HASTINGS – Last week the South Heartland District Health Department issued a COVID Advisory for the first time since the pandemic began due to a drastic rise in coronavirus cases in the district.
Michele Bever, the Executive Director of the South Heartland District Health Department, says that this is serving as a way to notify the public about the high community transmission.
For one, we’ve been tracking our community transmission with two different metrics and we’ve been sustained at high levels of transmission in all four counties based on both of those metrics for several weeks. And secondly, this past week was the first that we’ve had cases that have gotten through the system that we got notified about. Positive cases in long term care facilities. Either with staff or residents. And we had a fifteen week streak where we hadn’t had any.
With the advisory, they are recommending that people use multiple layers of prevention to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus. Those layers include avoiding crowded and confined indoor spaces, staying home when you are sick and have symptoms, wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, social distance, and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated.
Right now, the health district is less than 50 percent vaccinated and their goal is 70 percent to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Eligible people can register for the vaccine at Vaccinate.NE.Gov and more information can be found at SouthHeartlandHealth.Org. The advisory is in effect until the end of September.