-5 pm

Walmart 3322 Ave I Scottsbluff - March 12 from 11:30 am-1 pm; March 14 from 1:30-3 pm; March 15 from 1-5 pm; March 26 from 1-3 pm; March 27 from 12 pm-1:30 pm

The individual has been isolated at their home since March 24, according to health officials.

On Monday, health officials announced that a male in his 50s, residing in Kimball County, tested positive for COVID-19. The case was determined to be travel related and the person was hospitalized. Officials are investigating people who came into close contact with the individual and will direct them to self-quarantine. They also released a list of possible community spread locations identified in the Kimball County case.

Location/Timeline

New Hope Assembly of God 413 E 3rd St Kimball NE - March 8 10:22am-12:50pm

Main Street Market 815 E 3rd Kimball NE - March 8 12:51pm-12:57pm

Dollar General 215 W 2nd St Kimball NE - March 8 4:42pm-5:07pm

New Hope Assembly of God 413 E 3rd St Kimball NE - March 10 6:23pm-7:42pm

Big Sky Energy and Equipment 218 E 3rd Kimball NE - March 11 9:16am-10:03am

New Hope Assembly of God 413 E 3rd St Kimball NE - March 11 10:30am-11:07am

Vince’s Corner 100 E 3rd St Kimball NE - March 11 11:35am-11:53am

Good Times @ Chute # 7 109 W 2nd St - March 11 7pm-10:30pm

Main Street Market 815 E 3rd Kimball NE - March 13 5:08pm-5:28pm

New Hope Assembly of God 413 E 3rd St Kimball NE - March 13 7pm-8pm

Dollar General 215 W 2nd St Kimball NE - March 14 2pm-3:12pm

Main Street Market 815 E 3rd Kimball NE - March 15 9:30am-9:34am, 12:54pm-12:59pm

New Hope Assembly of God 413 E 3rd St Kimball NE - March 15 10:24am-12:24pm

Pizza Hut 215 S Webster St Kimball NE - March 15 7pm-8:30pm

Good Times @ Chute # 7 109 W 2nd St Kimball NE - March 16 6:47pm-11:08pm

Bemis Drug 129 S Chestnut Kimball NE - March 21 9:13pm-9:20pm

Dollar General 215 W 2nd St Kimball NE - March 28 2:11pm-2:22pm

Main Street Market 815 E 3rd Kimball NE - March 28 2:24pm-2:36pm

People who visited the locations at any of the dates and times listed in the table are requested to self-quarantine if they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. People who are showing symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or Panhandle Public Health District at 308-262-5764.

Health officials encourage people in these, and other communities with COVID-19 cases to practice good hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing, avoid touching their face, stock up on supplies and medication necessary, “as if you were preparing for a severe snowstorm,” and practice social distancing.

As of Monday, there were 155 cases confirmed in Nebraska, and a total of three people who have died from the virus. People, including older adults and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, are at a higher risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19, which is why officials encourage those individuals and their families to “observe strict isolation practices.

As of Tuesday, according to Panhandle Public Health District, there were a total of 14 tests for COVID-19 pending in the Panhandle, including one from Box Butte County.

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