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Private partnerships help Nebraska secure medical supplies

Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 19:23:06-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Over the last few days, health departments across the state have been receiving masks and gloves, all for medical personnel to use to fight COVID-19.

“ We’re going to redistribute that back out to our local health department so that they can supply whomever is in greater need in their community,” says Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.

97,000 M-95 masks and 500,000 gloves were bought from money that the Nebraska Legislature opened up from the state’s rainy day fund last month.

Other state governors, like Andrew Cuomo in New York, have complained about competing for the same medical equipment.

Ricketts says private partnerships have helped his administration gain access to the equipment.

“When we’ve been most successful is when we can work with a trusted partner like Werner Enterprises, who can be able to connect us to people who have the supplies, the materials, we’re looking for,” says Ricketts.

He did say he’s continuing to seek out ventilators and other medical equipment, which isn’t easy during these times.

“Certainly we’ve had frustrations where shipments we thought we had purchased, disappeared, didn’t show up, weren’t delivered. I think that’s happened to some of my colleagues in other states,” says Ricketts.

Ricketts also said the state isn’t testing at its full daily capacity because they want to save tests for when they need to do mass testing, like they did this weekend at the YRTC in Kearney.