Governor Ricketts Provides Statewide Hospital Capacity Numbers, Personal Protective Equipment Distribution

Governor Ricketts Provides Statewide Hospital Capacity Numbers, Personal Protective Equipment Distribution
Courtesy of office of Governor Ricketts.

LINCOLN – A weekly press briefing was hosted earlier this week in the Governor’s Hearing Room in the Nebraska State Capitol.

Wednesday’s event highlighted the creation of an all-hazards incident management team.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts began by reminding Nebraskans to follow the rules of social distancing.

“Wearing a mask when you go to a store, washing your hands often,” said Ricketts. “All those things will help us be able to continue to manage this virus. If you see a crowded bar or a restaurant, good opportunity to go to another one. This virus spreads from one person to another, so avoiding large crowds will be one of the ways to help slow the spread of the virus.”

Earlier this week the hospital capacity was at 38% of beds available, 34% of ICU beds and 83% of the state’s ventilators available. Test Nebraska has also seen over 333,000 people sign up for the assessment.

Most of the Nebraska health districts are in phase three but will be moving into phase four of the state’s Directed Health Measure on Monday, September 14 with the exception of Lancaster County. Outdoor venues will be able to have 100% capacity and indoor venues at 75% but large events of 500 people or more will have to submit a plan to the local public health director.

Governor Ricketts also added the state of Nebraska has purchased over $36,600,000 of personal protective equipment (PPE) issuing it to the local health departments. The health departments then distributed the PPE to first responders, healthcare workers, long-term care facilities, dentist offices and more.

“So, over the course of the pandemic we have distributed over 11 million masks,” Ricketts added. “That includes 2.4 million of the KN95 masks, it includes 5.6 million of the disposable surgical masks and 3.1 million of the cloth masks.”

Other PPE sent out includes 10.4 million sets of gloves, 2.2 million gowns, over 34,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and over 120,000 containers of the disinfectant wipes.

Major General Daryl L. Bohac, NEMA Director, NEMA Assistant Director Bryan Tuma, State Fire Marshal Chris Cantrell and Nebraska State Forester John Erixson also joined the governor during the press briefing.

Governor Ricketts also stated flags will fly at half-staff to honor fallen police officer, Mario Herrera through Saturday. Herrera was an investigator with the Lincoln Police Department.

Flags will fly at half-staff starting immediately and until sunset on Saturday, September 12, 2020.  Flags flying at half-staff on Friday will also honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.