‘Obviously there’s some concern’: Bryan Health officials weigh in on reopening in Lincoln
"We completely understand everybody's urging to get back out there," said Bob Ravenscroft, Bryan Health's vice president of advancement. "Obviously there's some concern."
With city leaders announcing Thursday that restrictions in Lincoln will be backed off starting May 11, many people are split about whether or not that’s the move.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird expressed her disappointment with Governor Pete Rickett’s announcement that he would not entertain further extension of the directed health measure for Lancaster County.
“Our goal, to be clear, has always been to be working in sync with the State to protect the public,” Gaylor Baird said.
Bryan Health officials offered their two cents Friday morning in a virtual press briefing.
“We completely understand everybody’s urging to get back out there,” said Bob Ravenscroft, Bryan Health’s vice president of advancement. “Obviously there’s some concern.”
Before the decision was announced Thursday afternoon, Dr. Bill Johnson, a pulmonologist at Bryan Health, spoke passionately about the risk the community still faces.
“I know there are people who don’t want to wear a mask. I know there are people that are willing. I’m pleading with you – we have to take care of each other,” he said. “Think about your neighbor, think about your family.”
Ravenscroft said Bryan is participating in an “all-out effort” to raise awareness about the importance of wearing face masks.
“That’s going to be one of the last lines of defense as we open up,” he said. “It’s going to be the personal responsibility everyone takes.”
John Woodrich, CEO of Bryan Medical Center, said health officials have been working along state leaders to look at the potential of “what could occur.” He says they’re focus is on educating people about potential risks that could come if people decide to stop following health guidelines.
“If people just feel everything is okay and we’re back to normal then we’re going to have an issue on our hands,” he said. “If we start to see it getting out of control we’re going to have to pull back again.”
Woodrich pointed to Douglas County, which began its reopening process last week, citing south Omaha specifically as an area that is “becoming a hot spot.” Woodrich says local leaders have been in dialogue with business owners about what is being done and why certain decisions are being made.
“They’re bringing all the stakeholders to the table,” he said.