COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Rising, While Vaccinations Plateau in New Dashboard

Sept. 21, 2021, 2:30 a.m. ·

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Now that the state has a COVID-19 dashboard again, Nebraskans can see how the pandemic has ramped up since it’s early summer lull.

Cases and hospitalizations are rising, while vaccinations have plateaued. As of Monday, the 7-day average of daily cases stands at 526, according to the dashboard. That figure will likely grow as the Nebraska Dept. of Health and Human Services counts all the tests over the next week.

There are 448 Nebraskans hospitalized with COVID. That’s more than 11% of the state’s hospital beds, and the main reason Gov. Pete Ricketts brought the dashboard back. He did so via an executive order Monday. The dashboard was absent since late June when the previous order expired.

For the most part, this new dashboard mirrors the old one. The biggest difference lies in a page dedicated to hospital capacity, which depicts the number and percentage of beds occupied in regular and ICU beds for both adults and children.

Because regular hospital operations have now resumed, only 27% of regular hospital beds for adults are available. Additionally, only 19% of ICUs remain open. During previous pandemic peaks, hospitals largely restricted non-COVID treatments, which left far more availability.

The dashboard also shows about 2,700 people are getting a vaccine dose every day statewide. In all, 66% of the state that’s 12 and older is fully vaccinated, while another 5.5% is partially vaccinated.