NORTH PLATTE., Neb. (AP) — A longtime North Platte doctor is one of the latest COVID-19 casualties in the state, with his death coming as officials confirmed more than 38,000 cases of the virus in Nebraska.

Dr. Leland Lamberty died Saturday after weeks of fighting the virus, the North Platte Telegraph reported. Lamberty was hospitalized in late August with the virus and was put on a ventilator about a week before his death.

Lamberty was a physician at Great Plains Health hospital and Great Plains Family Medicine clinic in North Platte. Lamberty was believed to have contracted the virus through community spread, hospital officials said. He always wore personal protective equipment while serving patients throughout the pandemic, hospital officials said.

“He was a visionary, a mentor and a friend to many," Great Plains Health CEO Mel McNea said. "He truly loved practicing medicine and serving his patients, and it showed.”

News of his death comes as the state’s online virus tracker reported 38,335 confirmed cases and 435 COVID-19 deaths in Nebraska since the beginning of the outbreak. The state saw 962 positive cases since Friday, according to the site.

The seven-day average of daily new cases in Nebraska has risen to 329 in the last seven days from an average of nearly 282 per day the week prior, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracking project.

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