COVID-19 case rates stable at “moderate” in South Heartland District
SHDHD promotes readiness for new variants by getting up to date on vaccination
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - In the health department’s weekly health update on October 11, South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) executive director Michele Bever reported that COVID-19 trends remain fairly stable. She reported 20 new cases logged last week, compared to 18 the week before.
Bever said laboratory testing for COVID was down 22% last week compared to the prior week. “Despite low numbers of confirmed test results, we are maintaining at a “moderate level” of 49 new cases per 100K in the past 7 days. This is certainly an undercount, since we are unable to include results from home testing,” she said.
A case rate of 100 or more per 100,000 in 7 days is considered “high level”, 50-99.99 is “substantial”, 10-49.99 is “moderate”, and less than 10 is considered a “low” case rate.
Bever said SHDHD is monitoring the national and global trends for emerging new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here in Nebraska, the state genomic surveillance report indicates that BA.5 makes up about 80% of the circulating virus, with BA.4.6 accounting for 17%.
“Yes, COVID-19 community levels in our health district are lower right now. However, due to the many emerging variants, community levels are not likely to stay that way through the late fall and winter. We recommend residents get up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters,” she said. “This will help reduce transmission and protect against serious illness.”
SHDHD’s website, southheartlandhealth.ne.gov, has a COVID-19 website that lists locations carrying the COVID-19 vaccine, and provides information on eligibility for the primary series vaccines and bivalent booster doses.
It is safe to get a COVID shot and a flu shot at the same time and Bever said some locations are offering both flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines. South Heartland’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic will also have flu shots available on October 19 and October 26. Bert’s Pharmacy will be providing the flu vaccine at these clinics, which are held from 4 pm to 6 pm at the west end of Allen’s in Hastings.
For more information on COVID-19, or for locations offering COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 tests, refer to the SHDHD website, southheartlandhealth.ne.gov, or call the health department office, 1-877-238-7595.
Copyright 2022 KSNB. All rights reserved.