HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported 30 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past seven days (April 18-24), bringing the cumulative number of cases in the four-county health district to 4,821. The new confirmed cases for the seven-day period were 23 in Adams County, 6 in Clay County, and 1 in Webster County. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 3,101 cases in Adams, 760 cases in Clay, 548 cases in Nuckolls, and 412 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 24, testing was down, with over 100 fewer COVID-19 tests than the previous week. “If we look only at community testing, the positivity is 10.3%, up slightly from 10% the previous week,” she said. “Our goal is to maintain at or below 5% community positivity, so we are not yet meeting that goal for low spread.”
By county, the community positivity is 9.7% in Adams up from 9.5% the week before, 17.9% in Clay County up from 3.6% the week before, 10% in Webster County, down from 30.4% the week before, and maintaining at 0% in Nuckolls County, where 90% of the testing occurred in long term care facilities. Bever said long term care facility testing across the health district again yielded no positive COVID-19 results this past week.
Bever also reported the 14-day average of daily new cases increased to 9.6 per 100,000 and has exceeded the District’s goal of 8 per 100,000 for the twelfth day in a row.
“The virus is still spreading in our communities. We are asking anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, to please stay home from work, school and activities and get tested for COVID-19. 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.
To date, 46% of South Heartland residents eligible for a vaccine have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 35% of eligible residents have completed their 1 or 2 dose series and will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the final dose of the series. Seventy-four percent of residents age 65+ are fully vaccinated.
“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. These vaccines are safe and highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization and death caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Bever said. “Help us ‘finish strong’ in South Heartland by practicing prevention and getting your COVID-19 vaccine.”