The Superior Express -

COVID case numbers explode this week in Nuckolls County


October 8, 2020

There’s alarming news to report this week on the COVID-19 front. Attempts to slow the spread of the cornavirus appear to have failed. Monday, South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported 54 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Friday to Monday time frame bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the four-county health district to 782. This includes a daily record high set on Monday of 29 new cases.

The new confirmed cases for the four-day period include: 30 in Adams, 14 in Clay, and 10 in Nuckolls. By county, the new cumulative totals are: 631 cases in Adams, 104 cases in Clay, 26 cases in Nuckolls, and 21 cases in Webster. Until this week, Nuckolls had the fewest number of cases in the district’s four counties.

In addition to the case counts for the four days, health officials reported the total new cases for the week ending October 3. “There were 81 South Heartland residents who tested positive last week,” said Michele Bever, the district’s executive director. “This is the eighth straight week the case numbers have increased compared to the week before,” she said.

“Our percent of positive tests (positivity) decreased to 7.4 percent for the week ending Saturday down from 14.5 percent the previous week.” The positivity by county was 8 percent in Adams, 7.2 percent in Clay, 2.5 percent in Nuckolls and 3.5 percent in Webster.

The health district reports the percent positive tests as the number of positive tests reported each week divided by the total number of test results reported that week. Bever said the department received 870 test results last week, 193 percent more than the average number of results reported in the previous three weeks. Bever said SHDHD is in the process of converting the weekly positivity calculation to account for specimen collection date rather than test result date and will begin reporting it that way in the future.

Bever also reported two South Heartland residents were admitted to area hospitals in the previous eight days with COVID-19 symptoms.

“COVID-19 can be a severe disease and I urge residents to take it seriously. Please take steps to protect others and yourselves, everywhere you go, in everything you do,” Bever said. “The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is circulating in our district at increasingly higher levels. The virus takes advantage of our social interactions – this is how it spreads. It will have the upper hand if we let it and, unfortunately, we are trending in that direction.

“The simple things we can do to prevent the spread, and to protect each other and our community, are to wear a face covering when out in public, to maintain at least six feet from others in public, to stay home when we have any symptoms, to quarantine at home if we have close contact with someone with COVID-19, to avoid crowds and close contact indoors, to wash our hands frequently, and to disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces,” she said.

“We are asking all residents to consider those around them and to take the ‘I’ll protect you, you protect me’ approach to COVID-19 prevention,” she said.


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