South Heartland District Health Department Reports 38 Percent of Eligible Residents Vaccinated

HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) director Michele Bever reported 24 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past seven days (April 27-May 3), bringing the cumulative number of cases in the four-county health district to 4,844. The new confirmed cases for the seven-day period were 18 in Adams County and 6 in Clay County. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 3,118 cases in Adams, 766 cases in Clay, 548 cases in Nuckolls, and 412 cases in Webster.

Bever also reported the 14-day average of daily new cases is at 7.6 per 100,000 and has remained just under the District’s goal of 8 per 100,000 for the fifth day in a row. By county, the 14-day average of daily cases per 100,000 is 8.4 in Adams, 11.5 in Clay County, 0.0 in Nuckolls County and 2.0 in Webster County.

“Overall, this is good news for our 4-county region,” Bever said. “But we’d like to see all four counties get below the target 14-day average of 8 cases per 100,000 and sustain it there.”

Bever noted that after being below 8 new cases per 100,000 for 24 days in a row, Clay County crept up above the goal and has remained there for the past nine days. Adams County has remained above the target for all but 3 of the past 33 days. “Nuckolls’ and Webster’s low average numbers of new cases per 100,000 are helping to bring the overall rate down for the district,” she said.

Bever encouraged residents to help keep the trends improving by getting vaccinated. “The COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19, which can have serious, life-threatening consequences. Plus, getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19,” she said.

According to SHDHD’s vaccine dashboard, 47% of South Heartland residents eligible for a vaccine have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 38% 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. Bever said seventy-five percent of residents age 65+ are fully vaccinated.

By county, 38.2% of eligible Adams County residents are fully vaccinated, 36.1% of eligible Clay County residents, 39.4% of eligible Nuckolls County residents and 40.3% of eligible Webster County residents.

“As more of us get vaccinated, this helps us get back to normal. After you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing more – like gathering safely indoors without masks with others who are fully vaccinated,” she said.

“Our extended families all got vaccinated so we could gather safely to celebrate my father-in-law’s 100th birthday in Indiana last month. Many of us had not seen each other for over a year or more due to COVID restrictions,” Bever said. “It was so wonderful to be together to celebrate this momentous occasion.”

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