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SHDHD: All four counties are long way from low community spread

(AP images)
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 6:22 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The South Heartland District Health Department said it added 161 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases from Friday through Monday, bringing the cumulative number of cases in the four-county health district to 2,859.

The new confirmed cases for the four-day period include: 104 in Adams, 21 in Clay, 22 in Nuckolls and 14 in Webster. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 1,898 cases in Adams, 437 cases in Clay, 281 cases in Nuckolls, and 243 cases in Webster.

There have been 2,164 recoveries and 30 deaths as of Monday in the district.

SHDHD executive director Michele Bever also reported the department had received 249 positive lab reports during the holiday week ending November 28, an average of 36 positive tests per day. The positivity (percent positive tests) was 15.6%, up from 14.5% the previous week. By county, the positivity was 13.8% in Adams, 14.0% in Clay, 27.0% in Nuckolls and 21.6% in Webster.

The target for positivity is less than 5%, which would indicate low community spread of the virus. “Last week’s positivity for two of our counties indicates severe spread and all four counties are a long way from low community spread,” Bever said.

Bever said the health department remains very concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities, child care services, schools, emergency services and health care facilities. She said many sectors are experiencing workforce issues due to COVID-19, which is impacting the availability and/or timeliness of those critical services.

“In most cases, staff for these critical services are being exposed to COVID at family or community events or in public places, not at their worksites. This is why it is critical for everyone to practice COVID-19 prevention everywhere they go.”

“We need to keep our gatherings small – limited to people in our households is safest - and practice prevention in everything we do and everywhere we go. We need to stay six feet apart from people we don’t live with, wear masks, wash our hands, disinfect shared surfaces and objects, and stay home when we have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID,” Bever said. “Protecting our hospitals and health care workers, our long-term care facilities and their workers, our emergency and safety workers, our teachers, and everyone in our communities, will need to be a community effort to be successful.”

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