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Nine new COVID-19 cases confirmed in SHDHD

More cases have been confirmed in the South Heartland District Health Department.
More cases have been confirmed in the South Heartland District Health Department.(MGN Online)
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 10:32 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Monday, South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported nine (9) new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases for the past four days (Friday – Monday), bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the four-county health district to 482. By county, the current cumulative totals are 399 cases in Adams, 61 cases in Clay, 14 cases in Webster, and 8 cases in Nuckolls. The new confirmed cases include:

Adams County: 7

Clay County: 1

Webster County: 1

SHDHD executive director Michele Bever reported that the department received 220 lab test results for the week of August 16-22 with 18 of these being positive results.

“Our positive test rate for last week was 8.2%, up from 4.4% the week before,” Bever said. “Of note, we had fewer test results reported to us last week than the previous week, when we received 388 results.”

“We also look at the three-week rolling (or moving) average, to get a better picture of the positive test rate trends,” Bever said. “Last week we reported that a steady 8-week upward trend had been broken with a drop to 5.5%. This week we are reporting the upward trend has resumed: the three-week rolling average of percent positive tests increased to 6.7% for the week ending August 22.”

“Our goal is to get to - and stay in - the low single digits, which would tell us that we have low disease spread in our communities and enough testing to keep up with the level of disease spread,” she said.

Bever also reported on COVID-19 recoveries.

“Since the beginning of our local outbreak, 445 South Heartland residents who were confirmed positive for COVID-19 have completed their isolation and their acute symptoms have resolved, which is how we define ‘recoveries,’” she said.

While most people recover quickly (within a few weeks) an MMWR report released at the end of July determined that some people, including young people and people who only have mild symptoms, can continue to have lingering symptoms, such as fatigue, headache and joint pain, after their initial recovery.

“There is also some emerging evidence that COVID-19 can damage organs – including heart, lungs and brain – and result in an increased risk of long-term health problems,” Bever said. “This is another reason to continue to protect each other from this disease.”

Bever said residents can help decrease the overall risk for spread of COVID-19 in their communities by reducing opportunities for the virus to spread from person to person.

“This means keeping physically distanced from others, wearing cloth face coverings when we are around others, staying home when we have any symptoms, washing our hands, and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces,” she said. “The goal is to keep our positive cases low and to keep our students and teachers at school.”

South Heartland District case counts and trends can be found on SHDHD’s dashboard of local COVID-19 case statistics. This dashboard, along with updates, guidance, news releases and other COVID-19 information and links can be found on the SHDHD website: www.southheartlandhealth.org. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides daily updates to Nebraska’s coronavirus COVID-19 cases on their Data Dashboard at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.

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