COVID-19: Growth slows in larger Nebraska cities, surges in central Nebraska

When accounting for population, the three hardest hit counties in Nebraska for COVID-19 are...
When accounting for population, the three hardest hit counties in Nebraska for COVID-19 are Kimball, Hall, and Adams counties. (Source: KOLN)(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 10:52 PM CDT
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Since the start of April, COVID-19 has surged exponentially in central Nebraska, while case growth has slowed in Nebraska's biggest cities. Hall County - the Grand Island area - has grown by about 2,500 percent in the last 17 days.

On April 1, Hall County had 16 cases. As of April 17 at 11:00 p.m., that number is 403.

Statewide, over the last week, Nebraska has grown from 668 cases to 1,195 cases. That's a growth rate of about 79 percent, according to 10/11 NOW's combined DHHS and local health department data.

The growth in major cities, like Omaha and Lincoln, has slowed. Over the last seven days, Douglas County grew by 59 cases, while Lancaster County grew by 14 cases.

For the first time this week, Hall County took over Douglas County for the most COVID-19 cases in the state. But if you look at per-capita rates, the Grand Island area has been hit even harder.

For every 10,000 residents, there are about 65 positive COVID-19 cases in Grand Island. Compare that to Douglas County, where the rate is about four cases, and Lancaster County, where the rate is about two cases per 10,000 residents.

Top Nebraska Counties
April 17 // April 10 // April 3 // March 27

Hall: 403 // 129 // 35 // 3

Douglas: 273 // 222 // 128 //47

Adams: 85 // 39 // 6 // 2

Lancaster: 63 // 49 // 14 // 4

Sarpy: 48 // 39 // 28 // 11

Nebraska: 1,195 // 668 // 305 // 91

Deaths: 25 // 17 // 6 // 2

The United States has been averaging two-to-four thousand deaths per day over the last week, but the number of new COVID-19 cases has slowed.

United States COVID-19 Cases
April 17 // April 10 // April 3 // March 27

Total Cases: 637,000 // 501,000 // 278,000 // 101,000

Deaths: 37,000 // 18,700 // 7,100 // 1,600

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predicts the state's death toll ranging from 54 to 240, depending on when the peak is. If the peak is April 17, it would be on the lower end. If Nebraska's peak isn't until the first week of May, it would be on the higher end.

The number of cases in that model ranges from a few thousand to more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.

Testing in Nebraska has also increased greatly when comparing March to April, however, the daily number has fluctuated. It typically ranges from 350 to 750 tests per day.

On April 1, the state had given 3,812 tests in Nebraska with an average positive rate of 5.7-percent. As of April 17, Nebraska has given 13,753 tests, with an average positive rate of 8.7-percent. That averages out to about 585 tests per day.