One hundred seventy additional positive cases of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, were confirmed among South Heartland Health District residents Tuesday through Friday, the district health department reported.
The additional cases were reported on the health department’s data dashboard of COVID-19 statistics, which is updated in the evenings.
The additional cases bring to 2,748 the running tally of cases confirmed among district residents since March 18. That tally includes 1,821 cases in Adams County, 424 in Clay County, 273 in Nuckolls County and 230 in Webster County.
The health department serving the four-county district is headquartered in Hastings.
As of Friday, a total of 29 patients were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 in the district — up three from Thanksgiving Day. The three hospitals in the district are Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings, Brodstone Memorial Hospital in Superior and Webster County Community Hospital in Red Cloud.
Again as of Friday, 72.5% of all hospital inpatients in the health district were being treated for the novel coronavirus disease, which is caused by the viral infection. That was up from 61.9% the previous day.
At the same time, 54.55% of the district’s intensive care beds were available for new patients on Friday. That was up from 18.18% on Thursday and the largest percentage available since Oct. 21.
Only one ventilator was in use — the same as for the two previous days.
Among neighboring health districts, Two Rivers, to the west of the Hastings area, recorded a total of 13 new positive cases among Kearney County residents Monday through Thursday, along with 11 among Franklin County residents and 11 among Harlan County residents.
The seven-county health district recorded a total of 333 new positive cases overall for those four days. The other included counties are Buffalo, Phelps, Dawson and Gosper.
On Monday, Two Rivers reported 13 additional recent deaths related to COVID-19, including six victims in Buffalo County, five in Dawson County and two in Phelps County.
The Public Health Solutions Health District, which includes Fillmore, Thayer, Jefferson, Saline and Gage counties, had recorded 409 new positive cases Nov. 21 through Wednesday, plus confirmation of one additional death caused by COVID-19. PHS made its weekly numbers update two days early this week, on Wednesday instead of Friday, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
To date, a total of five deaths related to COVID-19 have been recorded in Fillmore County and two have been recorded in Thayer County.
The Central Health District, which includes Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties, on Friday had recorded a running total of 244 new positive cases for the week to date.
The South Heartland, Two Rivers, Public Health Solutions and Central health districts all have readings in the red (severe, or pandemic) zone on their respective COVID-19 risk dials for this week.
The risk dial readings take into account various factors related to new case numbers, positivity rates, public health testing and tracing capabilities, and health system capacity to assess risk from additional spread of the virus. The red zone correlates to the greatest risk in all four districts.