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Nebraska sees reduced coronavirus cases since November

COVID-19 Analysis
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:22 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Tri-Cities have had mask mandates in place for around two months now, after rapidly increasing cases during the fall. Now, three weeks since the end of the holiday season, we have yet to see any significant resurgence statewide. Additionally, hospitalizations have decreased dramatically since late November.

Examining the hospitalizations in Nebraska, the peak 7-day average count came out to be 974.14, centered on November 20. In two months’ time, that number has reduced by 55.6%, down to 432.25 averaging the last 4 days. A more complete value will come in three days, once those numbers are acquired to simulate a centered-average on Jan. 20.

Mask mandates and seemingly a safe holiday season contribute to decreasing counts of...
Mask mandates and seemingly a safe holiday season contribute to decreasing counts of hospitalized Nebraskans.(Kit Cloninger)

Case counts have also decreased in recent weeks. The 7-day rolling average of daily reported cases has fallen 67.4% in the time between November 20 and January 20. There are some significant points to be made here. The cities of Hastings, Grand Island and Kearney issued mask mandates, right around the time of Thanksgiving. There is a visible local maximum in early December reflecting gatherings and higher spread after this time. Then a long period of decrease, with another local maximum in early January, reflecting spread during end-of-year holidays, followed by another downward slope.

Mid November set many records for COVID-19 cases, but recent trends show decaying case rates.
Mid November set many records for COVID-19 cases, but recent trends show decaying case rates.(Kit Cloninger)

Wearing masks, social distancing, and not attending large gatherings are once again emphasized as effective ways to slow the spread of the virus. Hospitalizations had already been decreasing as of mid-November, a couple weeks preceding local mask mandates. Other factors may have contributed to this decrease, but are beyond the scope of this article.

Data is acquired from the New York Times GitHub repository, and can be viewed here.

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