SHDHD and Mary Lanning Healthcare say more testing to come in the future

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 6:47 AM CDT
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On Friday, Hastings Mayor Corey Stutte, along with health, emergency and education leaders in the community met for a COVID-19 update.

Michele Bever with the South Heartland District Health Department said they now have 231 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the district with most of those in Adams County.

Bever said the National Guard limited testing event from April 27 and 28 was successful, and that 299 people were tested with 32 of those tests coming back positive. Bever said the positive test rate from the event was 11%.

Eric Barber, President of Mary Lanning Healthcare, said they currently have 8 patients in their ICU with 2 on ventilators, “It’s encouraging that in the last couple of weeks we’ve been seeing numbers of our COVID patients starting to level off and even trending downwards,” said Barber.

Barber said the hospital is focusing on getting more screening for patients in-house, and that currently all people scheduled for elective surgeries are first tested for COVID-19 before coming in for their surgery.

Barber also said the hospital has adequate amounts of personal protective equipment for the staff, and said that while, “we aren’t out of this yet, we are moving in a positive direction in our community.”

Representatives from Hastings Public, Adams Central, and Hastings Catholic schools were also in attendance for the meeting. They all made similar points about remembering children and families mental health during this time, and said resources are available for those in need.

Shawn Scott, Adams Central Public Schools said that the fate of summer school and summer activities is still in limbo, but will depend on the DHM’s for the months of June, July and August. Scott said all of the districts are constantly working together and with the state on the issues at hand.

Fr. Tom Brouillette, Hastings Catholic Schools, said that parents have been given direction on how to safely return materials and electronics at the end of the year. He said the school will be sending out notices on those best practices.

Jeff Schneider, Hasting Public Schools, went on to mention the current meal program for students, saying since the closure of schools they’ve served over 70,000 meals to children in the community, “we are currently at five different sites but will go to three sites throughout the summer. You don’t have to be a HPS student to benefit. All youth in need of meals can come to any of our feeding sites,” he said.

Both Mayor Corey Stutte and the Adams County Emergency Manager, Ron Pughes reminded residents to stay vigilant with social distancing, wearing masks in stores and to only go out in public when necessary.

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