COVID-19 in Nebraska: New Cases Increase Slightly While Testing, Hospitalizations Go Down

July 10, 2020, 3:04 p.m. ·

(Joe McMullen, NET Nebraska)

State officials say they’re encouraged that the most severe cases of COVID-19 seem to be declining. Gov. Pete Ricketts says only 18 people with the disease are on ventilators statewide, and 100 people are hospitalized.

"We continue to see declining hospitalizations so that’s good news, our cases have been relatively steady so that’s good news too," Ricketts said Friday. "But again this only happens if we continue to practice social distancing."

There were 257 Nebraskans hospitalized on May 27, and that number has been decreasing over the past month.

New cases in the state have increased slightly over the past several days.

An analysis of state data shows an average of 164 new cases per day over the last seven days. That’s a 6% increase in new cases compared to the seven days before that.

During the same time frame, testing decreased 12%.

More than 200,000 people have been tested so far, with 20,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon.

About 72,000 of those tests have been addministered through the TestNebraska program, which is transitioning from tests given by the Nebraska National Guard to local hospitals, pharmacies and testing labs.

Ricketts says the state has done its best to ensure accurate numbers, but that's not always possible.

"It's never going to be a perfect number that we've got with regard to how many people test positive," Ricketts said. "Because there are going to be people that test several times positive and that number goes higher. But there's also going to be people that get the virus, never have any symptoms and recover, and we never know because they never get tested."