NORFOLK, Neb. (KTIV) - Health officials overseeing four northeast Nebraska counties say the recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in one of those counties concerns local leaders.
Officials with the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department say, since August 1st, Madison County has experienced a 76-percent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. This includes 132 new positive cases in just the past 14 days, which ranks Madison as 5th highest among Nebraska's 93 counties over this time period.
Health officials say they haven't seen this rate of increase since mid-to-late April.
They encourage Madison County residents to wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your own home. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth mask when around others. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
The health department advises that non-pharmaceutical interventions like wearing masks and social distancing are the best strategies we have against COVID until a reliable vaccine and other effective treatments become available.
Josh Moenning, the mayor of Norfolk, says "The reality is that increasing case numbers and hospitalizations put people at risk and potentially threaten our ability to keep kids in school and businesses open,” said Moenning. "What we've seen in recent weeks is not an encouraging trend. To stay healthy, care for our neighbors, and avoid renewed restrictions or shutdowns, we must stay vigilant about transmission of this virus. That means being consistently mindful about social distancing, wearing a mask when appropriately necessary, and practicing aggressive cleanliness."