More deaths, rising COVID-19 cases in the South Heartland district

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:11 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The executive director of the South Heartland District Health Department said COVID-19 can be a severe disease and people should take it seriously.

“While some people have moderate symptoms and feel ill for a couple of weeks, others can have severe symptoms that lead to hospitalization or death,” said Michele Bever.

On Thursday, South Heartland health officials reported 123 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past three days for a new cumulative total of 1061.

The new confirmed cases for the three-day period include: 58 in Adams, 11 in Clay, 20 in Nuckolls and 34 in Webster.

“We are sad to report South Heartland’s fifteenth and sixteenth coronavirus COVID-19-related deaths of previously reported cases,” said SHDHD Executive Director Michele Bever.

Both deaths were Adams County residents. One was a man in his 70s and the other a man in his 80s, both with underlying medical conditions.

Out of the 1061 cases, 563 have since recovered.

“The virus takes advantage of our social interactions. This is how it spreads,” she said. At the time of the news release on Thursday, Bever said SHDHD had already logged 166 cases for the week. “We need to change this course,” she said. “If we continue on this path, we can expect our schools, worksites, and health care system to be severely impacted.”

Bever adds that many people may experience very mild, allergy-like symptoms, or no symptoms at all (asymptomatic), and are able to spread the virus to others unknowingly and unintentionally.

“Here’s what you can do to help turn the trend down: avoid crowded places, avoid close contact, and avoid confined spaces,” Bever said. “Be vigilant, protect yourselves and others everywhere you go, in everything you do. That includes maintaining six feet distance from people you don’t live with and masking up to reduce risk of close contact exposures.”

South Heartland District case counts and trends can be found on SHDHD’s dashboard of local COVID-19 case statistics.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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