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More positive COVID-19 cases in July than previous months, official said

More positive COVID-19 cases in July than previous months, official said

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PAPILLION – Though Cass County remains in just the moderate risk range for contracting COVID-19, the number of positive cases has increased more in July than in the past, according to the Sarpy/Cass Health Department.

“In the last month, we’ve seen more cases in Cass County than all the months up to this point,” said Jenny Steventon, assistant health director.

As of noon Tuesday, the total number of residents who have been tested for the virus rose to 3,374 with 134 of them testing positive, according to the department’s figures. The majority of these cases, 71 to be exact, have come from close contacts, the figures showed. There have been 86 recoveries with the death total remaining at two.

More contact with others through outdoor activities is a reason for the jump, according to Steventon.

“As more people leave the home, they’re more likely to get the virus because of exposure to more people,” she said.

Meanwhile, there has been an additional death from the virus in Sarpy County, according to the department.

It was a woman in her 80s who also suffered from underlying health conditions, the department said.

As of noon Tuesday in Sarpy County, 24,802 people have been tested with 1,800 being positive. Slightly more than 1,000 of them contracted the virus through close contact.

There have been 1,394 recoveries and eight deaths.

As far as any mandates on wearing masks, as with the case in Douglas County, Steventon said her department is structured differently and has no legal authority to order a mandate.

“It’s up to the cities and the counties to enact that,” she said.

Though the department continues to encourage the wearing of masks, it has not made any approach to any city or leaders of the two counties to encourage a mandate, according to Steventon.

Nevertheless, the department urges everyone to continue safe practices.

“The most effective ways of protecting ourselves and our most vulnerable neighbors from contracting this virus is to follow public health recommendations of staying home while ill, practicing social distancing, washing your hands often and using a cloth face covering while in public,” said Sarah Schram, health director.

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