Last week saw the first COVID-19 related death in Dawes County with a male subject in his 70’s. Just over 24 hours later, that number tripled with two additional COVID-related deaths in the reported. As another 24 hours passed, the death toll rose again with a Dawes County male in his 80’s and a Sioux County male in his 90’s the latest reported casualties.
The report of deaths in counties which previously had none has been a revelation to some and an affirmation to others that this virus is something to take seriously. On Monday, the Panhandle Public Health District’s COVID-19 Risk Dial continued its upward journey further in to the High, or Orange level, for spread of the disease.
As of Monday afternoon, Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) reported a total 2,780 positive cases in the Panhandle, up from 2,064 a week ago. Of those, with 1,586 are recovered and 1,178 active. Of the positive cases, Dawes County has 301, remaining the third highest in the 12 counties on PPHD’s COVID-19 dashboard behind Scotts Bluff’s 1,476 and Box Butte’s 348.
In contrast, Sioux County has the third lowest number of positive cases with 13, following Grant and Banner counties, each with five — all of whom have recovered.
There have been 222 recovered cases in Dawes County, with 75 active cases. Seven of those are in students at Chadron State College. Though all employee cases at the college had recovered last week, one tested postiive Nov. 1. In a similar fashion, Chadron Public Schools has showed a slight increase from last week with one active case in Chadron High and two active at Chadron Intermediate. Five CPS staff and students are quarantined.