HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported 30 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past seven days (April 13-19), bringing the cumulative number of cases in the four-county health district to 4,791. The new confirmed cases for the seven-day period were 21 in Adams County, 1 in Clay County, and 8 in Webster County. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 3,078 cases in Adams, 754 cases in Clay, 548 cases in Nuckolls, and 411 cases in Webster.
Bever also reported on overall positivity (number of positive tests divided by the number of tests performed). “In the health district for the week ending April 17, positivity increased to 4.1% compared to 3.1% the week before. If we look only at community testing, the positivity is 10%, up from 9.4% the previous week,” she said.
By county, the community positivity increased to 9.5% in Adams, up from 9.2% the prior week, and increased to 30.4% in Webster, up from 14.3% the prior week. The positivity decreased to 3.6% in Clay County, down from 8.7% the week before, and decreased to 0% in Nuckolls County, down from 7.1% the week before. Bever said long term care facility testing yielded no positive COVID-19 results this past week.
“In addition to increased district-level positivity for two weeks in a row, we are seeing a trend of increased daily cases,” Bever said. “For the past five days, the 14-day average of daily new cases has been above our goal of 8 per 100,000. We had finally dropped below 8 cases per day per 100K on March 25, so this reversal is concerning.”
“What this tells us is that South Heartland District is not yet ‘out of the woods’ with this virus or its variants,” Bever said. “What this means for South Heartland District is that we cannot let down our guard. If you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please stay home from work, school and activities and get tested for COVID-19. I can’t emphasize enough that we need to continue to avoid the three Cs: avoid crowded places, close contact, and confined spaces,” Bever said. “Wear a mask in public, keep distanced from others you do not live with, and get your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you have the opportunity,” she said.
“Currently, about 35% of our residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 25% have received a complete series. These vaccines are effective against severe illness, hospitalization and death caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Our goal is for more than 70% of residents to be vaccinated to provide protection against the spread of the virus in our communities and across the district.”
“Prevention continues to be important to protect ourselves and others from severe COVID-19 illness caused by the original SARS-CoV-2 virus or its variants,” Bever said. “Help us ‘finish strong’ in South Heartland by practicing prevention and getting your COVID-19 vaccine.”