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Midlands Voices: Nebraska hospitals to face yet another unprecedented challenge
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Midlands Voices: Nebraska hospitals to face yet another unprecedented challenge

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Hospitals Are Rationing COVID Pills, Infusions as Cases Rise

With COVID-19 and the omicron variant now rapidly spreading, our Nebraska hospitals and healthcare professionals are facing multiple challenges that are having profound impacts on our healthcare delivery system in the state.

Significant staffing shortages, a very limited availability of beds, and health-care professionals experiencing high levels of emotional and physical exhaustion are all combining to make the next few weeks a challenge that our hospitals have not seen in our lifetimes.

Can you imagine needing intensive care for a loved one, but are told that care is not available or you’ll just have to wait? We are sounding the alarm as loudly as possible before our hospitals and healthcare professionals become completely inundated and overwhelmed. Some projections show we will double the number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals over the next few weeks if we don’t take corrective action now.

Vaccines continue to remain the No. 1 preventative measure to combat this deadly virus. We need every eligible Nebraskan to get fully vaccinated and boosted to protect each other, especially those who are the most vulnerable. The more Nebraskans who are vaccinated, the less chance the virus will spread and the lower the chance of hospitalization. In fact, if you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you are 36 times less likely to be hospitalized.

Wearing masks indoors and avoiding large indoor gatherings are also proven ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This means wearing a mask at the grocery store, church, restaurants and sporting events. If you suspect even the mildest symptoms (congestion, sore throat, cough, fever), stay home. Work remotely if possible. Do everything within your power to prevent further spread.

We recognize the fatigue that everyone feels as we enter the third, unprecedented year of this pandemic; however, now is not the time to let down our guard. It’s more important than ever to take preventative measures and look out for one another.

Our healthcare professionals are all working around the clock to care for and treat patients. We can defeat this virus if we all just work together and take the actions needed. Get your shot; wear a mask, social distance. Help us preserve “The Good Life.”

Jeremy Nordquist is president of the Nebraska Hospital Association; Amy Reynoldson is executive vice president of the Nebraska Medical Association; Annette Dubas is executive director of the Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations.

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