Jul 25, 2020 1:00 PM

Nebraska sees continued high virus counts, more deaths

Posted Jul 25, 2020 1:00 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska continues to see high numbers of coronavirus cases, according to state health figures, as the state's prison system reported four additional staffers testing positive for the virus.

The Lincoln Correctional Center, Diagnostic and Evaluation Center in Lincoln, Omaha Correctional Center and the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln each reported a staffer testing positive for the virus, according to a news release late Thursday from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. All four were self-isolating at home, officials said. The announcement brings the total number of prison employees across the state to be infected with the virus to 37.

The state's online virus tracker shows 332 cases were confirmed on Thursday, bringing the state's total to 23,818 since the outbreak began. Another five deaths from COVID-19 - the disease caused by the virus - also were recorded Thursday. So far, 316 Nebraskans have died from the virus.

Nebraska's hospitals also showed signs of being affected by the rising case numbers. The tracker showed 34% of the state's hospital intensive care unit beds available Friday, a drop of four percentage points since Monday. Available ICU beds also dropped to 35% from Monday's 42%. The state's availability of ventilators remained steady at 80%.