The Central District Health Department reports it is seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases, with more COVID cases in the three-county area than at any time since the pandemic began.
During the last seven days ending Thursday, the district had 1,373 positive cases and a 59% positivity rate. The new numbers break a record set on Wednesday of this week, when there had been 870 confirmed cases in a seven-day period.
“The previous high for this area took place in November of 2020 when we had 710 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and saw a 45.4% positivity rate,” the CDHD said in a news release Friday.
There was one COVID-related death in the three-county area in the previous seven days.
Statistics show a rapid COVID increase during the last couple of weeks.
The case count increased from 151 cases on Dec. 27 to 412 last week. Earlier numbers were 225 on Nov. 17 and 202 on Dec. 1.
The positivity rate, now 59%, was 41% last week. The figure was 27% on Dec. 27, 37% on Nov. 12 and 44% on Nov. 17.
The number of cases per 100,000 people is 1,800 in the most recent figures. That number was 525.3 last week, 192.5 on Dec. 27, 301 on Nov. 12, 286.9 on Nov. 17 and 257.5 on Dec. 1.
“This record number of cases and positivity can be attributed, in part, to the extremely transmissible omicron variant,” according to the CDHD release. “Currently, case counts are hitting young people the hardest with ages 10-49 seeing the highest number of positive cases. Also of concern are rapidly rising cases in the 0-9 age range.”
In Hall County, 1,160 cases were reported, with 127 reported in Hamilton County and 86 in Merrick County.
“Breakthrough infections are common with the omicron variant, but those who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations (two doses plus a booster) are exponentially less likely to suffer the worst effects of the virus, including persistent fever, lung damage and death,” reports the CDHD.
According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, those who have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were 11 times less likely to be hospitalized and those who had received their booster dose were 46 times less likely to be hospitalized than people who were not vaccinated. These numbers, taken from actual hospitalizations in Nebraska in December, mirror data from the rest of the country.
CDHD offers first and second COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with Thursday clinics running until 7 p.m.
Nomi Health also offers COVID-19 testing by appointment only due to current high demand. For more information, visit www.cdhd.ne.gov or call 308-385-5175.