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Panhandle Reaches 100 COVID-19 Cases, State Hits 150 Deaths

SCOTTSBLUFF – Panhandle COVID-19 Unified Command confirmed 9 new cases over the weekend, bring the region’s total to an even 100, including 66 who have already recovered.

One of the weekend cases was the second for Box Butte County, a male in his 20s who was a close contact of a existing case, while the other 8 were all from Scotts Bluff County – 4 of them also close to an earlier case. There have been 67 cases in the county with 27 active.

The other 4 Scotts Bluff cases were listed as Community Spread, meaning a specific infection point couldn’t be determined. Two those were women, one in her 40s and other in her 50s, and the other 2 were men, one in his 60s and one in his 70s.

Nebraska Health and Human Services reported just 145 new cases yesterday, bringing the state total to 12,134 out of 86,027 tests. Another 3 COVID-19 deaths were reported for an even 150.

Statewide, 44% of all hospital beds and 40% of ICU beds are still open along with 88% of ventilators, but public health officials are watching for signs of strain on hospitals in the Omaha area following a steady increase in coronavirus patients and the further easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr Gary Anthone isn’t worried about the caseload – yet. Dr Anthone said Friday that, based on his conversations with Omaha-area hospital officials, he doesn’t believe the hospitals are at risk of being overrun with coronavirus patients.

His comments came after a University of Nebraska Medical Center infectious diseases expert said she is concerned about the Omaha area, even though hospitals statewide still have plenty of capacity.