Elective surgeries will resume at Lincoln’s hospitals on May 4th. It’s been over a month since non-emergency surgeries were discontinued because of COVID-19.

During Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird’s coronavirus briefing Tuesday, President of CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Nebraska Heart, Derek Vance, said that everyone who comes in for an elective procedure can expect to be tested for the virus.

“Knowing that they’re a non-positive COVID patient will help preserve PPE all the more,” said Vance. “We will start gradually as PPE allows to make sure that, as every hospital does, that as we begin these cases we do so in a way that does not put our PPE in jeopardy.”

Also included in the briefing was Bryan Health President and CEO Russ Gronewold.

“We’ll be starting with those cases that require no more than an overnight stay and have a very low risk of complication. Then every two weeks we will evaluate whether we can move to the next phase, which would be stays up to 48 hours,” said Gronewold.

Gronewold said that Bryan Health will make sure patients and staff dealing with coronavirus will be completely separate from everyone else.

The Mayor and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) also announced Tuesday that one new lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 has been reported in Lincoln.  The community total is now 157.

Visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov to access a dashboard that summarizes Lancaster County COVID-19 data. There is also a hotline for questions on COVID-19 at 402-441-8006.

If testing is recommended, individuals will be given an order and referred to one of the testing sites.  Only those with an order and referral from Bryan Health or CHI Health St. Elizabeth, or an order from their doctor are permitted at the drive-through sites.  Those who need assistance may contact the Health Department at 402-441-8006.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Those who experience these symptoms are urged to access drive-through testing offered by Bryan Health and CHI Health St. Elizabeth.  Residents begin this process with a free online risk assessment available at BryanHealth.com and CHIHealth.com.

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