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Overall Panhandle COVID Spread Reaches High Risk Level | Rural Radio Network

Overall Panhandle COVID Spread Reaches High Risk Level

Overall Panhandle COVID Spread Reaches High Risk Level

Six Panhandle counties join Box Butte County in moving to orange on the risk dial equating to high risk of COVID spread. Cheyenne, Dawes, Kimball, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux all moved to high risk as of Monday, October 12. This makes seven in orange and the remaining five, Banner, Deuel, Garden, Grant, and Morrill Counties, in yellow.

Residents are urged to take increased precautions to slow the spread of COVID. This is out of an abundance of kindness and humility for others and our most vulnerable populations.

Director Kim Engel says the move into the orange category doesn’t mean automatic changes for school districts in those counties. “When we talk with the school superintendents, they’re fully aware of the dial and the guidance, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that if your town turned orange today, something is going to happen tomorrow, or even next week,” said Engel. “We have very good data on each of the schools, and we’re open to looking it over with school administration, because there’s really little or no transmission at the schools, the policies they have in place are working really well.”

Unified Command confirms 77 more cases of COVID in the Panhandle since last reporting on Thursday, October 12, and 42 recoveries. The investigations are underway, all close contacts will be quarantined and actively monitored for symptoms by public health officials.


Testing information and access for the Panhandle area:

  • You can sign up for the following free testing at or 402-207-9377:
    • Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance: Monday-Friday, 9-10am
      • Ambulance Bay on the east side of the emergency department, watch for the green arrows
    • Chadron Community Hospital: Mondays & Fridays, 7-9am
      • Collections are at 821 Morehead Street (Old Hospital ER Entrance next to Wilson Park)
      • Other testing opportunities for symptomatic patients may be available through the hospital as ordered by your Primary Care Practitioner, call the hospital at 747-2466 with questions.
    • Gordon Memorial Hospital: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2-4pm
    • Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff: Mondays & Fridays, Noon-4pm; Wednesdays, 2-6pm
    • Sidney Regional Medical Center: Tuesdays & Thursday, 7-9am
  • Community Action Health Center in Gering: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays, 7-8am
  • Morrill County Community Hospital in Bridgeport: Daily
    • Call 308-262-1616 for testing, same day results
  • Contact your local hospital or clinic for information on testing access.
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