HASTINGS – The City of Hastings held a press conference concerning the first confirmed coronavirus case in Adams County. The case is a faculty member of Hastings College who had returned from the study abroad program in Europe, with Hastings College Students, and experienced mild symptoms of the coronavirus. She was tested and the test came back positive.
Mayor Corey Stutte, Michele Bever, the Executive Director of the South Heartland District Health Department, Susan Meeske, Executive Vice President of Enrollment and Student Experience at Hastings College, Ron Pughes, the Adams County Emergency Manager, and Eric Barber, President and CEO of Mary Lanning Healthcare were all in attendance to talk about the case. Bever said that when the faculty member returned she self quarantined and monitored her symptoms.
After receiving the positive result yesterday afternoon, the health department immediately initiated a contact investigation to identify any people who may have been exposed so that they may take next steps to prevent further spread. All close contacts are being notified, asked to self quarantine, or stay home, and will be actively monitored, twice daily by the health department, to watch for fever and respiratory symptoms.
The students also self quarantined. Five tests have been conducted in the South Heartland District with one being positive, one is pending, and the other three have come back negative. During the press conference Mayor Stutte announced that no utilities will be shut off through the end of April. And they will reassess that as the situation unfolds. Ron Pughes said that he’s encouraging people to continue to follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing and keeping gatherings to 10 people or under and he also wants people to be prepared, and not scared.