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Area students to display their Holiday spirit through virtual Christmas concerts

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HARTINGTON — December is usually the season of Holiday music at area schools.

While the music will still continue, some of the traditional Christmas concerts will look quite a bit different this year.

A concert is usually planned at the Newcastle Elementary School, while the Hartington site usually hosts both an elementary school and Jr.-Sr. High School concert.

This year, students at Hartington-Newcastle will all record their Christmas songs and a virtual concert will then be held.

“All of the traditional musical performances are going to have to be virtual performances this year,” HNS Supt. A.J. Johnson said

The elementary school concert was originally set for Dec. 7. Johnson said he expects a link to the various performances to be emailed out to parents in the next week or two.

Wynot is also planning a virtual Christmas concert. Their elementary concert was set for Dec. 8, but now people will only be able to view it on line.

As of right now, Cedar Catholic is still planning its traditional Christmas concert. That could change, however.

The Cedar Catholic Christmas concert is currently scheduled for Dec. 21.

The pandemic is also wreaking havoc with other school activities. All school sporting events and extra curricular events will have strict new attendance guidelines. In many cases, only immediate family members are allowed to attend events at this time.

Even though Cedar County is in the midst of a COVID surge, HNS is doing quite well, Supt. Johnson said.

“We are all wearing our masks and following the proper protocals,” Johnson said. “We are all working very hard to stay in school.”

Johnson said he would rather have kids in school then out in a virtual learning atmosphere.

“It’s just better to be in school,” he said. “If the kids aren’t in school, they are going to be hanging out and if they are hanging out, they are probably not wearing their masks.

Nebraska now has over 1,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus. To make matters worse, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 remains high in the state.

Officials reported 29 new deaths Monday to give the state 1,018 total since the pandemic began. The state also reported 1,941 new cases of the virus to push the total up to 128,407.

The number of people being treated for the virus in hospitals grew Monday to 907 from the previous day’s 896. The state record for for admissions is 987, which was set Nov. 20.

Several Directed Health Measures were set to expire Monday, but they were extended through the end of 2020 by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The current DHMs are similar to the ones put into place earlier this year and in October. They include at least six feet of separation in places like restaurants and bars.

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