Recent COVID-19 statistics in Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties are looking better, but Teresa Anderson of the Central District Health Department still would like to see the positivity rate drop considerably.
“We continue to work in addressing the pandemic, and over time we are making some progress,” Anderson said Monday in a COVID-19 community update from Grand Island City Hall.
The number of weekly cases per 100,000 people has dropped since Nov. 21. At that time, the totals were 1,200 in Merrick, 1,000 in Hamilton and 929 in Hall.
As of this past Saturday, the numbers had dropped to 361 in Merrick, 375 in Hamilton and 277 in Hall.
“So we’re happy that we have not yet seen that post-holiday surge that we dreaded,” Anderson said.
“We’re also fairly happy with our percent of people that are in the hospital who are COVID-positive,” she said.
For the first time since October, that percentage has “gotten down below 20%. So that’s something to celebrate,” Anderson said.
As of Monday, the percentage of hospitalized people with COVID-19 in the three-county area is 16%. On Dec. 24, that number was 32%.
Anderson reminded people to participate in TestNebraska. To do so, register at testnebraska.com.
“These tests are important to us because they tell us about the level of viral activity in our community,” she said.
Anderson also pointed out that the risk dial for this past week has been at 2.7.
“That’s good news, but we also know that our percent positive from last week was 40%. Our goal is to get that positivity rate down to less than 5%,” she said. “So we would say we’re not out of the woods just yet.”