Observer Interviews COVID Official
October 22, 2020
As COVID-19 increases in Nebraska, the assistant director of Panhandle Public Health District, Jessica Davies, helped answer some informational questions about the pandemic.
Davies told the Observer that the Panhandle is in a spike and backed that up with numbers. She reported that from March to May the Panhandle had 100 cases total. From Monday Oct. 12 through Thursday the 15th, the Panhandle registered 131 cases in that four-day period – which is a huge increase in cases throughout the Panhandle.
Davis responded to comments in reference to the intensity of the infection. She said, “Some people are really really sick. It depended on how much of the virus they are exposed to, meaning overall exposure to the virus.”
Although there are many variables, Davies said the virus “impacts every single person differently.”
In March and April when PPHD was contact tracing, they listed times and places people had been, even taking information off of cell phones. Davis said that is not necessary anymore because the contact tracing now only goes back 48 hours prior to the occurrence of symptoms, and only people with 15 minutes of exposure to the individual are considered exposed.
According to Davies, the workplace and businesses have “been diligent” and PPHD has worked closely with many businesses. Individuals who are sick or have symptoms are being filtered by the workplace, as no workplace wants the virus spread throughout their business.
Davies said some communities are doing better at masking and following other precautions. Everyone is getting tired of the pandemic, but now is not the time to let your guard down.
Doctors and hospitals have gained a lot of experience on how to treat the virus. Davies said that when the virus first started, 27% of people were placed on a ventilator but now only 9% are placed on a ventilator.
She realizes that people are very tired of this whole thing but cautions everyone to follow the guidelines of washing your hands, social distancing and wearing a mask.