HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported 100 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past three days (Tuesday – Thursday) for a new cumulative total of 3,925. The confirmed cases for the three-day period include: 62 in Adams, 18 in Clay, 12 in Nuckolls and 8 in Webster. By county, the cumulative case counts are: 2,575 cases in Adams, 636 cases in Clay, 403 cases in Nuckolls, and 311 cases in Webster.
“Our goal for low community spread is an average of four or fewer cases per day,” Bever said. “Last week the district saw an average of 22 positive tests per day. In these last 3 days, we averaged 33 cases per day.”
Bever said she hoped this increase in daily cases was not indicating the beginning of a new spike in cases. “I would be disappointed, but not surprised, if this was the case, since we are coming out of the holidays. The recent increases in travel and gatherings, loosened state-directed health measure restrictions, and schools and colleges out of session for the holidays, might mean there were more close contacts and more opportunities for the virus to spread,” she said.
Bever recommends avoiding the Three Cs: Avoid crowded places, Avoid close contact, Avoid confined spaces. “Continue to practice prevention, using all of the tools we have,” Bever said. “We need to stay home when we have symptoms, wash our hands frequently, keep six feet way from people we don’t live with, wear our masks to protect ourselves and others, and get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is our turn.”
Bever said 1,539 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the health district since mid-January. “We are continuing to work on the first priority group, called Phase 1A, which includes healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff.”
“Everyone in each phase can be vaccinated as soon as there are enough vaccines available,” she said.
SHDHD’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard tracks progress on COVID-19 vaccinations in the four-county district. Bever said other vaccine information and updates, along with links to the Nebraska COVID-19 Vaccination Plan and vaccine priority recommendations, are available 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/Coronavirus.