South Heartland District Health Department Reports 101 New Cases Over the Weekend

HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported 101 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past four days (Friday – Monday), bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the four-county health district to 939. This includes a daily record high today of 36 new cases. The new confirmed cases for the four-day period include: 41 in Adams, 13 in Clay, 27 in Nuckolls and 20 in Webster. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 700 cases in Adams, 128 cases in Clay, 66 cases in Nuckolls, and 45 cases in Webster. 

In addition to the case counts for the past 4 days, health officials reported the total new cases for the week ending October 10. “There were 151 South Heartland residents who received positive test results last week,” said SHDHD Executive Director Michele Bever. “This is the ninth straight week that the case numbers have increased – a net increase of 86.4% last week compared to the week before,” she said.  

The percent positive tests (positivity) for South Heartland’s 4-county area was 14.9% for the week ending Saturday, October 10. Bever said this calculation answers the question: Out of all of the COVID-19 tests conducted last week, what percent were positive? The positivity by county was 13.1% in Adams, 9.3% in Clay, 19.2% in Nuckolls and 29.6% in Webster. 

“Lower positivity, means less community spread,” she said. “Our target is low single digits, below 5%.” 

Bever also reported six (6) South Heartland residents were admitted to area hospitals in the past seven days due to COVID-19 symptoms. 

“I am very concerned with these trends and discouraged that not enough of our residents are wearing masks and keeping distanced from others,” Bever said. “The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 takes advantage of our social interactions – this is how it spreads. With community spread at these levels, we will continue to have cases affecting our schools, long term care facilities, and worksites where masks, physical distancing and other prevention practices are rigorously followed. If we want to keep our schools open and protect older adults and others who are more vulnerable, we need to block this virus from spreading person to person everywhere in our communities,” she said.  

COVID-19 can be a severe disease and Bever urged residents to take it seriously. “Please take steps to protect others and yourselves, everywhere you go, in everything you do,” she said. 

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.

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