South Heartland District Health Department Explains How Restrictions Were Loosened

HASTINGS – Yesterday, the Directed Health Measures for the Two Rivers District and South Heartland District were loosened allowing certain businesses to reopen under certain guidelines. Michele Bever, the executive director for the South Heartland District Health Department, says that they worked with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Governor’s office to loosen those restrictions.

They used many indicators to determine how their measures are working. Those indicators were things like hospital data, such as how many ICU beds open, people on ventilators, and how much personal protective equipment they have. They also looked at the percent positive rate of tests and how many people they can test. Bever said that these indicators have improved in the last few weeks and that is what led to this new DHM.

And we had conversions with the Governor’s office, we were looking at our data with him and with DHHS folks. The decision was made then, it looked like things were going pretty well. We thought we could try the first step of loosening a few things and see how it went. They were looking at trying to do things in two week blocks, I think. So looking at having it start the 18th and then go through May 31st and continuing to watch all these indicators and making a determination in the next couple of weeks, what will happen on June 1st.

She also reminded everyone that, in order to keep loosening restrictions, businesses and people must continue to follow the guidelines.There is still a chance that the spread of the coronavirus can spike if people don’t take the necessary precautions.

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