Despite rising COVID-19 cases, Nebraska doctor doesn’t expect surges at hospitals
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – COVID-19 cases in Nebraska have been on the rise for the past six weeks. Despite this, a Lincoln doctor said he doesn’t expect any major surges at hospitals.
Dr. Jim Nora, a medical director at Bryan Health, spoke Monday about the recent increase in COVID-19 in Nebraska.
Nora said that after almost two years of the pandemic, hospitals are more prepared to fight surges. But staffing shortages across the state’s hospitals could cause problems.
“There is a statewide, and nationwide, a great shortage of health care workers,” Nora said. “I think that is the single biggest threat if there is another surge, and that’s something that all health care systems would have to deal with.”
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Nora believes that areas with low vaccination rates could be impacted most by a potential COVID-19 surge.
“I think the areas of greatest concern are in parts of the state that have seen low vaccination uptakes, and these are areas where there could be a surge and patients could end up hospitalized and end up having more serious consequences,” Nora said.
Last week, Lancaster County health officials announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial would move higher into the yellow category.
At this time, there are no mask mandates or directed health measures in place in the county.
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During the press conference, Nora also spoke about an uptick in monkeypox cases across the U.S.
The disease, which is similar to smallpox, can cause fever, rashes and swelling of the lymph nodes.
“From the perspective of the general public, I don’t think there is any reason for undue alarm right now,” Nora said. “I do think from a public health stand, it is important to keep a very close eye on this.”
While speaking in Tokyo, President Joe Biden said Monday that monkeypox was “something to be concerned about.”
But he does not think it should bring the levels of concern that existed with COVID-19.