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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts issued a public health order on Friday barring the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha from performing scheduled, non-emergency surgeries, one day after the hospital announced that it had activated its crisis plan because of the pandemic.Ricketts said the would take effect at 5 p.m. Friday and remain in place through Feb. 13. It applies to what are known as Class C, D and E inpatient and outpatient surgeries, which aren't as pressing as emergency procedures.The Nebraska Medical Center is one of two hospitals within Nebraska Medicine, a nonprofit that said Thursday that it was shifting to a “crisis standard of care” because of the coronavirus' omicron variant, which has led to a surge in infected patients.In its announcement, the hospital system said surgeries might be postponed, appointments might need to be rescheduled and patients might end up getting care in classrooms or conference rooms. The state's new directed health measure restricts some of the Nebraska Medical Center's discretion on the lower-tier surgeries, making clear that they must be postponed.The order still allows doctors to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to perform surgeries that are necessary to preserve a patient's health but aren't needed immediately.Hub peek embed (Coronaviruspandemic) - Compressed layout (automatic embed)“Hospitals that decide to operate under a crisis standard of care should not be performing non-emergency surgeries,” Ricketts said in a news release. “Today's (directed health measure) makes sure the Nebraska Medical Center remains focused on prioritizing care for patients with the most urgent medical needs.”In a statement, Nebraska Medicine spokesman Taylor Wilson said the measures the hospital system enacted were already in line with the governor's order.“The actions we are taking ensure we are prioritizing care for patients with the most urgent medical needs,” Wilson said. “As outlined in the directed health measure, our...
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