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Ricketts sounds alarm as hospital beds fill
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Ricketts sounds alarm as hospital beds fill

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Anti-Gambling, 10.5

Gov. Pete Ricketts puts on a mask during a news conference regarding casino gambling on Oct. 5 at the state Capitol. 

This video graph tracks the seven-day average of positive cases, per 100,000 of population. The graph compares data for the USA, taken from the CDC; Nebraska, taken from DHHS, and Two Rivers’ website for its seven-county region.

Gov. Pete Ricketts has sounded the alarm about the increased spread of the coronavirus in Nebraska with a warning that "the situation in our hospitals is very serious" now.

"The coronavirus not only continues to spread in Nebraska, it has picked up steam," he said. 

Related: Do masks work? Data, doctors in Nebraska suggest they do

The governor addressed the challenge in his weekly column and accompanied it with a warning on Twitter. He will also speak during a previously scheduled news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday. 

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"So far, we have been able to provide hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators to anyone who needs care," he tweeted. "If trends continue, Nebraska will reach a point where that's no longer possible."

Ricketts said there's an urgent need now "for all of us to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread by using the tools we have to protect our health care system."

"It's critical that each person reduce their mobility and contact with others," he said.  

Ricketts, who has resisted a mandate directing Nebraskans to wear masks in public settings and in crowded situations, urged: "Keep 6 feet of distance from others. Wear a mask. Wash your hands often for 20 seconds at a time."

In addition, he said, "when possible, work remotely. Shop once a week and go alone rather than taking the kids with you. Stay at home when sick."

Avoid crowded places, close contacts and confined spaces, Ricketts urged.

Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore are in quarantine through Nov. 22 after possible exposure to COVID-19 during a small outdoor dinner gathering at their home this weekend.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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