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The sharp drop in COVID-19 cases in nursing homes is now not only saving lives, it’s helping residents reconnect with the loved ones they’ve been isolated from for more than a year.

A man in his 70s who had been hospitalized has died from COVID-19, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department said in a news release Thursday.

That brings the county's death toll to 229.

The Health Department also reported 49 new cases Thursday, bringing the county's total to 30,044.

Lincoln hospitals cared for 29 COVID-19 patients Thursday, including 24 from Lancaster County. One patient was on a ventilator.

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