The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state increased Sunday for the first time since late last month. The state said the number of virus hospitalizations increased 11 on Sunday to 768 after having declined every day since Nov. 30. That total is significantly below the record of 987 set on Nov. 20, but it is more than triple where it was at the start of October when 227 people were hospitalized.
Officials said 19% of the state’s hospital beds are filled by COVID-19 patients. That remains below the 25% threshold where Gov. Pete Ricketts has said he would impose additional social distancing restrictions. The state reported 1,266 new virus cases and 11 new deaths Sunday to give Nebraska a total of 139,834 cases and 1,205 deaths since the pandemic began.
Nebraska’s rate of new cases remained the sixth-highest in the nation on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past week, one in every 146 people in the state was diagnosed with COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska decreased over the past two weeks, going from 2,313.57 new cases per day on Nov. 22 to 1,892.14 new cases per day on Sunday.