Dipping COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Doesn't Mean Nebraska's Omicron Peak is Past

Jan. 18, 2022, noon ·

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The latest COVID data shows a slight dip in Nebraska cases and hospitalizations, but that doesn’t mean Nebraska has seen its peak quite yet.

As of last Friday, the statewide 7-day average still stands at nearly 3,400 cases per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That figure is down from a high of nearly 4,000 a day earlier.

The state’s dashboard shows that, over the weekend, hospitalizations dropped by 32, to just above 640. Across the state, hospital capacity remains between 20 and 30% free.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean the state’s seen its peak – like some parts of the country have. Some Nebraska medical leaders think the worst is yet to come.

“This is going to be with us for a little while longer," said Jeremy Nordquist, the president of the Nebraska Hospital Association. "We’re expected, still among COVID positive cases, to be a few weeks away from the peak of that, and hospitalizations tend to lag another week or two from the peak of COVID positive tests.”

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Nordquist said the pandemic lags behind in rural Nebraska compared to the urban centers – and the state has a long haul ahead for the next four to five weeks.

Overall, according to the state’s dashboard, the state is nearly 66% fully vaccinated.