Gov. Ricketts, DHHS Announce Creation of Transfer Center for Hospitals

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts held an afternoon press briefing to discuss the State’s work with hospitals to set up a statewide patient transfer plan.  The state did similar coordination during the peak of the pandemic in November 2020.  Given the staffing shortages hospitals are facing, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with them to re-institute the transfer plan to ensure robust hospital capacity statewide.

DHHS Incident Commander Angie Ling joined the Governor to overview the State’s transfer center.  To help manage hospital bed capacity, the transfer center will be fully operational as of Saturday, September 4th.  Nurses manning the center will be available 24/7 to help Nebraska hospitals locate available beds for patients needing to transfer to a higher level of care.

Dr. Gary Anthone, the State’s Chief Medical Officer, also took part in today’s briefing to provide information on monoclonal antibody treatments.  Monoclonal antibodies are manmade, synthesized proteins that neutralize the COVID-19 virus to prevent the disease’s progression.  Monoclonal antibody therapy can be beneficial for two groups of people.  First, the treatments have been shown to reduce hospitalizations among symptomatic individuals who are 12 years of age or older, are deemed to be at high-risk from COVID-19, are within 10 days of getting sick, and are not yet hospitalized or requiring oxygen.  Second, for individuals 12+, at elevated risk from coronavirus, and not fully vaccinated or immunosuppressed, the treatments have reduced the risk of developing COVID-19 when taken soon after close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19.  Dr. Anthone encouraged Nebraskans to visit covid.infusioncenter.org to find a map of medical facilities offering monoclonal antibody treatments.

Gov. Ricketts announced that over one million Nebraskans have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.  He urged Nebraskans to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already done so, and to consult a doctor with any questions about the vaccines.

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