Active COVID-19 Cases Up, Hospitalizations Down In Neb; Panhandle Tops 7,000 Total CasesPosted by John AxtellDate: December 16, 2020481 Views The number of active COVID-19 cases in Nebraska rose while the number of hospitalized cases dropped on Tuesday. Health and Human Services reported 1,517 new cases along with 1,064 recoveries and 20 deaths. That pushed the number of active cases to 64,296. There were 677 hospitalizations, 16 fewer than on Monday and the fewest since Nov 2nd. The availability of hospital beds dropped 5 points to 30% and ICU beds by 3 points to 28% while available ventilators rose to 72%. Nebraska has had 150,861 total cases along with 1,438 deaths and 85,127 recoveries since the beginning of the pandemic. The Panhandle has topped 7,000 positive cases of COVID-19. Panhandle Unified Command reported 86 new cases on Tuesday to bring the total since the start of the pandemic to 7,034. With just 36 recoveries and no deaths, the number of active cases rose to 1,408 on Tuesday, including 46 who are hospitalized. The region has had 97 COVID-19 deaths and 5,529 recoveries.. Dawes County reported 7 new cases and no recoveries or deaths, leaving 63 active cases, 528 total cases, 448 recoveries, and 17 deaths. Chadron State College is unchanged with 3 active cases – 2 students and 1 staff – with 144 total cases, 118 students and 26 staff. Chadron Public Schools remains at 1 active case at the high school, 34 total cases districtwide, and 2 quarantines.