New COVID Cases Down In Panhandle, Nebraska, And South Dakota

       Panhandle Unified Command confirmed 323 new cases of COVID-19 in the region for the week ending Monday. That’s down slightly from 307 the previous week.

       More than half of the new cases – 169 – were in Scottsbluff County.  Dawes had 21, down from 55 last week, with 35 in Box Butte, 18 in Sheridan, and 2 in Sioux County.

   The Panhandle has 30 active hospitalizations and has had 12,284 total cases and 209 deaths during the pandemic. Another 13 deaths are awaiting verification of COVID.

     The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Nebraska Health and Human Services shows COVID-19 indicators are trending in the right direction across the state.

       The 7-day average of cases in Nebraska has dropped 13% over the last 2 weeks, from 650 to 560 per day. The drop reflects a broader nationwide drop in Delta variant cases.  

      Hospitalizations are also down with 375 on Sunday. The average was about 450 per day at the peak of the Delta wave. The strain on Nebraska’s hospital system is also easing with 31% of adult beds available compared to 22% at the start of the month. 

     In South Dakota, the state health department’s daily update on Monday showed 265 new confirmed cases and 13 new deaths. Those bring the totals for the pandemic to 130,275 cases and 2,202 deaths. 

       The state has 193 COVID hospitalizations among 5,819 active cases. The number of active cases is down 49 from Friday with an additional 390 recoveries listed. .

     66% of all South Dakotans over age 12 have received at least one dose of vaccine with 57% fully vaccinated.