As COVID-19 hospitalizations increase in Nebraska, metro Omaha, health systems plan for surge | Live Well


Hospital officials are not sounding the alarm, however.

Dr. Cliff Robertson, CHI Health’s chief executive, said Thursday that if needed, his health system has the ability to nearly double its capacity to 2,000 beds. Robertson said CHI Health hospitals also could increase the number of intensive care beds by using post-op recovery rooms and operating rooms.

“As a health system, we still have plenty of capacity,” he said.

Officials with Methodist Health System said they have plans in place for potential patient surges related to COVID-19.

“We’re all seeing an uptick in COVID-19 numbers across the communities we serve,” said Steve Goeser, president and CEO of the health system, “and our planning and preparedness continues.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cory Shaw, chief operating officer for Nebraska Medicine’s hospital and clinics, said, “Obviously, we’re concerned. But as of right now, we are in a good place in terms of managing that need.”

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has a 66% occupancy rate. The hospital, on average, has had one to two patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at any given time, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Officials at the pediatric hospital already are preparing for a winter surge of patients because of seasonal respiratory illnesses. Children’s plan allows for expanded bed capacity with room sharing and the potential to convert playrooms into overflow rooms.

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