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Nebraska sees an increase in COVID-19 cases after lull

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln doctors are worried as COVID-19 numbers are going the wrong direction. In fact, in Lancaster County there’s been more than a 50% increase in COVID-19 cases reported since July 1.

This is a trend seen across the entire state with the New York Times reporting a 104% increase in new COVID-19 cases in Nebraska in the last two weeks, and Bryan Health officials said the cause is largely people choosing not to get vaccinated.

“If you’ve been waiting on the sidelines,” said Dr. John Trapp, Bryan Health. “Now is the time to get vaccinated.”

Doctors and nurses at Bryan Health said they’re starting to feel déjà vu.

“It’s been a tough 18 months here in Lincoln and to see numbers go up that raises concerns,” said Dr. Trapp.

In Lancaster County, COVID-19 cases are going up. The average number of new cases each day so far in July is 18. In June it was eight.

Hospitalizations are going up too. There were zero hospitalization on June 20, for the first time in months. It was up to 20 on July 9. Bryan’s hospitalizations have doubled too. They were down to eight on July 1, and now have 18.

“We are concerned about that trajectory,” said Dr. Trapp.

To be clear, case numbers are still low compared to the county’s peak in November 2020, where the average number of new cases each day was 240 and the average number of hospitalizations each day was 131. But now, Trapp said it’s frustrating to see numbers go up since the trend is preventable.

“We’re seeing a different demographic,” said said Dr. Trapp. “Under 50 is significant that raises concern. The majority of those are unvaccinated.”

Trapp said the Delta Variant is contributing to this increase, but the bigger issue is that people aren’t getting vaccinated.

“This pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Trapp. “You have a choice and if you choose not to be vaccinated you’ll remain at risk.”

This is especially important with some major events scheduled in Lincoln and the start of school coming up.

LPS starts school Aug. 17, and for someone to be fully vaccinated by then, they would need to get their first dose this week.

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