Nebraska COVID Cases on Slight Rise and Delta Not Taken Hold, New DHHS Data Shows

July 15, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ·


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COVID-19 cases are on the rise but hospitalizations are declining and the Delta variant has not taken hold in Nebraska, according to a new update from Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services.

Launched Wednesday, DHHS published it's first set of COVID-19 data since June 30 after suspending its dashboard when Gov. Pete Ricketts ended the pandemic State of Emergency. The state department had not released data because the DHHS legal team was sorting out what information could be released under a Nebraska statute regarding health data and protecting identifiable information.

In the past 15 days since the dashboard ended, 1,000 new COVID cases were reported, meaning just less than 75 people, on average, tested positive for the virus each day, which is quite a bit more than late June when around 37 positive tests were reported each day. In total, it's a near 99% in cases over those past two weeks.

On the other hand, 78 people were hospitalized from July 4 to July 10, according to DHHS figures. That translates to just over 11 per day being hospitalized, which is far less than upper 20s and low 30s that DHHS previously reported the last weeks of June.

In the update, which will be released on future Wednesdays, DHHS reported 49.1% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

The Delta variant, which has caused a rise in cases in many surrounding Midwestern states, has slowly increased but not become the dominant strain in Nebraska. DHHS reported 119 cases of the more contagious variant from India. One week ago, it was just 101. It's unknown how many positive COVID tests are being examined for the variant, but, based on new DHHS data, Delta has not taking hold in Nebraska as it has other surrounding states.