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New COVID-19 records set in Central District

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Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 8:26 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) -The Central District Health Department is seeing record numbers of COVID-19, with more than 1,300 positive cases and a 59% positivity rate seen in the last seven days.

From Jan. 7 to Jan. 13, 1,373 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Hall, Hamilton and Merrick Counties. In Hall County, 1,160 cases were reported, with 127 reported in Hamilton County and 86 reported in Merrick County. One death was also reported.

According to CDHD, this record number of cases and positivity can be attributed, in part, to the extremely transmissible Omicron variant. Currently case counts are hitting young people the hardest, with ages 10 – 49 seeing the highest number of positive cases. Also of concern are rapidly rising cases in the 0-9 age range. You can find more information on our COVID-19 dashboard at www.cdhd.ne.gov.

These numbers break the old records set on Wednesday with 870 confirmed cases in a seven-day period. The previous high for this area took place in November of 2020 when we had 710 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and saw a 45.4% positivity rate. Breakthrough infections are common with the Omicron variant, but those who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations (two doses plus a booster) are exponentially less likely to suffer the worst effects of the virus, including persistent fever, lung damage and death.

According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, those who have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were 11 times less likely to be hospitalized and those who had received their booster dose were 46 times less likely to be hospitalized than people who were not vaccinated. These numbers, taken from actual hospitalizations in Nebraska in December, mirror data from the rest of the country.

Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 and head off the worst symptoms. Other mitigation efforts include wearing tight fitting surgical masks while in public, social distancing and getting tested if you develop symptoms. If you test positive or were exposed, new isolation and quarantine protocols are currently up on our website.

CDHD will offer first and second COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with Thursday clinics running until 7 p.m. Nomi Health also offers COVID-19 testing by appointment only due to current high demand. Find out more at our website, www.cdhd.ne.gov. For more info call (308) 385-5175.

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