Hospital stress decreases as COVID-19 cases drop in Lancaster County

Lancaster County COVID-19 Update
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 6:38 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In Lancaster County, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been at their lowest since last August. Wednesday, Bryan Health and CHI Health reported fewer than 60 patients combined.

With the drop in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations follow. The number of patients across the county dropped by 60% in the last month, after peaking at nearly 150 in late January.

“I think this is the first time in the last two weeks, definitely close to a year now, that we’ve been able to take a breather with staff,” said Derek Vance, President of CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

Heath Director Pat Lopez said weekly COVID-19 cases overall have dropped 47% in the last week. The weekly numbers went from 810 on February 11 to 432 on February 18.

These improvements have moved the county risk dial to low orange. This is the lowest it’s been since last November.

“We’re on the right track and continue to see significant improvement,” said Lopez. “The pandemic is not over, but each week we are making progress, getting our community to a better place.”

The same progress is being made across the state.

There are currently about 375 COVID-19 patients in Nebraska’s hospitals, the lowest number since last October.

“It’s really dropped significantly over the last two weeks and quickly,” Vance said.

At CHI Health St. Elizabeth, hospitalizations are now less than half of what they were last month. The hospital reported 26 patients on January 20. Wednesday, they only had 11.

“It’s amazing how one change in one disease can really just allow some extra moving and breathing room in the hospital,” Vance said.

Lopez said at-home COVID-19 test kits are available at the health department for county residents to pick up.

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