HASTINGS – Last week, the Board of Health for South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) passed a resolution urging residents to reverse the COVID-19 trends in the four-county health district.
SHDHD Board President Nanette Shackelford said “In light of the rising numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the health district and statewide, the Board of Health felt an urgency to emphasize to residents of Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties what they need to do to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.”
In the resolution, dated Wednesday, November 4, the SHDHD Board of Health emphatically urges all persons at all worksites, faith-based institutions, health care and educational settings; at retail businesses, salons, restaurants and bars; at sporting, civic and social events; and in meetings or gatherings small and large, formal or informal, family or professional; to practice the following:
- Avoid the Three Cs:
- Avoid Crowded Places – Avoid gathering in groups where you cannot maintain 6-feet of distance from others
- Avoid Close Contact – Wear a mask over your nose and mouth or maintain 6-feet distance when you are spending more than 15 total minutes with people you don’t live with
- Avoid Confined Spaces – Avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation
- Wash your hands often.
- Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Symptoms may include one or more of the following: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste and smell. Symptoms may be mild and allergy-like.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. Testing is available through many health care providers and free testing is available through TestNebraska (on the internet at TestNebraska.org)
- Self-isolate until your test results come back
- If you test positive for COVID-19, continue self-isolating, answer calls from the health department, cooperate with the health department’s public health professionals and follow isolation instructions to protect others from spread of coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- If you are identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, answer calls, cooperate with the health department’s public health professionals and follow quarantine instructions to protect others from spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects, like doorknobs, keyboards, light switches, utensils, and your cell phone.
- Get a flu shot. Flu shots will protect people from influenza this season and will keep people safe from the potential compounding complications of having flu and COVID-19.
- Rethink planning events. Work with SHDHD to plan a COVID-19-safe event for your guests or patrons. Event safety plans are required by the State-DHM for venues with capacity of 500 or more people, but SHDHD will provide assistance and guidance for any size event.
- Rethink attending events. Ask yourself how being exposed to COVID-19 might affect you (are you at higher risk of severe illness?), or might affect your job, your family, and those around you who are at higher risk of severe illness.
- Plan ahead and choose safe, creative alternatives for traditional holiday celebrations. Get tips for celebrating the holidays from the CDC or South Heartland websites.
“It will take absolutely all of us to get through this alive and healthy. Please do your part to help slow the spread and to protect the health of residents of Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster County,” Shackelford said.
Board of Health Resolution #2020-4 may be viewed on SHDHD’s website. 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/