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Transfer center will be established to move patients between Nebraska hospitals

Bryan Health
Bryan Health(10/11)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:13 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Wednesday afternoon, Governor Pete Ricketts announced a transfer center will be established to move patients to other Nebraska hospitals easier, similar to the coordination during the peak of the pandemic in November 2020.

Given the staffing shortages hospitals are facing, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with them to re-institute the transfer plan to ensure robust hospital capacity statewide.

To help manage hospital bed capacity, the transfer center will be fully operational Saturday.  Nurses manning the center will be available 24/7 to help Nebraska hospitals locate available beds for patients needing to transfer to a higher level of care.

Dr. Gary Anthone, the State’s Chief Medical Officer, also took part in Wednesday’s press briefing to provide information on monoclonal antibody treatments.  Monoclonal antibodies are manmade, synthesized proteins that neutralize the COVID-19 virus to prevent the disease’s progression.  He said monoclonal antibody therapy can be beneficial for two groups of people.  First, the treatments have been shown to reduce hospitalizations among symptomatic individuals who are 12 years of age or older, are deemed to be at high-risk from COVID-19, are within 10 days of getting sick, and are not yet hospitalized or requiring oxygen.  Second, for individuals 12+, at elevated risk from coronavirus, and not fully vaccinated or immunosuppressed, the treatments have reduced the risk of developing COVID-19 when taken soon after close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19.  Dr. Anthone encouraged Nebraskans to visit covid.infusioncenter.org to find a map of medical facilities offering monoclonal antibody treatments.

Gov. Ricketts announced that over one million Nebraskans have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.  He urged Nebraskans to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already done so, and to consult a doctor with any questions about the vaccines.

Thursday, the governor announced an executive order to waive licensing requirements for hospitals in order to streamline authorization of credentials for retired or inactive healthcare professionals, deferring continuing education requirements, and suspending statutes around new healthcare providers who are seeking a license, among other provisions.

He also put a directed health measure into effect Monday eliminating “D- and E-class” elective surgeries. The DHM expires at the end of September.

WOWT contributed to this report.

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