Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Box Butte County has seen several recoveries, as the number of active cases in the county has dropped to zero as of press time.

The total number of positive cases in the Panhandle has risen to 439 since testing began on March 2. Currently there are only 55 active cases, 378 recoveries and six deaths, as of press time.

The Panhandle is set to remain in phase three of Governor Ricketts’ Directed Health Measure through Aug. 31. Officials with the COVID-19 Unified Command encourage people to continue wearing masks when they are unable to socially distance, washing or sanitizing their hands frequently, and not attending events if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Free testing through Test Nebraska is available at several locations in the Panhandle, including at Box Butte General Hospital Monday through Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. People can sign up at testnebraska.com or by calling 402-207-9377.

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