Nebraska virus cases, hospitalizations leveling off
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The number of new virus cases and hospitalizations in the state appear to be leveling out at an elevated level in recent weeks.
The state reported 4,775 new cases for the week that ended Friday, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, That was just above the 4.676 cases reported the previous week but significantly below the roughly 5,300 cases per week the state tallied during the three previous weeks, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
The number of virus hospitalizations averaged 415 a day over the past week, which was down slightly from 421 the previous week. At its most-recent report, the state said 411 people were hospitalized Tuesday.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska also decreased over the past two weeks, going from 672.43 new cases per day on Sept. 19 to 659.71 new cases per day on Sunday.
At the end of June, the state was reporting 253 virus cases per week and 28 people were hospitalized statewide, so the numbers have worsened considerably over the summer as the highly contagious delta variant spread through Nebraska.
One metric that did get significantly worse in the CDC numbers was deaths because the federal agency added 399 deaths to give the state a total of 2,840 by its count. The state COVID dashboard site continues to report 2,427 deaths.
Gov. Pete Ricketts’ spokesman Taylor Gage said that the most likely explanation for the discrepancy in deaths is that the CDC added a group of probable COVID deaths to its count for Nebraska. The state only includes confirmed deaths where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death and there is a positive PCR test — the most-accurate COVID test available — confirming the diagnosis.