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Maru Kitteh

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Member since: Thu Dec 23, 2004, 11:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,369

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Greetings from the last best place! The Crown of the Continent.

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Deep in Trump Country: Small-town ICU overwhelmed as 35.5% of tests return positive for COVID19

From April 14:

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said Monday that St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island counted four or five patients in its intensive care unit one week ago. Now, more than a dozen of its ICU beds are occupied.

Hospital President Edward Hannon said that as of 4 p.m. Monday, 21 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized there, including 13 who are on ventilators to help them breathe. Last week, the hospital said it had 13 ventilators in its ICU and two more in its neonatal intensive care unit, plus several anesthesia and CPAP machines that could be used in a pinch.

The Central District Health Department oversees Hall, Hamilton and Merrick Counties, where, as of Monday afternoon, 211 people had tested positive for the coronavirus. That’s a whopping threefold increase from a week earlier, when 68 cases were counted. Four people in Hall County have died.

The ages of those with the coronavirus range from 11 to 88, with an average age of 45, the Health Department said.

Only 559 people had been tested in Hall County as of Monday, out of a population of roughly 61,000, according to figures from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. But 35.5% of those swabbed are testing positive. That’s far higher than the 7.65% positive rate statewide.

From today:

Grand Island's rate of COVID-19 cases is higher than Michigan's, close to Louisiana's

The Grand Island area — by far Nebraska’s biggest coronavirus hot spot — now has rates of illness comparable to some of the hardest-hit states in the country.

Not only does surrounding Hall County now have more cases than any county in Nebraska, its per capita case rate is almost 12 times that of Douglas County and more than 25 times that of Lancaster County, a World-Herald analysis found.

And as eye-popping as such numbers are, Grand Island, Nebraska’s third-largest metro area, is still likely weeks away from its peak of cases and deaths. The sixth death in the local three-county health district was reported Thursday.

“Our expectation is that every day we will see large numbers of new cases and every day we will see a number of deaths,” Central District Health Department Director Teresa Anderson said Thursday. “If we take our lessons from what’s been happening in other parts of the country, I’m going to say the writing is on the wall.”

Ricketts said the state has provided Grand Island help with testing and with tracing the contacts of people who test positive. And he said he has been on the phone with Grand Island employers to make sure they are taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus. “We are paying attention to Grand Island,” he said during his daily coronavirus briefing.

He and Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska’s chief medical officer, also noted that the health care system in Grand Island has been up to the task of handling the surge of patients.

“All in all, things seem to be fairly well under control in Grand Island,”
Anthone said of the health care landscape.

Hours later, the local health agency reported 61 new coronavirus cases in Hall County, bringing the total there to a state-leading 339. That’s despite the fact that Hall has one-ninth the population of Douglas County.

The number of cases in Hall County is essentially doubling every four days. That’s more than twice the rate of Nebraska as a whole, which is currently doubling every nine days.

Hall County’s rate, when measured per 10,000 people, has also reached a point that is comparable to the rates seen in states hit hardest by the pandemic.

County Hall Cases 339 Rate per 10,000 people 55.3

There have been a number of cases in Grand Island centered on large employers, including a meatpacking plant. And there also are a large number tied to nursing homes and long-term-care facilities, with 40 workers and residents at nine facilities having already tested positive.

But in the end, Anderson said, the disease has now spread so much that it can’t really be linked to any one employer, facility, family or part of town.

“What do (cases) have in common?” she said. “At this time, we can tell you they really have nothing in common. That leads us to believe the virus is truly everywhere.”

My Trump-loving MIL/FIL who initially sputtered the "Dem hoax to hurt Trump" like parrots live in this town and they're terrified now. They should be. I'm glad they're terrified because hopefully it will stop them from just sauntering forward with Ricketts/Trump's "grand opening." Who knows, there may even be hope they could wake from the Trump stupor. Probably too much to hope for, but either way, I still don't want them to die like that.

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