Letter: 'Community must come together'

Jill Martin

Seward County is known for coming together in both good times and bad times. This coming together is best seen through the work and dedication that happens each year as we celebrate the Fourth of July. It is the commitment and selflessness from the volunteers, civic leaders, and all of the community members that make Seward the Fourth of July City of Nebraska. We also come together as a community when we experience natural disasters such as flooding or when a community member suffers a setback or loss. We all need to come together as a community to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 as we approach the late fall and winter months.

On Friday, Oct. 16, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced a new statewide Directed Health Measure (DHM) starting Oct. 21 through Nov. 30. This DHM focuses on hospitals, bars and restaurants, weddings and funerals, and large gatherings. In addition to the DHM, Ricketts also encouraged Nebraskans to avoid the three c’s:

Crowded places

Close contact

Confined spaces

Four Corners Health Department has reported a recent increase in COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Seward County and the counties around us. As of Oct. 23, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Seward County was 474. At that time, there had been 151 new cases in the past 14 days. That means we had over 30% of our total cases for the entire pandemic in the last two weeks. This is a trend we as a community need to work on together to curb. Voluntary measures can go a long way to helping combat the spread of COVID-19 including:

regular hand washing;

wiping down high traffic surfaces;

foregoing unnecessary public outings and trips;

social distancing; and

wearing a mask when unable to social distance.

We also need to think about small businesses in our community that need our support. Please find creative ways to continue your patronage of local businesses, while limiting possibilities for exposure. By undertaking these voluntary efforts in our community we can achieve many of our goals, including:

protecting those at high risk of infection;

keeping kids in schools;

keeping businesses open; and

stabilizing the burden on our hospital system.

There is pandemic fatigue setting in across Nebraska when it comes to coronavirus, and Seward County is no exception. We cannot afford to become complacent now. We all want things to get back to normal as soon as possible, but we are still far from being out of the woods. The more we practice the voluntary items mentioned above, the safer we make our community for ourselves and the most vulnerable among us. So please be considerate and respectful of others so we can keep our community safe. Together we will get through this pandemic.

#StrongerTogether #StayOpenStayHealthy


– Joshua Eickmeier, Seward Mayor

Roger Reamer, CEO Memorial Health Care Systems

Rev. Dr. Russ Sommerfeld, Concordia University, Nebraska Interim President

Dr. Joshua Fields, Seward Public Schools Superintendent

Amber Fiala, St. John Lutheran School Principal

Denise Ray, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School Principal