HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported 16 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past three days (Tuesday – Thursday) for a new cumulative total of 4622. Confirmed cases for the three-day period include: 13 in Adams, 1 in Clay, and 2 in Webster. By county, the cumulative totals are: 3016 in Adams, 752 in Clay, 505 in Nuckolls, and 349 in Webster.
SHDHD executive director Michele Bever said that the number of new cases had increased. “In the past seven days, South Heartland received 25 positive lab results, for a daily average of 3.6 positive cases per day. The previous seven days before that we averaged 2.7 cases per day,” she said.
Bever also reported 32% percent of South Heartland residents had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which provides protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the variant versions of the virus.
By county, 31% of Adams County residents, 31% of Clay County residents, 36% of Nuckolls County residents, and 33% of Webster County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are pleased to report that 21% of the district’s population have received both doses of a 2-dose series (Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines) or have received the single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine). These individuals are considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks since they received their final vaccine dose. It takes about two weeks after completing the 1-dose or 2-dose series for most immune systems to be fully ready to fight the virus,” Bever said.
SHDHD is encouraging everyone in eligible age groups to register for a COVID vaccine by clicking on the red ribbon at the top of the SHDHD website home page at southheartlandhealth.org. Next, click on the picture of the vaccine to complete the vaccine registration process in the Nebraska vaccine registration and administration (VRAS) system. Those needing assistance with registration should contact the NE State Vaccine hotline at 833-998-2275. Individuals 60 and over can contact Midland Area Agency on Aging for assistance with vaccine registration at 402-463-4565 Extension – 499.
“We can control the spread of the virus by our actions,” Bever said. “The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads easily person to person when people are close together, so prevention actions are important to interfere with the ability of the virus to spread. What works is to avoid crowded places, avoid close contact and avoid confined spaces. Physical distancing and wearing a mask correctly over nose and mouth can help reduce the ability of the virus to spread. Finally – we encourage everyone who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are able.”