Panhandle Public Health District’s Unified Command announced on Wednesday that new guidelines have been set regarding when a patient can be listed as “recovered.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released updated guidelines regarding COVID-19 recovery, Jessica Davies, assistant director of Panhandle Public Health District, said. As more research has been done on the virus, it has been easier to hone in on recovery windows, she explained.
“We always align with that,” she said of the CDC’s guidelines.
The new guidelines state that at least 24 hours must pass since the last fever without using fever-reducing medications, a change from the old guidelines requiring 72 hours to pass after a fever.
Additionally, other symptoms must have improved and at least 10 days need to have passed since symptoms first appeared in order for a person to be considered “recovered.”
During Wednesday’s briefing, six new recoveries were announced. Seven of them were from Scotts Bluff County and one was from Sheridan County. A total of 318 patients have recovered from the illness.
Nine new cases, all in Scotts Bluff County, were also announced on Wednesday. Two teenage girls, a woman in her 30s, two in their 40s, a teen male and a man in his 60s were all determined to be cases of community spread. A woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s were determined to be exposed through close contact.
Across the Panhandle, 7,026 tests, with 397 positive results, have led to a cumulative positivity rate of 5.7 percent. Currently, 74 cases are active with the majority in Scotts Bluff County, which has 63 active cases. There are five active cases in Morrill County, two in Kimball County and four in Box Butte County.
Since March 2, 38 people have been hospitalized, with two currently in the hospital. Five Panhandle residents have died from COVID-19.
PPHD’s deputy director Tabi Prochazka addressed a misconception surrounding events, and the required applications. Applications are required for any event held at a venue with a capacity of 500 or more people, even if less than 500 are expected to attend.
“The fact is you have to fill out an event application online if … the capacity venue is over 500,” she said.
Applications are being reviewed every day, she added.
It is recommended that venues fill out a general application, but individuals should submit applications for specific events as well. Information regarding event requirements can be found on pphd.org. A list of approved events is also on the website.
Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at email@example.com.
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