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New round of health restrictions takes effect in Nebraska

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Posted at 9:43 AM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 10:43:56-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — New Directed Health Measures, aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Nebraska, take effect Wednesday amid another surge of cases and hospitalizations.

The measures are to be followed through Nov. 30 and they include one measure that could leave some state hospitals scrambling.

Hospitals will have to keep at least 10% of their Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds empty if they want to perform elective surgeries.

Right now, CHI Health Systems reports having the most COVID-19 patients since the pandemic started and officials expect that increase to continue.

"Back in July, we were actually down in the 50's," said CHI Health CEO Dr. Cliff Robertson. "So, over the last couple of months, it's been a slow and steady increase to the point where we find ourselves today."

To help stay ahead of the new state requirements, CHI Health is working with at least four companies to bring in additional staff.

3 News Now Anchor Jennifer Griswold outlined all the changes as Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts delivered the news Friday, October 16.