Locally reported COVID-19 cases are slowing down, with just 18 newly reported cases since Thursday, bringing the county total to 1,353.
On Saturday, the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported seven new positive test results. The day before, there were 10 positive tests and one presumptive positive test.
Statewide there were no deaths reported on Saturday, leaving the state total at 1,422. In Douglas County, 37 people have died as a result of the virus.
“You always have to be cautious about cases during holiday weeks,” Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said during a fireside Christmas day chat on Friday via the public health network’s Facebook page.
“During holiday weeks sometimes people don’t get tested, sometimes public health is closed down and so we don’t get the reports as we might, and sometimes things just happen during this time and we may not be able to tell what’s going on.”
Dannenhoffer did acknowledge cases are rising at a slower rate worldwide in the last few weeks.
“When you look at the U.S., the number of cases is down this week and I hope that’s real,” he said. “I hope that’s just not an anomaly related to a holiday. Remember back during Thanksgiving there as a drop in numbers during the Thanksgiving weekend and the hope was that it was a real drop, but it turned out that rather than being a real drop it was just an anomaly due to the holiday. But we can always hope.”
As of Saturday, there were 10 Douglas County residents hospitalized with the coronavirus, eight locally and two out of the area.
Douglas Public Health Network is supporting 425 people who are either in isolation or quarantine. There are currently 145 people in isolation, which are people with confirmed or presumptive COVID-19.
This week county officials have asked members of the public to focus on mental health.
“This time of year is typically difficult on many individuals who already suffer from mental illness, anxiety and depression,” Saturday’s update said. “It is also difficult for many that are alone, having to quarantine or isolate themselves or those in care facilities that have stopped or limited visitation from loved ones. And, there is extra stress on caregivers that are also being asked to take on more duties or work extra shifts, due to the rise in case counts and the increasing number of people who need mental health or addiction services. We encourage everyone to find time to take care of yourselves.”
Dannenhoffer did say the two mutant strains of the virus, one reported in the United Kingdom the other in South Africa, are concerning.