LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Regional Health Coalition confirmed late this morning that there are six cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in southeast Nebraska.
Officials held a Zoom question and answer session early this afternoon to discuss the cases. At this time, it is believed the confirmed cases of the omicron variant are linked together as a result of household exposure to a single individual's recent travel to Nigeria. The infected individual became symptomatic during the Thanksgiving holiday last month.
Watch the press conference below or on our Facebook page.
In a press release, the state's epidemiologist reacted to the news.
“In Nebraska, we have learned how to balance living a more normal life while protecting our healthcare system,” said DHHS Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue. “Coronavirus will continue to be with us forever. That’s why we’ll continue that balance while also urging everyone to get vaccinated."
The press release also noted that only one of six of the individuals infected with the omicron variant had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Pete Ricketts released a statement on Friday afternoon responding to the identification of the new variant in the state.
Ricketts said the state wouldn't follow recommendations from the Biden Administration or the Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci, calling the White House policies "draconian."
In a separate press conference on Friday, CHI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carey Ward expressed concern about the high occupancy of staffed hospital beds including ICU beds in our area: Dr. Carey Ward, CHI Health Chief Medical Officer talks hospital capacity