Ricketts says COVID Dashboard is Back, Will Track Hospitalizations, Cases and Deaths
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
Sept. 20, 2021, 4:05 p.m. ·
Governor Pete Ricketts said Monday the state is bringing back part of its COVID-19 dashboard that will track hospitalizations and more county-level data. Ricketts announced he’s signed an executive order that waives an infectious disease statute that normally limits the sharing of medical data based on health privacy laws. Ricketts said the dashboard will keep track of hospital capacity, new cases and COVID deaths in counties across the state.
“Today we’ve got about 28% of our hospital beds available, about 23% of our adult ICU beds are available, so you’ll be able to find that data there,” Ricketts said. “We will use the same rule as we did before that if we fall before that 10% on a 7-day rolling average, then I’ll be looking to discontinue that.”
The change was triggered because COVID cases make currently up about 15% of Nebraska hospitalizations. The dashboard was discontinued at the end of June when Ricketts declared an end to the statewide health emergency.
State Senator Michaela Cavanaugh, a registered Democrat in the officially non-partisan State Legislature, said she’s grateful the COVID dashboard is returning.
“We were the only state in the nation that did not have a public recording, so I think it’s really important that this change has come about finally and I know that our medical professionals are grateful to have this information made available to the general public as well.”
There are 414 people hospitalized for COVID-related illnesses and just under 2,400 non-COVID hospitalizations. There are currently just over one-thousand hospital beds available in Nebraska.