Nebraska is reactivating the patient transfer center program used during last year’s COVID-19 surge.
Gov Pete Ricketts says the state has a $200,000 a month contract with Nomi Health, creator of the TestNebraska program, to offer call centers that overcrowded hospitals can contact when they need to transfer patients elsewhere.
The around-the-clock call centers will serve as coordinators for in-state hospitals to try to keep them from getting overwhelmed, at a cost of $200,000 a month.
77% of Nebraska’s adult ICU beds and 72% of regular adult hospital beds are currently full as the recent upswing in COVID hospitalizations hit while non-COVID cases are up sharply – largely because of last year’s ban on elective surgeries during the coronavirus surge.
The governor also announced monoclonal antibody treatments will now be available to more COVID patients. The treatments don’t prevent the virus, but lessen the impact on those already infected by about 70%.
State Chief Medical Officer Dr Gary Anthone said the expanded eligibility for the treatments is possible in part because a third monoclonal antibody manufacturer has been approved to go into full-scale production.