MADISON COUNTY - City and health officials are urging Madison County residents to use still caution after a 76% percent increase in positive COVID-19 cases. 

In a joint statement on Wednesday, health officials say there are 132 new positive cases in the past 14 days, which ranks Madison as 5th highest among all 93 counties in Nebraska over this time period.

"We haven’t seen this rate of increase since mid- to late-April,” said Gina Uhing, Director of Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department.

Despite Directed Health Measures relaxing on Monday, Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department encourages citizens to take the following actions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the area:

- Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.

- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your own home.

- Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth mask when around others.

- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

The health department advises that non-pharmaceutical interventions like wearing masks and social distancing are the best strategies we have against COVID-19 until a reliable vaccine and other effective treatments become available.

Josh Moenning, City of Norfolk Mayor, says, “The reality is that increasing case numbers and hospitalizations put people at risk and potentially threaten our ability to keep kids in school and businesses open,” said Moenning. “What we’ve seen in recent weeks is not an encouraging trend. To stay healthy, care for our neighbors, and avoid renewed restrictions or shutdowns, we must stay vigilant about transmission of this virus. That means being consistently mindful about social distancing, wearing a mask when appropriately necessary, and practicing aggressive cleanliness.”