Two more Adams County residents have lost their lives after a battle with the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, the South Heartland District Health Department announced Monday night.
South Heartland announced the fatalities, plus three additional laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the four-county district, in a news release.
“We are saddened to report two additional coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths in Adams County residents,” said Michele Bever, South Heartland executive director. “This disease continues to impact individuals in our communities, and we urge everyone to continue to take precautions to protect the health of our community members, especially our most vulnerable.”
The two victims are a man in his 60s who had been hospitalized with underlying medical conditions, and a woman in her 80s with underlying medical conditions.
The fatalities bring to 10 the South Heartland death toll related to COVID-19. All 10 of the victims have been from Adams County.
The new cases announced Monday include two in Clay County and one in Adams County, bringing the total number of cases in the four-county health district to 278 — 250 in Adams County, 22 in Clay County, five in Webster County, and one in Nuckolls County.
The new Clay County patients are a female under age 20 and a woman in her 40s. The Adams County patient is a woman in her 60s.
To date, 175 South Heartland residents have recovered from COVID-19 since the beginning of the local outbreak in mid-March, including 162 in Adams County, eight in Clay County, four in Webster County, and one in Nuckolls County.
South Heartland continues to conduct contact investigations for individuals who test positive and live in the four-county district.
“Individuals with any symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease should stay home from work and isolate at home to avoid spreading the illness to others,” South Heartland stated in Monday’s news release. “COVID-19 symptoms may include a cough, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, runny nose, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, nausea/vomiting, body aches, and new loss of taste and smell. In many cases, a person will have more than one of these symptoms.”
Bever said the health department will continue to emphasize social distancing and prevention — even more so with the new directed health measures that took effect on Monday.
The new measures allow the reopening of restaurant dining rooms, barbershops and salons, massage therapy practices and body art businesses, but with various safety regulations in force.
“We are not yet out of danger for increased spread of COVID-19 disease,” she said. “We encourage restaurants, salons and other businesses that are affected by the changes to the DHM to review carefully the guidance for reopening. Please follow all of the recommendations to protect the health of your staff and patrons.”
As of Monday, the Central District Health Department, which serves Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties, was reporting a total tally of 1,511 positive cases to date in its jurisdiction, with a death toll of 47.
Nebraska’s statewide tally of positive cases to date stood at 10,625 as of Monday evening, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported. The statewide death toll stood at 125.
South Heartland District case counts by county are updated daily on SHDHD’s COVID webpage: https://southheartlandhealth.org/public-health-data/corona-virus.html. The state provides daily updates to Nebraska’s coronavirus COVID-19 cases on their Data Dashboard at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.