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      COVID-19 Informationimage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

      Click on the image for the latest information from the CDC on COVID-19.

      Drive Thru Flu ClinicDrive-thru Flu Clinic set for October 23-24 in Kimball

      Kimball Health Services is hosting a drive–thru flu clinic Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24 at the KHS North Campus, formerly the West Elementary School. Residents and passengers can drive through the parking lot on the south side of the school, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. both days. Cost is $30 or $40 for high dose.  Cash only and Medicare participants should bring their Medicare card to receive their vaccine at no charge.

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      Kimball Health Services is hosting a drive–thru flu clinic Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24 at the KHS North Campus, formerly the West Elementary School. Residents and passengers can drive through the parking lot on the south side of the school, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. both days. Due to COVID-19 precautions, flu shots will not be offered inside the building this year.

      The fall weather is always a reminder that it's time to get a flu shot. It’s especially important this flu season, says Pennie Anderson, community health nurse at Kimball Health Services.

      “In addition to symptoms including sore throat, aches and fever, the flu can lead to serious health complications such as pneumonia,” Anderson said. “One of the most important steps you can take to avoid serious flu-related illnesses is to be vaccinated.” The regular-dose flu vaccine costs $30 and will help to protect against four of the known flu viruses predicted to cause respiratory influenza this year. High dosage flu shots, which cost $40, are available for those 65 and older.

      The vaccine cost is cash only, payable on-site. Those eligible for Medicare should bring their Medicare card and there will be no charge. Appointments are available at the clinic for flu shots that are to be billed to insurance.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated, particularly people who are at a high risk for flu complications. This includes people 65 years and older, and young children and people with chronic conditions such as asthma or heart disease. Individuals who care for or live with these high-risk populations also should get vaccinated.

      There are some key differences between the flu and COVID-19, Anderson said, referring to CDC guidelines. According to the CDC, flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Both can spread from person-to-person, and the CDC recommends social distancing, frequent hand-washing and the use of cloth face masks to mitigate infection. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

      Anyone who believes they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are reminded to call the KHS Clinc at (308) 235-1966 or the Pine Bluffs Clinic at (307) 245-2555 to complete a screening and receive guidance for how to seek care. As always, those having an emergency should call 911.

      Dr. Broomfield Warns the Dangers of VapingDr. Broomfield Warns the Dangers of Vaping

      Vaping is killing a lot of people in this country and they’re mostly your age.”   That’s the clear-cut message from Dr. James Broomfield, medical director at Kimball Health Services, speaking to 175 high school students Wednesday at the Harry McNees Auditorium.
       

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      “Vaping is killing a lot of people in this country and they’re mostly your age.” That’s the clear-cut message from Dr. James Broomfield, medical director at Kimball Health Services, speaking to 175 high school students Wednesday at the Harry McNees Auditorium.

      “We don’t know which one of the five people in the front row that it’s going to kill,” Broomfield said. “The reason I’m here is that a bunch of you are doing it.”

      Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, can lead to serious, irreversible lung damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of February 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalizations or deaths are linked to e-cigarette use, or vaping, in the US.

      They’re also called vapes, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). According to the CDC, e-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs. The liquid can contain nicotine, tetrahydrocannabilol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils and other substances, flavorings and additives.

      But because vaping products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, Broomfield said, it can be anyone’s guess what the user is actually inhaling. The damage, he said, often starts the first or second time the substance is used.

      Broomfield likened the effects of vaping to the smoke seen in Cheyenne last weekend, where visibility was reduced to less than a mile from wildfires burning west of Cheyenne. There was 750 parts per million (ppm) of smoke particulates in the air, he said.

      “That means you’re breathing air 8 to 10 times as thick as the smoke in Cheyenne this past weekend. I cannot express to you enough that it will ruin your body. Don’t blow off the effects of what it will do to you.”

      What’s more, the effects of vaping aren’t just physiological. Getting caught vaping in school results in a one-day suspension on the first offense, school officials in the audience said, and the consequences go up from there. But what many students don’t think about, Broomfield says, is that getting caught vaping could lead to a mark on a student’s record that prospective colleges will notice when the student applies for admission.

      The good news, according to the CDC, is that data from state health departments around the country show a sharp rise in cases of vaping-associated lung injury in August 2019, a peak in September 2019, but a gradual but persistent decline since then. One of the reasons, the CDC says, may be increased public awareness of the risk associated with vaping along with actions by law enforcement.

      “If you’re trying to keep your life clean,” Broomfield concluded, “don’t start vaping.”

      Unmasked Germs Are Pretty Gross

      Droplets spread by speaking while masked or unmasked is a major difference.

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      Droplets spread by speaking while masked or unmasked is a major difference.
      Thirteen more cases announced since last reporting on July 2, including Kimball County woman.

      Unmasked germs are pretty gross. Nebraska Medicine shows this in a recently shared video published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The video demonstrates fluid droplets using laser light scattering. Visualized droplets when someone is masked or unmasked is a major difference. The demonstration can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/y844xb5x.

      Nebraska doctors are urging residents to wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing can be summed up in three points:

      1. COVID-19 is spread by droplets.
      2. Masks prevent droplets from spreading.
      3. Limit the spread of droplets, and you limit the spread of COVID-19.

      Testing opportunities for the week of July 6:
      · Chadron Community Hospital: Mondays & Fridays, 7-9am
          o Testnebraska.com
      · Community Action Health Center in Gering: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays, 7-8am
          o https://tinyurl.com/y7msahzq
      · Morrill County Community Hospital: Daily
          o Call for testing, insurance will be billed
      · Contact your local hospital or clinic for information on testing access.

      Unified Command confirms thirteen more cases of COVID-19 in the Panhandle since last reporting on July 2:
      County
      Demographics
      Exposure Type

      Kimball
      Female in her 40s
      Close Contact

      Morrill
      Male in his 30s
      Close Contact

      Morrill
      Male in his 50s
      Close Contact

      Scotts Bluff
      Female in her 20s
      Close Contact

      Scotts Bluff
      Female in her 30s
      Close Contact

      Scotts Bluff
      Female in her 40s
      Travel

      Scotts Bluff
      Female in her 50s
      Community Spread

      Scotts Bluff
      Female in her 70s
      Close Contact

      Scotts Bluff
      Female in her 80s
      Close Contact

      Scotts Bluff
      Male in his 20s
      Community Spread

      Scotts Bluff
      Male in his 40s
      Close Contact

      Scotts Bluff
      Male in his 80s
      Close Contact

      Sheridan
      Male in his 40s
      Close Contact

      Close contact and exposure are defined as at least 15 minutes, less than six feet apart. There are no community exposure sites identified. The investigations are complete, all close contacts will be quarantined and actively monitored twice daily for fever and respiratory symptoms by public health officials.

      Nineteen new recoveries: one in Cheyenne County, two in Kimball County, twelve in Morrill County, and four in Scotts Bluff County, brings the total recoveries to 218.

      March 2-July 6, 2020

      Total Tests Conducted: 5,620
      Positive: 335
      Cumulative Positivity Rate: 5.8%
      Recovered: 218
      Active Cases: 114
      Active Hospitalizations: 1
      Total Cumulative Hospitalizations: 33
      Deaths: 3

      • Banner County: 2 case (1 active, 1 recovered)
      • Box Butte County: 3 cases (recovered)
      • Cheyenne County: 20 cases (3 active, 17 recovered)
      • Dawes County: 4 cases (2 active, 2 recovered)
      • Garden County: 4 cases (recovered)
      • Kimball County: 13 cases (1 active, 12 recovered)
      • Morrill County: 50 cases (24 active, 26 recovered)
      • Scotts Bluff County: 225 cases (75 active, 147 recovered, 3 deaths)
      • Sheridan County: 8 cases (active)
      • Sioux County: 6 cases (recovered)

      Panhandle Public Health District, Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Management, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department are working as a unified command on this evolving situation. Essential updates will be regularly communicated to the public and community partners.

      For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

      Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work, and play in the Panhandle. Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community. Visit our website www.pphd.org.

      Masks - "The Best Defense"

      In recent months, the topic of wearing masks has become politically divisive, despite public health guidance that they are the best defense restricting the spread of COVID-19.

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      In recent months, the topic of wearing masks has become politically divisive, despite public health guidance that they are the best defense restricting the spread of COVID-19.

      • “Senator Mitch McConnell says Americans must have no stigma in wearing face masks.” McConnell endorsed wearing face masks as part of a “new middle ground” between a return to normal life and strict coronavirus restrictions. “We need new routines, new rhythms, and new strategies for this new middle ground in between. It’s the task of each family, each small business, each employer, and all levels of government to apply common sense and make this happen,” McConnell said.
      • That same day, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “every American has a responsibility to wear a mask.”
      • On Sunday, Vice President Pence said, “wearing a mask is just a good idea.”
      • Goldman Sachs analysts found reducing the spread of the virus through mask-wearing could be a substitute for strict lockdown measures that would otherwise shave 5%—or $1 trillion—off the US GDP.Additional heart rhythm problems
      • Inconsistent blood supply
      • “If a face mask mandate meaningfully lowers coronavirus infections, it could be valuable not only from a public health perspective but also from an economic perspective because it could substitute for renewed lockdowns that would otherwise hit GDP,” the researchers wrote.
      • The University of Washington has added projections for what universal masking in the state would do to the daily COVID-19 case count in Nebraska.

      COVID-19 testing is available at Community Action Health Center: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7am-8am. Testing is open to those that are symptomatic or close contact to a positive case. Sign up today https://tinyurl.com/y7msahzq.

      Patients use main door (west) & visitor access restricted

      Kimball Health Services continues to take measures to keep our patients and staff safe.  With concerns over COVID-19 we have updated our visitation policies.  Patients are limited to having one designated visitor for the full length of their stay at the hospital.  

      Guidelines for visitors include:

      • Wearing a mask at all times while in the Kimball Health Services building. 
      • Visitors must be over the age of 18 years
      • No pets/animals will be allowed
      • Visitation will be limited to one of the following time periods each day 9am-11am, 2pm-4pm, 7pm-9pm.
      • Visitors will be asked to self-quarantine when they are not at the hospital and to follow current CDC and Public Health directives (including restricting travel, avoiding groups larger than 10 people).
      • If the patient is receiving outpatient services, it is expected that their visitor will arrive and leave with the patient, and stay in the treatment area while in the building.
      • Visitors will be screened on entry to Kimball Health Services.  

      Visitors will be asked to sign an agreement to wear a mask when possible, wash their hands frequently, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and follow other safety guidelines when outside of the hospital.

      We also ask that all patients enter the hospital and clinic through the main door on the west side of the building.  All other entrances are locked and visitors are not allowed at this time.  If you need to go to the emergency room - you may ring the bell at the ER door for admission.   Our North Campus location is also restricting access to visitors at this time.  If you need assistance with your bills, please call the Patient Accounting Office at 308-235-1990.  For assistance with medical records, please call Medical Records department at 308-235-1968.   Thank you for your cooperation. 

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