Ricketts to relax 1st coronavirus restriction on surgeries

Latest on state's response
Pete Ricketts
Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:19:44-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced that elective surgeries will be allowed in the state starting on May 4.

Vet, eye care and dentist services will also be allowed at this time, along with eye appointments.

In order to be allowed to do surgeries, health care providers must have 30 percent of their hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators available.

He says the state can do this because there is plenty of hospital space.

“You look around the state and you see hospital utilization, we’re not seeing that it’s being overwhelmed and so we believe we have the ability to loosen up some restrictions, with those caveats," says Ricketts.

Additionally, Gov. Ricketts announced a Health Alert Network Advisory that will loosen testing restrictions, allowing healthcare providers to decide if a person can get a test.

Oil prices have also hit record lows on Monday, with Gov. Ricketts adding that it could hurt Nebraska's ethanol/agriculture industry.

You can watch the briefing below:

You can find all our coronavirus coverage here.

Coronavirus Resources and Information

Johns Hopkins global coronavirus tracker