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17th COVID-19 death reported in South Heartland District Health Department

The SHDHD is reporting another death due to COVID-19.
The SHDHD is reporting another death due to COVID-19.(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 10:31 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Monday, South Heartland District Health Department officials reported 96 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past four days, bringing the cumulative number of cases in the four-county health district to 1375. The new confirmed cases for the four-day period include: 60 in Adams, 18 in Clay, 9 in Nuckolls and 9 in Webster. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 925 cases in Adams, 192 cases in Clay, 131 cases in Nuckolls, and 127 cases in Webster.

SHDHD also reported the 17th COVID-19-related death of a previously reported case. SHDHD does not report deaths until the department receives notification regarding cause of death on the death certificate. SHDHD Executive Director Michele Bever reported that the death was a Clay County resident, a man in his 90s, who was hospitalized with underlying health conditions.

“I am sad to report the death of another South Heartland resident to COVID-19, the first death for Clay County,” Bever said. “We extend our sincere condolences to the family for the los of their loved one.”

Bever said COVID-19 can be a severe disease with some people having moderate symptoms and feeling ill for a couple of weeks and others having severe symptoms that lead to hospitalization or death. Many other 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.

In addition to the case counts for the past 4 days, health officials reported receiving 1068 lab reports for tests conducted during the week ending Saturday, October 24. Of these, 174 were positive for COVID-19, which calculates to an overall positivity (percent positive tests) of 16.3% for the four-county district. Bever said lower positivity, means less community spread – with a goal of less than 5%. The positivity by county is 17.4% in Adams, 8.0% in Clay, 28.9% in Nuckolls and 32.6% in Webster.

Bever urged residents to help reverse current COVID-19 trends.

“Avoid the three Cs,” she said. “Avoid crowded places, avoid close contact and avoid confined spaces. Protect others and yourselves in everything you do.”

Bever said with the increase in cases reported to SHDHD in recent weeks, the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is assisting SHDHD’s contact tracing team to convey COVID results, share next steps, and answer questions.

“Sometimes people are hesitant to answer calls from unknown numbers, but we want residents to know that the DHHS is helping us with contact tracing, so local individuals may be getting calls from numbers they don’t recognize,” Bever said. “If you have been tested for COVID, please answer these calls to determine whether it is someone reaching out with your test results. If someone from South Heartland or DHHS should call and leave a message, please return the call as directed in the message.”

Bever said contact tracers will never ask for information such as social security, banking or credit card numbers and residents should verify callers before giving out this kind of information over the phone. For questions or concerns, please contact SHDHD.

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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