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Ricketts Monitoring Rise in COVID Cases, Hospitalizations; No Changes to DHMs

Ricketts Monitoring Rise in COVID Cases, Hospitalizations; No Changes to DHMs

Nebraska’s governor Wednesday said the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 in the state is being watched closely, but did not say he was ready to make any changes to the Directed Health Measures currently in place.

During a news conference in Lincoln, Pete Ricketts said with the state at a high of 315 current virus-related hospitalizations, state health officials are monitoring the impact on Nebraska’s health care facilities. “Dr. (Gary) Antoine continues to engage all the hospital systems with regard to their capacity,” said Ricketts. “To put it in perspective, that’s a little bit under 8 percent of our total hospital beds in the state, and of course, we’re going to continue evaluate the actions and steps we’re taking going forward. So, we’ll continue to monitor that situation.”

When asked if it’s time to reimpose stricter limits on crowd sizes, Ricketts said officials are looking at the data from contract tracing, and in general, the new cases do not seem to be coming specifically from larger gatherings.

The governor does say his office is looking at how to provide additional help to hospitals, but details have yet to be fully development on that plan.

Ricketts also said when it comes to typical fall activities such as tail-gating before a ball game or trick-or-treating, they can’t be done as they have in the past and need to be managed. “What we’ve seen be successful in other venues, like the Burwell Rodeo…. you can  manage this in a way to make sure you’re spreading people out, keeping family groups together, cohorting people, temperature checks, masks; these are all the sort of things that will mitigate the spread of the virus so you can still do these events, but you have to make adjustments.”

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