HASTINGS – The South Heartland District Health Department says they are seeing an alarming rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the district and due to this they are encouraging everyone to do their best to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes masking in public, social distancing, hand washing, staying home when sick, cleaning constantly touched surfaces, and, most importantly, getting vaccinated.
Michele Bever, the Executive Director of the South Heartland District Health Department says that their staff is being stretched thin due to the rising number of cases.
We have a couple of supports that we are accessing to help us follow up on new cases. One of those is an automated survey system and we also have access to a small team of contact tracers. We have those and we are also asking the public for help as well. And this system helps us, at times, when the number of new cases goes a little further beyond our staff’s capacity to investigate in a timely manner. And as those cases increase, reaching people quickly becomes more and more difficult. And so this automated system helps us manage more cases in that desired timeframe.
The automated system also depends on the person who tested positive to respond and reach out to their close contacts they may have had while infected with the coronavirus. They are also seeing the delta variant of the coronavirus affect younger people more adversely than previous variants of the virus.
The number of cases keep rising as well; they say 54 cases two weeks ago, 62 last week, and already more than 80 this week. They only logged 37 cases for the entire month of July. The vaccine is still the best defense against the virus and people can register to get vaccinated at Vaccinate.NE.Gov.