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SHDHD confirms two COVID-related deaths; readying to vaccinate ages 12 and up

South Heartland District Health Department says the individuals were a man in his 40s and a man...
South Heartland District Health Department says the individuals were a man in his 40s and a man in his 60s.(KSNB)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 7:34 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) executive director Michele Bever reported two confirmed COVID-related deaths in the health district, bringing the total deaths to 90 and the case fatality rate to 1.9%

One death was an Adams County man in his 40s and the other was a Webster County man in his 60s. SHDHD does not report deaths attributed to COVID-19 until confirmed by death certificate.

“We are sad to report these additional deaths of South Heartland residents,” Bever said. “We extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends who lost their loved one to COVID-19.”

Bever also reported the COVID-19 risk dial score for the four-county health district decreased to 1.6 in moderate risk, down from 1.7 the previous week. South Heartland health district encompasses Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties. “The past week brought decreased average daily cases but increased community positivity,” Bever said.

“Community positivity increased to 14% from 10.3% the previous week, well above our 5% goal. However, the good news is there have been zero patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 in any of the hospitals in our health district for 10 days in a row,” she said.

Bever said another positive factor contributing to the risk dial score is vaccine availability. “Considering the vaccine doses coming into the district through public health and through the federal retail pharmacy program, we have access to enough vaccine for more than 50% of eligible residents to get at least one dose of vaccine.”

Currently, COVID-19 vaccine providers in the four-county health district are administering either the 2-dose Moderna vaccine or the 1-dose J&J Janssen vaccine, both of which are approved for ages 18 and above. But Bever said that will be changing in the next couple of weeks.

“We are getting what we need in place to receive and administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” she said. The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for ages 16+ and is on deck to be authorized by the FDA for adolescents age 12-15 years old.

“Vaccinating children is important for raising the level of immunity in our communities and for protecting the other generations,” Bever said. “Each vaccination of a community member brings our communities that much closer normal.”

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