Three new COVID-19 deaths in South Heartland district

Testing positivity rate drops
Overall case counts and the positivity rates are down this week for South Heartland district
Overall case counts and the positivity rates are down this week for South Heartland district(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 9:03 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The South Heartland District Health Department has reported three new deaths attributed to COVID-19. All three were from Adams County - a man in his 80s and women in their 70s and 80s. The deaths were from previously reported cases as South Heartland does not report deaths from COVID-19 until confirmed by death certificates.

There have now been 58 people in the district’s four county region (Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster Counties) that have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

There were 17 new lab-confirmed cases of the virus in the district during the four-day span from Friday through Monday, representing a per-day average of 4.25.

Of the new cases, ten were in Adams County, four in Webster County, two in Nuckolls County and one in Clay County.

The weekly positivity rate of people tested in the South Heartland district have lowered. For the past week it was 3.9-percent, down from 5.5-percent the week before. If people living in long-term care facilities are removed from the equation, the positivity rate was 11.2-percent, company to 13.2-percent the week before.

“This is good news,” said district executive director Michele Bever. “Our positivity hasn’t been this low since the end of July. However, the testing is way down, too, with only 664 tests last week compared to over 1,000 weekly tests four weeks ago. Testing is still very important to reduce the spread of the virus. We need to aim for low positivity, with high levels of testing.”

Bever also said that last week’s shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, delayed due to bad weather, arrived to them Monday and was being distributed to vaccination partners within the district to reschedule appointments. This week’s allotment is expected to arrive later this week.

“We are continuing to vaccinate individuals age 65 (and older) with a reverse age approach,” said Bever. “Please register to get your vaccine using the state vaccine registration system, which may be accessed through SHDHD’s website homepage. While you wait for your turn to get the vaccine, please continue wearing your mask and practicing the 3Cs: avoid crowded spaces, avoid close contact and avoid confined spaces,” she said.

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