Hastings – South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reminded residents that new state-directed health measures (DHM) were being issued by Nebraska to replace the current DHM which expires at 11:59 pm today, August 31. The new DHM will be effective at 12:00 am September 1 and extend to 11:59 pm on September 13.
According to SHDHD executive director Michele Bever, the DHM will extend Phase 3 of 'reopening.'
"Under the newly issued state-DHM, all restrictions remain the same for our counties," she said.
"The DHM provides requirements and guidelines for holding safe gatherings and reducing the spread of the coronavirus," Bever said.
Bever encouraged event planners to contact SHDHD for assistance. "Our staff are willing to provide guidance with planning gatherings and events so that they comply with the DHM," she said. "According to the DHM, events in venues that have capacity of 500 or more are required to submit plans for approval by the appropriate local health department," Bever said. "We work with people to put measures in place that will reduce the potential for the virus to spread," she said.
SHDHD also reported 18 new lab-confirmed cases in the past 4 days (Friday through Monday). The new cases include 16 in Adams County, 1 in Clay County and 1 in Nuckolls County, for a new cumulative total of 508 for the district. By county, the cumulative totals are 422 in Adams, 63 in Clay, 9 in Nuckolls and 14 in Webster.
Bever said 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. "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.
"The goal is to keep the number of new infections low and to keep our students and teachers at school," she said. "Until we have a vaccine available, these practices are our best defense against the virus that causes COVID-19."
The extended DHM, effective September 1 for Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties, is on South Heartland's website. South Heartland District case counts and trends can be found on SHDHD's dashboard of local COVID-19 case statistics. This dashboard, along with updates, guidance, news releases and other COVID-19 information and links can be found on the SHDHD website: www.southheartlandhealth.org. 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.