UNMC Doctor Says New Daily Cases Have Plateaued, Could Rise
By Allison Mollenkamp , NET News
July 8, 2020, 6:30 p.m. ·
Nebraska has not experienced another surge in COVID-19 cases like some southern and western states, despite reopening many businesses.
Dr. Mark Rupp, professor and chief of infectious diseases at UNMC, says Nebraska's coronavirus numbers have plateaued. That’s better than rising, but he still worries.
“The reason this is of concern is that rather than continuing downward, we see the number of cases continuing to transmit in the community," Rupp said. "It’s there, and if we let down our guard, if we become too complacent, we could certainly see numbers, or trends anyway, like they’ve seen in some of the southern and western states here in the United States.”
Rupp says Nebraska's stagnant COVID-19 numbers could be explained by a number of factors, but no one fully understands them. Rupp thinks some states took reopening as a signal to return to business as usual.
Rupp also said weather may play a role in where groups of people spend time in close contact. He added the virus spreads more easily in indoor spaces.
“There’s some conjecture that in the southern states right now it’s so hot and so humid that people actually aren’t outside very much," Rupp said. "And instead they’re in indoor venues where they have the air-conditioning and the coolness.”
Rupp said the potential effects of 4th of July gatherings will show in a week or two. He worries that if cases rise in Nebraska, it will become harder to control the spread of COVID-19.
He advises avoiding crowds, practicing social distancing, and wearing a mask are all still very important to reducing the spread of COVID-19 across Nebraska.