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South Heartland risk dial lowered again

The South Heartland COVID-19 risk dial is now at the midway point of the Moderate rating.
The South Heartland COVID-19 risk dial is now at the midway point of the Moderate rating.(KSNB)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:24 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A drop in average positive test per day for COVID-19 has contributed to a drop in the COVID Risk Dial for the South Heartland District Health Department.

The risk dial score is now at 1.5, which is down from 1.6 the previous week. The risk dial is a four-point rating. The 1.5 rating leaves the dial in the moderate (yellow) range.

“Our good news for the district is that we had fewer cases last week than the week before, averaging 3.3 positive tests per day compared to 3.9 the previous week”, said district executive director Michele Bever. “The 14-day rolling average of new daily cases rose to 7.9 per 100,000 by the end of last week, but remained below our target of 8 new cases per day per 100,000 through early this week. We are disappointed to report that on April 6 the average increased to 8.4 new cases per day per 100,000 population.”

The update from district officials also reported that hospitals in their four-county area saw an increase in COVID patients compared to the previous week. According to the date tracker on the South Heartland web site, there were four patients in district hospitals on April 5. That number was down to one on April 7. Statewide there has been an increase over the past ten days as well. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services data tracker, there were 161 Nebraskans being treated for COVID-19 in the hospital on April 7. That is up from a recent low of 102 on March 27.

Bever emphasized the district is still in moderate risk for spread of COVID-19 and is encouraging residents in the eligible age groups to register for a COVID-19 vaccine on the state vaccine registration and administration system.

“We continue to closely monitor for net changes in new cases week over week, as well as warning signs that new cases might be caused by variants, so that we can refer them to the Nebraska Public Health Lab for sequencing to identify the type,” Bever said.

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