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Case count hits 4,000 in South Heartland District

Vaccine questions to be addressed
Updates mixed for COVID cases in South Heartland
Updates mixed for COVID cases in South Heartland(KSNB)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:00 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Another landmark tally has been reached for COVID-19 cases in the South Heartland District Health Department region.

New cases reported on Tuesday brought the total over the 4,000 mark. As of Wednesday night, the district’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic was at 4,024. The South Heartland District serves Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties.

Executive Director Michele Bever also reports that the district’s weekly positivity rate dropped to 14 percent, down from 15 percent the prior week. The 14-day rolling average of new daily cases was up though, reaching 50 per 100,000 population. The district risk dial will remain at 2.4, which is in the elevated range, for the week.

“Vaccine availability, while still limited in amount, continues to be an important positive factor,” Bever said. “SHDHD and partners in the health district have administered 1,831 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since the first doses arrived here in mid-December, including 243 second doses.”

Bever said the health district is wrapping up the first priority group this week and next, hoping to move to Phase 1B in the next week or two. “Next week, the majority of vaccine being allotted to us is coming as ‘second doses’ and must be used as such,” Bever said.

Bever said the health department and local health care providers were experiencing huge call volumes from people wanting to know when they could get the vaccine. She asked residents to please watch the local news media, health department website and SHDHD Facebook page for updated information about the status and timeline of the vaccine distribution process.

“We are putting out notifications to let people know whose turn it is and how to schedule your vaccine,” she said. “We encourage patience for those anxious to get the vaccine. Everyone in each phase can be vaccinated as soon as there are enough vaccines available,” she said.

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