ICU bed availability a factor in keeping risk dial in the red

The Two Rivers Public Health Department released its updated COVID-19 risk dial for December 9,...
The Two Rivers Public Health Department released its updated COVID-19 risk dial for December 9, 2021.(Two Rivers Public Health Department)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:28 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) -Two Rivers Public Health updated the weekly risk dial on Thursday, December 9, 2021.  The risk dial remains in the red “Pandemic” level of risk.

  • 345 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in TRPHD between December 1 - December 7. About 11% of all tests recorded in the district are positive. Case rates have increased especially in Phelps County, with Holdrege equaling the highest weekly average of cases recorded in the city since November 2020.
  • As of Wednesday morning, no ICU beds were available across TRPHD. Over 30% of all currently occupied med/surg beds are accounted for by COVID-19 patients. Across Nebraska, 13% of adult ICU beds and 21% of med/surg beds were available on December 8, 2021.
  • ICU bed availability across Nebraska and TRPHD is at the lowest point since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020; adult med/ surg beds are at the lowest point since November 2020.
  • A public COVID testing site is now open in Kearney city at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. Testing results are available the same day and are offered Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30AM - 12:30PM. Those desirous of COVID testing are required to register at for scheduling.
  • As of Dec 8, 2021, over half of TRPHD’s total population had received at least one dose, and 48% had received minimum doses as recommended (1 or 2 as indicated), compared to over 63% of the entire state population. 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

For these reasons, the risk dial is raised from last week in the ‘severe’ (red) zone. The dial reading reflects drastically reduced ICU availability, higher hospitalization rates and persistently high test positivity rates across TPHD.

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