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The Harvey County Health Department, in consultation with public health officer Dr. Doyle Detweiler, has identified community spread of COVID-19 in Harvey County.


Community spread means individuals have been infected with COVID-19 in the area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.


"We did not determine this lightly. The health department has worked meticulously to verify the sources of exposure in the majority of our cases," Detweiler said. "However, as cases have increased, so have the number of cases where we cannot definitively determine a transmission method for COVID-19."


Harvey County has had 63 COVID-19 cases to date, including 59 confirmed and four probable cases. There have been 47 new confirmed cases over the past three weeks.


Of the 63 total cases, 18 have an unknown source of exposure, or 29%.


"Community spread isn’t a reason to panic, but it does justify a sense of urgency in our communities," said Harvey County Health Department director Lynnette Redington. "It’s an opportunity for each of us to renew our personal commitments to the precautions that worked so well early on for our county. COVID-19 is in our county, and each of us needs to respond accordingly."


The health department continues to adamantly support taking preventative steps to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. That includes frequent hand washing or using hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face cover when social distance cannot be maintained.


There are 19 known active cases in Harvey County. Two individuals are currently hospitalized. There have been 2,067 tests for COVID-19 conducted in Harvey County.