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Lancaster County records 4th COVID-19 death but 63 full recoveries so far, health officials say
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Lancaster County records 4th COVID-19 death but 63 full recoveries so far, health officials say

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A fourth Lancaster County resident who contracted the coronavirus has died, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said Wednesday. 

The resident had been hospitalized with COVID-19 before succumbing to the illness, and like the other three COVID-19 deaths, had an underlying health condition, interim Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Director Pat Lopez said. 

The news marked the second local death in as many days. To date, Nebraska has reported 107 deaths.

As of Wednesday, the county had 688 COVID-19 cases, 23 more than the reported total Tuesday. 

Just more than one-third of all cases in the county stem from the coronavirus outbreak at the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Crete, where 154 Lancaster County residents who work there have tested positive, along with 88 relatives or close contacts.

Local hospitals were treating 39 COVID-19 patients Wednesday, including 17 from Lancaster County, and nine patients needed ventilators, Lopez said.

The health department also reported that 63 Lancaster County residents known to have contracted the coronavirus have fully recovered.

Health department epidemiologist Raju Kakarlapudi said contact tracers deemed someone fully recovered from the virus if they had tested negative twice consecutively or gone 28 days without symptoms since their onset of coronavirus symptoms.

Nurses at the health department continue to follow up with people who are nearing the 28-day window to assess their condition, so the number of recoveries is expected to rise considerably, he said.

Lancaster County confirms 3rd death from coronavirus; 18 new cases reported
Majority of COVID-19 cases found disproportionately in Lancaster County's Asian, Hispanic communities
Tyson reports 212 COVID-19 cases at its Madison plant
Lincoln Airport sees one day's worth of passengers in month of April

Photos: Lincoln during the pandemic

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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