The South Heartland District Health Department on Saturday announced laboratory confirmation of five additional positive cases of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in its jurisdiction.
All five new cases are in Adams County.
The new patients include a man in his 50s, a man in his 60s, a woman in her 20s, a woman in her 40s, and a woman in her 50s, the health department said in a news release.
The new cases bring South Heartland’s running total of confirmed positive cases to 275 since March 18. Among the four counties in the health district, 249 of the cases have been in Adams County, 20 have been in Clay County, five have been in Webster County, and one has been in Nuckolls County.
To date, at least 174 of the patients in the district have recovered. Eight people, all Adams County residents, have died.
South Heartland continues to conduct contact investigations for individuals who test positive and live in the four-county district.
The health department encourages testing for anyone who has symptoms, anyone who is a health care worker or responder, anyone who works in essential or critical infrastructure sectors, anyone who had close contact with a confirmed positive case, and anyone who is more at risk due to age (65 and older) or who has underlying medical conditions.
Individuals with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home from work and isolate at home. 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. Many patients experience more than one of the symptoms.
Michele Bever, South Heartland executive director, said the health department will continue to emphasize social distancing and prevention as the relaxed directed health measures (DHM) go into effect on Monday.
“We are not yet out of danger for increased spread of COVID-19 disease,” she said in the news release. “We encourage the businesses that are affected by the changes to the DHM to carefully review the guidance for reopening. They must follow all of the recommendations to protect the health of their staff and patrons.”
According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Saturday brought a surge of 448 new cases statewide — the most in a single day since 677 new confirmed cases were reported on May 7.
The new cases took the running statewide case tally into five digits, to 10,220. The statewide death toll to date stands at 123.
As of Friday, the statewide running case total in neighboring Kansas stood at 7,886, with 172 fatalities, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
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 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides daily updates to Nebraska's coronavirus COVID-19 cases on their Data Dashboard at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.