South Heartland District Health Department Reporting Low COVID Numbers

HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) executive director Michele Bever provided a weekly update to keep residents informed about COVID-19 in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties.

Bever reported the department logged three new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending June 26 and one so far for the current week. The health district’s current cumulative total is 4,926 confirmed cases. The new cases include one in Clay County and three in Adams County. Case counts by county are 3,181 in Adams County, 780 in Clay County, 546 in Nuckolls County and 419 in Webster County.

With three new cases reported last week, the weekly positivity (percent positive tests) increased from 0% to 1.9% overall. Focusing on the general population, the positivity was 4.9% positivity for the week ending June 26. For testing in long term care facilities, the positivity remained at 0%. As of June 25, there were zero inpatients in South Heartland hospitals due to COVID-19.

SHDHD’s COVID-19 risk dial remained at 1.0, on the border between green (low risk) and yellow (moderate risk) categories on the dial.  The risk values are calculated based on testing access and turnaround time, percent positive tests in the general public, 14-day rolling average of new cases per day per 100,000, hospital capacity (percent of beds used for COVID patients and ICU bed availability), and overall South Heartland vaccination rate.

“One of our health department responsibilities is to monitor the health risks in our district and share information with the public,” Bever said. “The local risk dial is just one tool to help interested residents understand the potential risk of more spread of the virus and the potential for resurgence.”

“Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others,” she said.  The COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in protecting against severe illness, hospitalization and death caused by both the original version of the virus and the variants. To date, over 18,500 South Heartland residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone age 12 and older is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. All three vaccine products – Pfizer BioNTech, J&J Janssen, and Moderna – are available in the health district. SHDHD’s vaccine webpage (southheartlandhealth.org) includes a list of locations offering vaccine in the South Heartland District and which vaccine products are offered at each site. The list is updated frequently to include new times, dates, whether walk-ins are accepted, and how to make an appointment at each site. In addition, many health care providers in the district are offering COVID-19 vaccine to their patients.

Bever encourages residents to contact their personal doctor or the health department if they have questions about the vaccine.  Contact South Heartland District Health Department at 402-462-6211 or 877-238-7595.

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