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COVID putting pressure on hospitals

Two Rivers reports hundreds of new cases
400 COVID cases were reported in the Two Rivers district last week.
400 COVID cases were reported in the Two Rivers district last week.(WJRT)
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:23 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 11:57 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - COVID cases were on the rise in the Two Rivers Health district.

In a press release Two Rivers Health District reported that the risk dial did increase from the previous week, and is now higher in the orange “elevated” level of risk.

Four-hundred COVID-19 cases were recorded in TRPHD from September 8 to September 14, over 60 percent of those among persons less than 40 years of age. Buffalo and Dawson counties together accounted for over 82% of all new case recorded.

Approximately 622 positive cases were detected in the city of Kearney in the past month and over half of those were among persons younger than 40 years of age.

Around 280 COVID positive cases were detected in Dawson County in the last month.

COVID-related hospitalizations account for 20 percent of medical and surgical bed occupancy; meanwhile ICU staffing capacity has fallen by 25 percent across the district in the last 2 months, reduced from 40 staffed beds to 30. There seems to be increased pressure on beds at tertiary centers (Omaha, Lincoln), disrupting smooth triage and transfer of patients.

COVID testing supplies across the nation continue to be in short supply, and this is reflected in testing at non-long-term care settings across the district.

The reduced testing might be partly responsible for the comparatively higher test positivity rate of 12 percent.

In light of reduced emphasis on infection control activities (mask wearing, regulating large gatherings) and relatively low vaccination rates, cases are expected to continue rising.

As of September 13, 2021, 44 percent of TRPHD’s total population and almost 55% of the adult population (18+ years) has been fully vaccinated across the district. In light of rising incidence rates connected to the newer delta variant, TRPHD strongly urges all unvaccinated vaccine-eligible residents to avail of the COVID vaccination through their healthcare provider, pharmacy or TRPHD. For schedule of vaccination clinics, see www.trphd.org.

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