White House Task Force Senior Advisor: Trajectory of COVID up to Nebraskans

Tuesday, 10/11 spoke with Senior Advisor to the White House COVID Task Force Dr. Cameron Webb.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 4:36 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In Nebraska there are currently 586 active COVID hospitalizations, down over 150 from the last week of January.

It’s another marker that the omicron variant is retreating.

Tuesday, 10/11 spoke with Senior Advisor to the White House COVID Task Force Dr. Cameron Webb to learn more about the state of COVID in the country and in Nebraska.

A closer look at the numbers in Nebraska, on average about 1,500 people are testing positive for COVID-19. The state is averaging 70 new hospitalizations and 12 Nebraskans die every day. These numbers are largely down, but still high.

‘That is not an insignificant number,” Dr. Cameron Webb said. “Definitely there is still an impact of this virus and this surge. Even if you look at testing, over a quarter of the folks testing in the last seven days are testing positive. So there is still a lot of virus out there.”

While the decline in cases and decline of omicron is positive news, case numbers are still far beyond what was normal during the first peaks of COVID.

“If we do a lot of things like get the population even more vaccinated, right? In Nebraska alone we know that if you look at adults, over 80% have had at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s good news, but we need more people fully vaccinated,” Dr. Webb said. “If that happens then you see a better trajectory for the spring.”

Over a quarter of adults in Nebraska have not completed their full vaccination courses. Broadening the scope from ages 5 and up, over two-thirds of people have not yet completed their vaccination.

Lincoln and Omaha still have mask mandates- which Dr. Webb called critical in the face of a highly transmissible virus.

“The levels of cases we see right now would be unacceptable to us if we were looking at this from the framework of last June, or even last fall. These levels would be incredibly high and concerning to our communities. CDC set a threshold for what high levels of transmission look like. I’ll be clear and compelling here, we still have high levels of transmission,” Dr. Webb said. “Masking is still going to be an important tool as long as you have high levels of transmission.”

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