Nebraska Virus Hospitalizations Drop Below 800 but Stay High

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has dropped below 800 for the first time in nearly a month, but it’s not clear if the positive trend will continue in the wake of Thanksgiving gatherings. The state said the number of virus hospitalizations fell to 755 Saturday from the previous day’s 819. That marked the first time since Nov. 8 that the total was below 800.

But the state’s chief medical officer, Gary Anthone, said hospitalizations still remain high and continue to put stress on the state’s hospitals. Nebraska estimates that 19% of the state’s hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Anthone said it won’t be clear for some time how Thanksgiving gatherings and travel will affect the virus trends within the state.

Nebraska’s rate of infections remains the sixth-highest in the nation. And over the past week, one person in every 146 people in the state was diagnosed with COVID-19. The state said Saturday that 2,243 new cases were reported to give Nebraska 138,568 cases since the pandemic began. There have also been 1,194 deaths linked to the coronavirus in the state.