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Ricketts: Covid Red Zone Approaching

Lincoln, NE (November 23, 2020) Governor Pete Ricketts did not say IF we reach the “Red” zone on his Covid-19 chart.  He said it would likely be reached soon, perhaps even this week.  “It” is the point at which 25% of the State’s Hospital in-patients are being treated for Covid-19.  When “It” occurs will be followed quickly by additional Statewide restrictions.

If, or when, the 25% threshold is hit, a new directed health measure would limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people. It would close bars to inside service and allow delivery and takeout only.  It would hold wedding and funeral receptions to the 10-person limit and postpone any elective surgery that can be delayed without endangering the well being of the patient.

More of the Governor’s comments:

  • Everything we have been doing has been to protect our hospital system to make sure people get the care they need.
  • We are in a very serious chapter in the pandemic.
  • As I’ve announced, if Nebraska reaches 25% of staffed hospital beds with coronavirus patients in them, we’ll move into the “red” phase.  This means additional restrictions will take effect to help protect our hospital capacity.
  • So far, we have been able to provide hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators to anyone who needs care.  If trends continue, Nebraska will reach a point where that’s no longer possible.
  • Let’s all do our part to slow the spread so that we can protect our hospitals and help our healthcare workers.

Dr. Gary Anthone, the State’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of the DHHS Division of Public Health, observed “Public Health Thank You Day” by expressing appreciation to the State’s public health workers and healthcare professionals.  The State Capitol will be illuminated in blue this evening as a display of gratitude for their work to help Nebraskans stay healthy during the pandemic.

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