Today South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported
117 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past seven days (Tuesday, December 22 – Monday, December 28), bringing the cumulative number of cases in the four-county health district to 3,670.
“There is good news to share – the downward trend in new daily cases is continuing,” Bever said. “We averaged about 17 new positive labs per day these past seven days, which is a welcome change from the peak of 83 positive labs reported to SHDHD on December 1st.”
The new confirmed cases for the four-day period include: 81 in Adams, 19 in Clay, 13 in Nuckolls and 4 in Webster. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 2402 cases in Adams, 583 cases in Clay, 387 cases in Nuckolls, and 298 cases in Webster.
“Even with the numbers trending down, we will need to remain vigilant on COVID prevention over the holidays and beyond” she said. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends continuing to use all the tools we have, including the vaccine, to help stop the pandemic.”
Bever reported at least 250 more individuals received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the past week from vaccinators at Brodstone Memorial Hospital and Mary Lanning Healthcare. Clay County Health Department and Webster County Hospital are also administering vaccine to health care workers and EMS.
Bever said the first several weeks of allotted vaccine are being directed to health care workers, according to Nebraska’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. “The Phase 1A vaccination is for health care personnel who provide direct patient care and those who may be exposed to infectious materials. This includes staff at hospitals, home health care, pharmacies, EMS, primary care, dental, optometrists, outpatient providers, mental health providers, and public health,” she said. “It also includes long term care facility residents and staff.”
According to Nebraska’s plan, Phase 1A will continue until the district has received enough doses to vaccinate the 1A priority groups. Bever said the vaccine allocations are determined by State-level planners, but other factors, like the weather, can influence when the district receive vaccines shipments. “We were expecting additional vaccine to our district early this week, but the weather is delaying shipments,” she said.
After Phase 1A priority groups have been offered vaccine the health district would move to Phase 1B, which focuses on individuals 75 years of age or older and essential critical infrastructure workforce. This group includes first responders, education and school services, people working in the utilities and transportation sectors and food processing/agricultural workers in close contact. The next priority groups, in Phase 1C, will include persons age 65-74 years and medically vulnerable individuals.
More vaccine information and updates can be found on SHDHD’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage. South Heartland District case counts and trends can be found on SHDHD’s dashboard of local COVID-19 case statistics. This dashboard, along with updates, guidance, news releases and other COVID-19 information and links can be found on the SHDHD website: www.southheartlandhealth.org. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides daily updates to Nebraska’s coronavirus COVID-19 cases on their Data Dashboard at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/