Ricketts shares plans for long-term care facilities

Posted at 2:04 PM, May 15, 2020

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Friday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and other officials held a coronavirus briefing.

The governor started things off by talking about testing sites opening up in Lexington and Norfolk and asked people to sign up at to help prevent the spread.

Ricketts said Nebraskans are doing a good job of not overwhelming hospitals, saying plenty of resources remain available for potential coronavirus patients.

When it comes to outbreaks at long-term care facilities, the governor and Department of Health and Human Services representative Rebecca Wisell said the state is working with facilities statewide to develop coronavirus preparedness plans.

Some of the things addressed by the plans are:

  • Rapid identification of infected residents
  • Preventing the spread if it is identified in a resident or staff member
  • PPE supply management and knowing how to request more from the Department of Health and Human Services if necessary
  • How to disinfect facilities
  • Surge capacity management and capacity
  • Mental healthcare for residents and staff

The department believes having a coronavirus-preparedness plan in place, and reviewing it, can help identify weaknesses so that adjustments can be made to better protect staff and residents. It is also believed the plans will help the overall fight against COVID-19.

Every facility is expected to provide a plan to the Department of Health and Human Services.

When asked about testing every long-term care resident, Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Gary J. Anthone, M.D. said it would only reveal whether they had it at that time, ignoring the fact that it could still be contracted later.

You can watch the briefing below:

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