Bryan Health has been gradually ramping up how many elective surgeries it's been taking on since resuming procedures on May 4.
The hospital began with outpatient and short-stay procedures in order to keep beds and staffing free to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Kate Rosenberger said Friday.
With enough personal protective equipment on hand, and due to the success of social distancing efforts in Lincoln, Rosenberger said Bryan plans to resume fully elective procedures beginning in June.
Rosenberger, an ear, nose and throat specialist, has worked with surgeons from different specialties and Bryan administrators on new guidelines based on those set by the American College of Surgeons and Gov. Pete Ricketts for resuming surgeries in the coming weeks.
Bryan will continue to screen patients before they come into the hospital for symptoms, potential exposure and recent travel, Rosenberger said.
The hospital is also requiring all patients and employees to wear masks, which Rosenberger called a effective way at decreasing transmission of COVID-19.
Doctors wear N95 masks and face shields, or personal respiratory devices — the spacesuit-resembling equipment — during surgeries.
"Talking to my colleagues around the country, this is not always the case," Rosenberger said about the availability of the devices. "We are really fortunate to have access to those. That really keeps patients and staff safe in those high-risk procedures."
Finally, any patient receiving an elective procedure will first get a coronavirus test and be asked to self-isolate from the time of testing to when they arrive at the hospital for their operation.
Rosenberger said the tests help the hospital identify asymptomatic carriers of the disease. Anyone who tests positive won't be operated on.
Although the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise — 1,102 of the 8,208 people tested by Bryan have come back positive, a 13.5% positive rate, with 394 tests pending — other health issues requiring surgeries continue to exist, she said.
"Overall, the vast majority of patients who are hospitalized right now are not for COVID, they are for other medical reasons," Rosenberger said.
As of Friday, there were 439 people hospitalized at Bryan campuses. Only 28 of those were coronavirus-related, including 10 in intensive care units.
"I think it's really important for people to remember there are medical issues out there that need to be treated in a time-sensitive fashion, that need to be addressed and could potentially get worse if we don't operate," Rosenberger said.
"We need to be able to do these surgeries safely and proceed in a manner that is safe for patients and surgeons and staff."
Latest updates on coronavirus in Lincoln and nearby
See the latest news as more coronavirus cases are identified in Nebraska.
Journal Star photographers have captured life in the city for the past month with some activities going on as usual but many sights out of the norm.
From Christmas lights in Minden to a COVID-19 test relay by the State Patrol, many people have stepped up to spread cheer and kindness in Linc…
She wants people to realize how serious the disease is: "I don't want anyone to go through what my family did or experience the heartache that other families have."
In response to a request from the Journal Star, Bryan Health on Tuesday provided numbers on how many patients have entered the hospital and how many have left.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Thursday that the state has begun to "plan for kids to come back to school in the fall" and launched conversations on when it would be safe to move ahead with the resumption of youth sports.
Among the changes the company is instituting are providing face coverings and requiring employees to wear them, making time clocks touchless and monitoring employees for fever.
Local officials expect the number of positive cases of the virus in the Lincoln area to continue to rise as testing capacity has expanded.
The Elton John concert scheduled for Pinnacle Bank Arena on June 9 has been postponed and is being rescheduled for 2021, although no new date has been set.
"They’re all at risk of you not seeing them when you come in for shift change the next day, because they could have died.”
After seeing his handiwork, some of his neighbors have asked him to paint murals on their fences. "I feel like it gives good vibes in the neighborhood."
At least one Nebraska health department says it will no longer report COVID-19 case numbers linked to specific meatpacking plants after Gov. Pete Ricketts raised health privacy concerns.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday the state stands prepared to launch accelerated testing with the purchase of 540,000 tests.
Bryan Health said Wednesday that it has started treating COVID-19 patients with blood plasma from people who have recovered from the disease.
The organizer of the Corona Cruz expects at least 65 cars to join his rolling car show through Lincoln on Saturday.
On Thursday, during both National Nurses Week and National Hospitals Week, the selfie walls were installed at both Bryan East and Bryan West Campus hospitals.
One specialist referenced charts showing that the risk of disease transmission can be high even for someone wearing a mask if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19 who is not wearing a mask.
Lincoln and Lancaster County will implement eased restrictions beginning Monday, after Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and her health director reluctantly agreed to adopt the plans Gov. Pete Ricketts sought.
In the latest state figures, Hall, Dawson and Dakota counties -- all home to packing plants -- accounted for half of the state's 2,124 confirmed coronavirus cases.
What she called a party was more of a parade Thursday, as Imogene Hostetler was wheeled from the sixth floor of CHI St. Elizabeth to the front entrance.
Lincoln's traffic decreases have grown steadily larger since mid-March, but this week's drop is the most significant.
Results from testing for coronavirus at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center-Kearney this week showed three male youths were positive for the virus.
The Lincoln man who was the city's first death from coronavirus was in his 50s and had an underlying health condition, city officials said Wednesday afternoon.
The plan to open classrooms acknowledges the possibility that class sizes may need to be reduced or adjustments may be required to class schedules in order to accommodate social distancing recommendations.
The Lancaster County Agricultural Society voted this week to focus efforts on the 800 youth exhibitors who annually bring 5,000 entries to the fair.
It's unclear when restaurant and other restrictions will be lifted in Lancaster County. The current directed health measure covering the Lincoln area runs through May 6.
Jenny Michener was feted by a drive-thru party celebrating her graduation from Lincoln Southeast on a day devoted to grads.
The Nebraska National Guard has been actively engaged on the front lines of the state's battle against the coronavirus.
Church leaders in Nebraska are used to making tough decisions for their congregations. But now, in the midst of a pandemic, churches must weigh their congregants' spiritual nourishment against a risk to their physical health.
More than 3,000 high school seniors in Lincoln are graduating into a world nobody’s navigated before, staring into a pandemic that has closed schools, slashed families’ economic security and, for many graduates, changed their college plans.
NU athletic director Bill Moos knows he and his staff will be judged on how they handle their business during the pandemic. So far, so good.
David Graff works remotely these days, as do the hundreds who call Hudl's high-tech headquarters in the Haymarket their workplace.
Intensive care hospital beds at less than 20% available.
At this point, Bill Moos says, he can't say for certain that Nebraska will play all — or even any — of its non-conference games.
Retirement didn't last long for former Lincoln Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Despain.
Five Lincoln public pools — Arnold Heights, Ballard, Belmont, Irvingdale and Woods — will open to the public in a limited capacity on June 15.
Moos said Nebraska's plan for bringing student-athletes back to campus is detailed and thorough enough that the Big Ten requested that it be shared with other schools in the conference.
Two dozen of the area's most popular parks, like Branched Oak, Pawnee and Platte, remain closed to tent camping.
Lost revenue and potential future impacts on state funding led UNL to freeze salaries for the year, Chancellor Ronnie Green said.
Medical professionals acknowledge the pressure from both sides about reopening, and the effects of economic turmoil. But health effects of the disease and deaths are equally important, they say.
Catholic churches will not be holding Mass on Sunday and most of the city’s Protestant churches will not be reopening, even though they are allowed to do so under statewide rules.
As more parking spots open up, more Lincoln residents are hitting city parks.
The governor was ready for questions from constituents Thursday night at an NET News town hall.
Lincoln funeral homes are staggering visitations and live-streaming services in the time of coronavirus.
Residents watched and listened from their apartments and the balconies overlooking the center’s courtyard.
"We are seeing up to 75 to 100 a day, which is an increase from what we typically see of 10 to 15 a day," Chief Deputy Todd Duncan said Wednesday.
One man reported the domestic violence class he had to attend, and another person reported too many people and pets inside PetSmart.
The Meeting Place, which had hosted nearly 60 12-step recovery meetings every week, closed due to coronavirus precautions. But a Lincoln church opened its doors to more meetings.
The county's report comes on the heels of a round of testing for all workers at Tyson’s Dakota City plant. The county's total is now the highest in the state.
We're putting together a list of businesses that are reopening in the Lincoln area. Let us know your plans by emailing email@example.com.
Have you been out cruising on O Street on Friday and Saturday nights?
While facing technological, social and financial challenges, the percentage of students who did at least some coursework ranged from 44% at North Star to 90% at Southwest, and most schools had less than 60% of students engaging, according to rough estimates.
The city begins its new directed health measure on Monday. It runs through June 30.
Lincoln needs to outlaw price-gouging during emergencies such as this pandemic, City Councilman James Michael Bowers said Monday.
For Marci Davison of Carmela's, and other Lincoln business owners, reopening after a trying six weeks marked a milestone of sorts.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in Nebraska reached the century mark on Monday, with deaths reported in hard-hit Douglas, Hall and Dawson counties.
Lincoln city officials reported 40 more COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the county total to 647.
Gov. Pete Ricketts called the suggestion "ludicrous."
This columnist isn't ready to dine out yet, and some local venues aren't ready to have customers in the door yet, either. Find out who's in and who is waiting for COVID-19 cases to dwindle.
An inmate assigned to the Community Corrections Center-Omaha tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Nebraskans should expect some social distancing standards to continue through and beyond summer.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said while the city has relatively few positive cases compared to others based on population, health officials do expect to see more cases in the coming days.
"I thought it was a great message," said Paige Duncan, adding that she thinks it's one that connects with a lot of people right now.
Police and sheriff's deputies in the Lincoln area are continuing to be called to more mental health calls, the suspected result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Friday, Bryan had five patients in its hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13 patients with suspected cases who are awaiting test results.
By the close of business Tuesday, Nebraska is scheduled to have in hand an additional 30,000 coronavirus test kits and four machines capable of processing them as part of the Test Nebraska initiative.
Promoting extra space between parishioners in church pews and holding more Sunday Masses could keep large crowds from becoming a public health problem inside Lincoln's churches, a local priest said Saturday.
Lincoln police didn't write any tickets for a violation of Lancaster County's directed health measure, according to city officials.
The 63 documented recoveries were first reported Wednesday, when the health department also added 23 new cases to its total.
The Lincoln Children’s Zoo expected 2020 to be the first year it stayed open from beginning to end.
The Sioux City metropolitan area — including Dakota County in Nebraska, tucked on the bluffs of the Missouri River — has the fastest growth of coronavirus cases in the U.S.
Nebraska lost more than 6,400 jobs in March, $17.2 million in wages and $2.2 million in self-employment income, the report estimates.
A study by Kaiser Health News resulted in this headline in the Daily Beast that stirred internet traffic: "Nebraska getting $300G in federal money for each coronavirus case while NY gets $12G."
A number of businesses in Lincoln either just opened in the past few weeks or were scheduled to open soon are now faced with tough decisions about what to do in the face of restrictions on people being together.
From the DoorDash driver to the cleaning service owner to the speed trainer for former Huskers, see how jobs and routines have been dramatical…
The uncertainty of an unprecedented global pandemic has changed everything for the more than 3,000 high school seniors in Lincoln’s schools.
Nebraska Medicine ear, nose and throat specialist Christie Barnes says over the past couple weeks UNMC has seen more patients that complain of loss of sense of smell with minimal additional symptoms of COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has put plenty of aspects of life on hold, but at least one Lincoln couple refused to let social distancing stop them from taking their vows this week.
Bryan Health officials said Monday that they are getting COVID-19 test results back much faster than they were a couple of weeks ago.