City of Hastings Officials Urge Residents to Continue to Fight Spread of Coronavirus as Cases Rise

HASTINGS – With coronavirus cases on the rise across the state and in the South Heartland Health District, City of Hastings officials held a press conference Friday morning to urge citizens to continue to fight the spread of the virus.

Currently, the positivity rate in the district is at around 15 percent, which means community spread. Cases have also risen each week in the past nine weeks. Eric Barber, CEO of Mary Lanning Healthcare, says their hospital is currently at about 90 percent capacity. 

In our ICU, where we house coronavirus patients that we take in, there are currently ten patients leaving us with one ICU bed right now. We do have a second room that’s been equipped with negative air. To take another coronavirus patient, so we have the capacity to take two more. The good news is, the ventilators we have about a fifty percent capacity. Only three of those patients in house are on ventilators.

Michele Bever, the Executive Director of the South Heartland District Health Department, says that the community needs to be a little more vigilant. 

We need people to be accountable for their actions and help protect other folks. Wearing masks and social distancing is an important part of that in everything that we do. So hopefully people will utilize the information, realizing that we have an uptick in cases, and that they have control over this themselves. 

Bever also praised the schools for doing a good job of keeping the spread low in school and keeping their doors open.

Hastings Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Schneider said that they have had 21 cases so far, 17 staff and four students, and they don’t have community spread within the school.

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