Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Living With The Pandemic

Nine Recover; National Guard Finds No Positive Cases; Pizza Hut Closes

As of Tuesday morning, the state of Nebraska had 871 positive tests and a total of 18 deaths, while the Panhandle has 27 positive cases of COVID-19.

Although Kimball County has a total of 10 cases, nine have recovered and are out of isolation as of April 16.

The Panhandle Public Health District reported that of the 47 tests done by the National Guard in Kimball last week, 46 tests were negative and one sample will need to be re-tested. The negative tests are encouraging to the area, but it is important to remember to all the precautions that PPHD has issued.

The health district advised that residents who "support the critical infrastructure of our community, such as truckers, are encouraged to continue to provide their vital services. When they are back in the Panhandle, they are encouraged to stay at their house (self-quarantine). Traveling to and from work is understandable; the idea is to stay in the same community and practice strict social distancing."

Through the chaos of the coronavirus period, good on bad news is emerging on the local business front. Karen's Kitchen, the new Kimball restaurant, decided to reopen with takeout orders beginning Tuesday this.

On the other hand, Brooke Keifer, manager at the Kimball Pizza Hut, said Pizza Hut in Kimball was closed by its owners along with eight other locations on Wednesday of last week. Kimball Pizza Hut was abiding by all the safety precautions, according to Keifer.

"We were doing everything the way that PPHD guidelines intended." Keifer said. "We want to re-open."

The Observer attempted to reach the corporate office for an update, but contact could not be made.

Meanwhile, PPHD has cautioned individuals about the possibility of scams related to the pandemic.

Scottsbluff has had some reports of scams. One reported this week was a text that told the recipient that they had a positive test result from Regional West Medical Center and they were to text information back to the number. Folks are urged to stay alert for new and creative scams.

The Directed Health Measure for all counties in Nebraska is effective until the end of April and includes the closure of "all beauty/nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services, gentlemen's clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theaters and tattoo parlors/studios."

Also, all organized team sports, youth and adult, including but not limited to club sports, are suspended until May 3, according to the measure.

Stress from the coronavirus situation is common and it is important to cope with the stress in an appropriate manner, the PPHD advises. Be informed but take breaks from watching or reading repeated stories about the pandemic, take care of yourself, eat balanced meals, exercise, get lots of sleep, do those activities that you never had time for, and connect with people by phone or social media.