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Kearney closes city buildings as cases of COVID-19 on the rise

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Two Rivers Public Health Department reported more than 100 news cases of COVID-19 just this weekend alone. With Kearney now labeled a local hot spot, local health experts say the area is in for another surge similar to spring.

“As much as I want to say we’ve seen the worst of it, I can’t” TRPHD Healthcare Coalition Coordinator, Chris Fankhauser, told Local4 News. “I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better, especially if people don’t adhere to the recommendations of the health care professionals.”

“Just because you have a few moments of weakness or you think ‘oh it doesn’t really matter’, it does,” Planning Section Supervisor Katie Mulligan said. “We all have grandparents, we all have those vulnerable populations that could be affected. It’s really hard to tell who is going to be affected the most or the worst.”

Buffalo County did see a decrease in COVID-19 cases over the summer but now, seven months into the pandemic, people are getting tired of taking precautions.

“People are wearing their face masks less often, they’re going to visit others more often,” Mulligan said. “Everyone is just really tired of being cautious.”

“I get it,” Fankhouser added. “I miss spending time with my family too but it’s like I told my mother - I would rather not spend time with you right now and not get you sick, because if you go to the hospital I can’t be there for you.”

The city is taking a step backwards closing many of their buildings to the public. Public Works and the Utility Department are closed as of Monday. The library will be closed to the public starting on Tuesday.

While its on the state to move back in phases, Fankhauser is hopeful that more changes are on the horizon.

“Phase 4 does last officially until Oct 31, which is Halloween,” she said. “Unless the numbers get better, we’re hoping they would consider going back to at least phase 3.”

As of Monday local hospitals aren’t near capacity, but it’s important that every person does their part to help prevent them from getting there.

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