Weekly COVID-19 Case Count Remains Low in South Heartland District

HASTINGS – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) executive director Michele Bever gave a weekly COVID-19 update for the health district, which encompasses Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties.

Bever reported the department logged just one confirmed COVID-19 case since last Tuesday’s update, adding up to just two cases total for the week ending June 12. The new case was in Adams County. Bever said there were no new cases reported to SHDHD in the past 5 days. She reported a new cumulative total of 4,922 confirmed cases and case counts by county: 3,181 in Adams County, 776 in Clay County, 548 in Nuckolls County and 417 in Webster County.

Bever said hospital capacity in the health district remained very good. “While the ICU bed availability was worse last week, the percent of hospital beds in South Heartland used for COVID patients decreased to zero by the end of the week,” she said.

“In addition, the 14-day rolling average of daily new cases has remained below our goal for 25 days in a row,” she said. The department’s goal is to reach and sustain at or below 8 new cases per day per 100,000 population. Bever said the percent positive tests increased to 2.7% for the week ending June 12, but remained below the target of 5%.

“I’m pleased to report the risk dial needle dropped again this week to 1.2, in the low end of the Moderate risk level. Looking only at our current case numbers, positivity, and hospital capacity, we would say COVID-19 risk is low in our district and this is very good news. Please remember the COVID-19 Risk Dial is just one tool that helps us to describe the potential risk of further spread of the virus and the potential for resurgence. In addition to new cases, positivity and hospital capacity, it also factors in the timeliness and effectiveness of testing and contact tracing, the presence of variants in our district, and the percent of our residents who are vaccinated.”

“Our goal is 70% of South Heartland residents having received at least one dose of vaccine. We may be moving slowly toward it, but we are very close to the milestone of having 40% of our total population fully vaccinated, meaning they have completed either a one-dose or two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series,” Bever said.

“The risk of spread is a little lower with each person who completes their COVID-19 vaccination. This is because the vaccines are very effective in reducing severe illness, hospitalization and death caused by both the original version of the virus and the variants,” she said.

Bever said anyone age 12 and older is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. SHDHD’s vaccine webpage (https://southheartlandhealth.org/public-health-data/covid-19-vaccine-information.html) includes a list of locations offering vaccine in the South Heartland District and which vaccine products are offered at each site. All three vaccine products – Pfizer BioNTech, J&J Janssen, and Moderna – are available in the health district.

“This list is updated frequently to include new times, dates, whether walk-ins are accepted, and how to make an appointment at each site. In addition, there are health care providers in the district who are offering COVID-19 vaccine to their patients. We encourage residents to contact the health department at 402-462-6211 or 877-238-7595 for more information or assistance in scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.

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