Rising Covid-19 cases triggers advisories in the tri-cities

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:31 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Covid-19 cases in the South Heartland are getting worse and worse and for the first time ever, the health department has issued a Covid advisory.

“This is not a mandate. This is not a requirement. These are best practices and just a way to let people know what’s going on in our community,” said SHDHD Director Michele Bever.

Right now, the weekly positivity rate is exceeding the 10% threshold of substantial transmission by more than 17%. This district also reported 214 new cases in the past seven days, making this surpass the low transmission threshold of 10 cases per 100,000 people by 473.4 cases per 100,000.

“In this past week, the impact on our long care facilities was clear that we are now seeing cases in staff and residents in several of our long term care facilities,” Bever said.

This prompted Bever to put out the advisory especially since there are no statewide directed health measures and there are a number of people who are unvaccinated.

“People seem to be going about their business as if there is nothing going on and I just wanted to let people know from the health department that there are things going on and there are things people can do about that.”

The Central District Health Department isn’t too far behind south heartland in sending an advisory for their area. Right now the Central District’s positivity rate is 41% making it an area of substantial transmission. They’re also surpassing the 50 cases per 100,000 by more than 400 cases per 100,000.

This is also affecting long-term care facilities in their area. Nine out of the 14 facilities are currently experiencing outbreaks.

“Central District has what appears to be an ever increasing number of positive cases,” said CDHD Director Teresa Anderson.

This is a little bit less than the highest peak in 2020 but Anderson said we haven’t reached a peak within this surge yet.

“We can still go up as high if not higher than last year, we don’t know and again with the idea that masks are not being well utilized and we’ve vaccinated nearly as many people I think that want to be vaccinated, we’re just now pretty at the mercy of the virus,” Anderson said.

Anderson said they’re also planning to send out a Covid advisory this week urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks and follow other precautions to prevent vulnerable populations from getting sick.

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