Ricketts Praises Citizens COVID-19 Response But Urges Continued CautionPosted by John AxtellDate: July 14, 20204 ViewsLINCOLN – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts used his monthly radio call-in show Monday to again praise the state’s residents for their efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.Ricketts said because people were willing to follow CDC guidelines, Nebraska has avoided the massive number of cases that threatened to crash hospital systems in many other states.PLAY SOUNDBITEAlthough the rate of increase has slowed in the state, the number of cases and deaths continue to grown Nebraska Health and Human Services added 227 new cases Monday, pushing the total to 21,399 while the number of deaths rose by 3 to 288. .There have been 16,025 recoveries with 5,086 active cases and 101 hospitalizations. The percentage of available hospital beds in the state stands at 41% along with 45% of ICU beds and 80% of ventilators. . Panhandle Unified Command confirmed 12 more cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the region’s total to 359.Of those, 283 have recovered and 5 have died, leaving 71 active cases including 4 hospitalizations. There’s a 5.8% positivity rate from the 6,132 tests given in the Panhandle.