LINCOLN - The state Department of Health and Human Services reports 108 influenza cases per 100,000 in population in Southeast Nebraska.

It is the highest rate in Nebraska, except for Douglas County.

Sarpy/Cass has a rate of 54 and Lancaster County 87.

The number of school absences with  flu like illness rose above 2,500 in the state by Dec. 1.

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department reported its first flu-related death of the season on Friday. It was a man over the age of 65.

Nationally, hospitalizations for COVID-19 have risen over 30 percent in the last two weeks impacting older adults in nursing homes.

The national average of vaccinations nationally is about 50 percent, but Southeast District Health Department says seniors here are vaccinated at a rate of 83 percent.