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Nebraska virus cases on the rise again after brief dip

December 28, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is reporting a rise in new virus cases again after a brief dip, although the latest numbers remain lower than earlier this month.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that 5,826 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Nebraska last week, up from 5,488 the previous week. But the numbers are lower than the 7,052 cases reported the week before that, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus has also improved since mid-December although hospital capacity remains strained across the state. Nebraska health officials said 470 people were hospitalized with the virus on Monday, down from a recent peak of 637 on Dec. 13 but slightly higher than the previous day’s 446. The seven-day average of 475 patients hospitalized with COVID was down from 589 the week before.

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So far, delta has remained the dominant coronavirus variant in Nebraska, but more cases of the highly contagious omicron variant are being identified in the state. The number of confirmed omicron cases grew to 21 Monday when health officials announced a case in Sarpy County.

Demand for COVID-19 testing remains strong this week, following the Christmas holiday. A long line of more than 150 cars formed at a drive-thru testing site at Oak View Mall Monday.

The company that operates that testing site, Nomi Health, said a delay in getting gasoline delivered for a generator used to provide heat at the site contributed to the backlog of cars but company officials said Nomi performed 4,200 tests last week at its three Omaha locations — the most since the testing sites reopened in August.