Latest COVID-19 Hospitalizations Alarming to Nebraska's Medical Experts

Dec. 16, 2021, 3 p.m. ·

Hospitalizations data from the last year. There was a plateau in cases this fall before they rose dramatically heading into the holidays.
Hospitalizations are back on the rise in Nebraska. (Photo courtesy Nebraska DHHS)

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Following a dip in COVID-19 hospitalizations this summer and a plateau throughout the fall, hospitalizations have reached a yearly high in Nebraska, and that's concerning to Nebraska's medical experts.

Nebraska tallies more than 600 hospitalizations and nearly 200 intensive care COVID-19 cases currently exist in the state, according to the latest COVID statistics from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Angela Hewlitt headshot photo
Dr. Angela Hewlett (Photo courtesy Nebraska Medicine)

Nebraska Medicine is being forced to reallocate specialized care resources, according to Dr. Angela Hewlett, the chair of Nebraska Medicine's health security.

“We are in the process of converting an entire hospital tower over to COVID, and I think it’s important for people to remember that these beds were not unoccupied,” she said during a Thursday press conference. “These beds were occupied with other patients. Patients with heart problems, and lung problems, and diabetes, and strokes and things like that.”

Nebraska Medicine and the other specialized care hospitals in the state are concerned about the highly contagious omicron variant which has been detected in Nebraska. For doctors, these anxieties are amplified when looking at the stress already applied on the hospital system.

Nebraska DHHS is also considering re-implementing statewide directed health measures, according to Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer. In the meantime, Anthone said the department will focus on getting more people vaccinated. He also said it’s still not too late to get the primary dose of a COVID vaccine.

DHHS estimates COVID vaccinations prevented between 1,500 to 2,000 hospitalizations saved 500 lives over a four week period this fall.