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Health Director: "Dark couple of weeks" ahead for Grand Island area

The Florida Department of Health has released the names of long-term care facilities with residents and/or staff members testing positive for COVID-19. (MGN)
The Florida Department of Health has released the names of long-term care facilities with residents and/or staff members testing positive for COVID-19. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 11:38 AM CDT
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The director of the health department which covers Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties expects COVID-19 cases to continue a rapid daily increase.

As of late Monday morning, there were 468 COVID cases in Hall County, the most in the state. Hamilton County had 19 cases and Merrick County had seven.

During a Monday morning briefing at Grand Island city hall,Central District Health Department director Teresa Anderson said that the district is currently getting 50-65 new confirmed cases every day.

"We are going into a rather dark couple of weeks," Anderson said. She expects the number of cases to continue to climb and that additional deaths are likely.

Anderson also said that the state Department of Health and Human Services sent more workers to her office to help in contact investigations and data analysis. Anderson said she hopes that further study of the COVID-19 data will help them determine trends in the Grand Island area. She hoped to have more information about those trends later this week.

Anderson said she and Grand Island mayor Roger Steele talked to Governor Pete Ricketts Friday afternoon. And they expect to talk to him again this coming Friday.

Steele responded to a question about whether a stay-at-home order should be issued. He said that Dr. Anthony Fauci of the President's Coronavirus task force said that the current measures in place are equivalent to a stay at home order.

Both Steele and Anderson repeated recommendations that people stay at home if possible, wash hands, practice social distancing and send only one family member for grocery shopping.

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