Nuckolls Co. adds 11th COVID case


September 10, 2020

South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported five new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday through Monday, bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the four-county health district to 527. By county, the cumulative totals are 434 cases in Adams, 67 cases in Clay, 15 cases in Webster, and 11 cases in Nuckolls. The new confirmed cases for the three-day period include: Adams County – three, Clay County – one, and Nuckolls County – one.

Michele Bever, SHDHD executive director, also reported the percent positive tests for the week of Aug. 30 through Sep. 5. “The weekly positivity increased to 9.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent the prior week. The three-week rolling average for positivity increased to 8.5 percent, up from 6.9 percent the prior week,” she said. Broken out by county, the positivity for last week was 11.3 percent in Adams, 6 percent in Clay, 6.3 percent in Nuckolls, and 3.9 percent in Webster. This was an increase over the previous week in every county except Webster.

“Positivity reflects risk of spread and this measure has been trending up in South Heartland since mid-June,” Bever said. “A positive test rate of 5 percent or less is considered a low risk of spread, while a positive test rate greater than 15 percent reflects extensive spread in a community. We need to do better at preventing spread of the virus.”

Bever said best practices for reducing spread of the coronavirus in our communities include isolation of COVID-19 positive individuals and quarantine of individuals exposed to COVID-19. Isolation keeps infected individuals from spreading the virus to others. “According to our state-directed health measures, which follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the isolation period is 10 days from the start of symptoms, and 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medications, and symptoms resolving,” Bever said. “It could be more than 10 days to meet all three of these requirements.”

Quarantine is used when people have been exposed (i.e., are contacts) and have the potential to develop infection. It keeps people separated from others for the period of time they could develop symptoms and spread the disease. “According to our state-directed health measures and CDC guidelines, this period is for 14 days following the exposure to the infected individual,” Bever said. “The quarantine period cannot be shortened by a negative test or lack of symptom development, because the disease could develop any time up through 14 days after exposure.”

Bever said prevention steps are even more important. Residents can continue to make a difference in the overall risk for spread of COVID-19 in their communities by reducing opportunities for the virus to spread from person to person in any situation. “This means keeping physically distanced from others, wearing cloth face coverings when we are around others, staying home when we have any symptoms, washing our hands, and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces,” she said.

South Heartland District case counts and trends can be found on SHDHD’s dashboard of local COVID-19 case statistics.


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