Omaha and Lincoln could become the next hot spots, some say

Posted at 11:07 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 20:16:04-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Although Nebraska does not have nearly as many cases as other states, the New York Times recently reported that Omaha and Lincoln could become the next hot spots.

The data suggests that Lincoln has an average daily growth rate of nearly 12%, with Omaha just below that at 8%.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Dean of the College of Public Health says Nebraska has not quite flattened the curve, even as the state starts to reopen.

"There's a risk, you will get increased transmission in the community and you will see more cases,” said Dr. Ali Khan. “This is why there is that concern that if you open up without having that two weeks of decrease in cases, you are even more likely to have an increase in cases."

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says the state has plenty of open hospital beds and ventilators to handle more hospitalizations.

Dr. Khan adds, as Nebraska reopens, there needs to be more testing, contact tracing and protection for health care workers. He says implementing safety guidelines for long term care facilities, packing plants and schools is essential, as well. Khan says just because the states reopens, doesn't mean the pandemic is over.