Jul 23, 2020 7:09 PM

Nebraska's confirmed virus cases continue to pour in

Posted Jul 23, 2020 7:09 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - State health numbers show cases of confirmed coronavirus continued this week to pile up in Nebraska.

On Thursday, the state Department of Health and Human Services' online virus tracker showed 296 cases were confirmed the day before, bringing the state's total to 23,486. The site also showed an additional COVID-19 death on Wednesday, bringing the state's total to 311 since the outbreak began.

Nebraska's hospitals also showed signs of being affected by the recent increases, with 36% of the state's hospital intensive care unit beds available Thursday, compared with 42% availability on Monday. However, the state's availability of ventilators improved to 81%, compared with 78% on Monday.

The rising numbers came as a state high school band association canceled an annual fall marching band contest for fear of exposing students and staff to the virus. The Nebraska State Bandmasters Association announced Wednesday it was canceling the State Marching Contest and Festival, which had been set for Oct. 24 across several sites in Kearney, Lincoln and Omaha.