South Heartland District reports new lab-confirmed COVID-19 case and community spread

HASTINGS –  An additional lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported to South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) on Monday, March 30, bringing the total number of cases in the South Heartland District to four.

South Heartland’s investigations have been unable to determine the source of the exposure for cases two, three and four. These three cases are being reported today as community transmission in Adams County.

SHDHD is in communication with state officials in regard to issuing a state Directed Health Measure.

The new case is an Adams County man in his 60s who is currently self-isolated at home. His symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

SHDHD initiated a contact investigation to identify people who may have been exposed so that they may take next steps and prevent further spread. All identified close contacts are being notified, asked to self-quarantine (stay home) and are actively monitored twice daily by SHDHD for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Younger individuals typically have more mild symptoms, so South Heartland continues to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and prevention to protect those who are more vulnerable.

Typical symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People who are concerned they may have COVID-19 should self-isolate (have no contact with other people) and call ahead to their primary care provider to be screened over the phone. The provider can evaluate and determine if testing is necessary.

People can help protect themselves and others from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by:

  • Avoiding close contact with sick people and staying home if you are sick.
  • Avoiding non-essential travel and staying at home as much as possible.
  • Avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Keeping space of 6 feet or more between yourself and others.
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash, or cough in your sleeve.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

There is a statewide coronavirus (COVID-19) information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed: (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

SHDHD encourages residents to stay informed by checking SHDHD’s website www.southheartlandhealth.org for local information and updates, as well as links to the state and national websites.

More information about the Directed Health Measure can be found at this link.

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