‘We’re going to need those beds’: Bryan experts share concern over surging COVID-19 cases

Bryan Health officials on Tuesday expressed concern about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Nebraska. 
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Bryan Health officials on Tuesday expressed concern about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Nebraska.

As of Monday, Nebraska had the fifth-highest rate of new cases in the country.

The case surge brings concerns over the availability of hospital beds for sick patients.

Last week, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced changes the state directed health measure to help preserve hospital capacity.

Health officials say the pandemic is now widespread across the state, including in rural areas where positivity rates are “well above” the rates New York City was seeing at its peak in early April.

“What’s happening in rural Nebraska is certainly some concerning spread right now,” said Bob Ravenscroft, Bryan Health’s vice president of advancement.

Officials say cases often come several weeks before hospitalizations and deaths, and that the full effects of the current case load may not be felt immediately.

Dr. John Trapp with Bryan Health said models suggest up three more weeks of surging cases, during which time there will be increased demand for hospital beds.

“We’re going to need those beds,” he said.

Bryan has seen a noticeable increase in patient mortality recently, with 25 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 30 days. Before that, they had seen 22 deaths.

“Those are 25 families that have an empty seat at a table,” Ravenscroft said.

Lancaster County health officials reported two more COVID-19 deaths on Monday.

Despite the increase in cases, Bryan officials say they remain committed to taking in all patients needing care.

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