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Official: Map Showing Low COVID Rates In Nebraska Misleading | Nebraska News


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska currently appears relatively safe on some national websites tracking the spread of COVID-19, but state health officials say these maps are not accurate.

The problem is, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using different data for Nebraska since the state pulled its website that reported virus numbers daily and began reporting weekly updates with less detail. Thus, two-thirds of counties in Nebraska should not be colored blue on the CDC’s map, indicating low rates of transmission of COVID-19, at a time when cases are increasing statewide, the CDC reported. Omaha World-Herald.

“The color blue on the map may not be an accurate representation of transmission rates,” said Olga Dack, spokesperson for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Over the past two weeks, the seven-day moving average of daily new cases in Nebraska has nearly doubled from 374.14 new cases per day on August 6 to 727.57 new cases per day on August 20. In its latest update, the state said on Wednesday that 2,676 cases had been reported the previous week, which is more than 10 times higher than the 253 cases per week reported by the state in late June.

The CDC relied on the Nebraska Daily Dashboard for its data, but it was pulled in late June. Dack said officials discovered last week that the federal agency started using the percentage of COVID-19 tests positive for Nebraska counties instead of the per capita case count it uses for most others. States.

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Dack said the state continues to report county-level virus data to the CDC, but the agency has not used it for some technical reasons.

State health officials are trying to find a solution that would show more accurate Nebraska numbers in the future if the CDC approves the change in state reporting, Dack said.

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