Douglas County Health Department to announce new initiative to fight COVID-19 – KETV Omaha

Douglas County Health Department announces new initiative to fight COVID-19

Hide Transcript Show Transcript

THIS JAMES: GOOD MORNING TO YOU. WE ARE INTERRUPTING THIS MORNING TO SHARE WITH YOU A VIRTUAL NEWS CONFERENCE WITH MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS PRESENT A GNU CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THEY CALL IT “DO RIGHT, RIGHT NOW.” GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS AND OTHERS ARE TAKING PART. LET’S LISTEN IN. >> AT THE END OF PRESENTATIONS, YOU MAY EITHER TYPE YOUR QUESTIONS INTO Q&A, OR USE THE “RAISE YOUR HAND” FEATURE. THIS PRESENTATION WILL BE RECORDED AND A LINK WILL BE SENT TO ANYONE INTERESTED BIRD I WANT TO START BY THANKING ALL OF OUR PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS FOR DONATING THEIR TIME AND RESOURCES AND JOINING US IN THIS UNPRECEDENTED EFFORT TO DELIVER A POSITIVE AND IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL NEBRASKANS. EVERY ONE OF OUR PARTNERS UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF SHARING THIS CAMPAIGN WITH THEIR SUBSCRIBERS, FRIENDS, FAMILIES AND NEIGHBORS. A COMPLETE LIST OF PARTNERS MAY BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK — AND HIS TEAM FOR THEIR UNWAVERING SUPPORT AND DEDICATION TO MAKING THIS CAMPAIGN A REALITY. VIC AND HIS TEAM HAVE DONATED COUNTLESS HOURS TO CREATE A CAMPAIGN THAT WILL RESONATE WITH NEBRASKANS IN AN EFFORT TO PUT AN END TO THIS VIRUS. THIS CAMPAIGN COULD NOT HAVE STARTED AT A MORE CRITICAL TIME. DOUGLAS COUNTY AND THE ENTIRE STATE ARE SAYING THAT ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN COVID CASES — SEEING AN INCREASE IN COVID CASES. IN ORDER TO FIND — FIGHT THIS PANDEMIC, THE DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AT THE OMAHA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAVE TEAMED UP TO SUPPORT THIS UNIFIED CAMPAIGN. AS THE CAMPAIGN GROUP, LEADERS FROM OUTSIDE DOUGLAS COUNTY WERE BROUGHT INTO THE CONVERSATION. THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEBRASKA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, NEBRASKA CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FOUNDATION, THE CAMPAIGN HAS EXPANDED TO SERVE THE ENTIRE STATE OF NEBRASKA. TO DO RIGHT — THE “DO RIGHT, RIGHT NOW” CAMPAIGN IS SLATED TO LAST SIX MONTHS AND WILL ORIENT FIRST EACH COMMUNITY — WILL REINFORCE EACH COMMUNITY MEMBERS. KEY MESSAGES REINFORCE, WEARING A MASK, WASHING HANDS AND WATCHING YOUR DISTANCE. WE WILL ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC TO GET FLU SHOT’S AND GET COVID TESTS IF THEY HAVE SYMPTOMS OR KNOWN EXPOSURES. WE WILL ALSO PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. SO IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME. ONCE A VACCINE IS AVAILABLE, THE CAMPAIGN WILL EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ON ITS BENEFIT AND HOW TO GET IT. THESE MESSAGES WILL BE PROMOTED IN A POSITIVE AND UPBEAT MANNER USING CURRENT DATA AND RESEARCH. A WEBSITE HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE MATERIALS AND LINKS TO RESOURCES. VISIT DORIGHTRIGHTNOW.ORG. WHAT MAKES THIS EFFORT UNIQUE IS THE SUPPORT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM TELEVISION, RADIO, PRINT AND OUTDOOR MEDIA. MORE THAN 45 PARTNERS HAVE DONATED — SIGNED ONTO DONATE TO MAKE THIS CAMPAIGN POSSIBLE AND TO MAKE SURE EVERY NEBRASKAN HERE’S AND UNDERSTANDS THESE PREVENTIVE MEASURES. OUR GOAL IS TO REDUCE THE RATE OF NEW CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS ACROSS THE STATE. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE WHEN ALL NEBRASKANS CHOOSE TO DO RIGHT NOW TO DO RIGHT. I AM JOINED BY DR. JAMES LAWLER, DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL LAND BIO DEFENSE RESEARCH, THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC RESEARCH INTO STUDENT. HE SERVES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER. DR. LAWLER HAS EXPERIENCE TREATING PATIENTS AND SERVES AS SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT IN TRAINING THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MEDICAL PERSONNEL WORKING WITH INFECTIOUS PATIENTS. DR. LAWLER: THANK YOU. IT IS A PLEASURE TO ADDRESS EVERYBODY TODAY IN THESE TRYING TIMES. I’M GOING TO SHARE MY SCREEN. HOPEFULLY THIS WILL WORK. CAN EVERYONE SEE MY SCREEN? >> YES. DR. LAWLER: GREAT. I WAS ASKED TO TALK ABOUT THE CURRENT SITUATION IN NEBRASKA. I ALSO THINK WE SHOULD TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHERE WE ARE GOING AND HOW WE CHANGE THE COURSE. WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY THE PURPOSE OF THE DO RIGHT RIGHT NOW CAMPAIGN. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN LISTENING TO DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU. IF YOU’RE MAKING A PLAN FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS OR MAPPING OUT OFFENSIVE STRATEGY FOR SATURDAY’S GAME, THAT IS PROBABLY A TIME NOT TO LISTEN TO DOCTORS AND PHYSICIANS. WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MOST IMPACTFUL PANDEMIC THE WORLD HAS SEEN WITHIN THE PAST HUNDRED YEARS, THAT IS THE TIME TO LISTEN TO SCIENTISTS AND PHYSICIANS. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE TELLING YOU. WE ARE IN THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME OF THIS ENTIRE PANDEMIC. ON THE LEFT ARE CASE COUNT, DRAMATICALLY HIGHER THAN THEY WERE IN THE SPRINKLER THEY CONTINUE TO GO UP AT AN ALARMING PACE. CURRENT HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE ALSO AT DRAMATICALLY HIGHER RATE THAN THE SPRING. WE ARE APPROACHING 1000 HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS ACROSS THE STATE. OUR DOUBLING TIME FOR THOSE METRICS IS BETWEEN TWO AND THREE WEEKS. THAT MEANS TWO TO THREE WEEKS FROM NOW, UNLESS WE ARE ABLE TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE COURSE, WE WILL SEE ROUGHLY 2000 PATIENTS REQUIRING HOSPITALIZATION ACROSS THE STATE. GIVEN WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT 3200 STAFFED BEDS TO PROVIDE CRITICAL CARE SERVICES FOR ADULTS. YOU CAN SEE THAT IS UNSUSTAINABLE. I HAVE BEEN IN MASS CASUALTY SITUATIONS IN COMBAT ZONES. AFGHANISTAN, A BOLDER TREATMENT CENTERS IN AUSTERE CONDITIONS, I HAVE NEVER BEEN AS FRIGHTENED ABOUT OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AS I AM ABOUT NEBRASKA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM RIGHT NOW. WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I SAY CASE COUNTS ARE SO HIGH? LAST — WE HAVE — MUCH HIGHER IN MANY COUNTIES. IF YOU LOOK AT THAT RATE FOR DOUGLAS COUNTY, THAT MEANS IF YOU HAVE AN EVENT WITH 10 PEOPLE, THERE IS A 43% CHANCE THAT SOMEBODY WITHIN THAT GROUP IS ACTIVELY INFECTED AND SHEDDING VIRUS, AND POSES RISK TO OTHERS. THIS IS WHY WE EMPHASIZE ELIMINATING GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 10 PEOPLE. ALL OF THESE INTERVENTIONS WE TALK ABOUT OUR IMPERFECT. THAT IS OK. WEARING A FACE MASK IS NOT A PERFECT SOLUTION, IT DOES NOT PREVENT ALL TRANSMISSION. HAND HYGIENE, ELIMINATING LARGE GATHERINGS, NONE OF THESE ARE PERFECT SOLUTIONS, BUT WHEN YOU LAY THEM TOGETHER LIKE SLICES OF CHEESE THEY CREATE A RELATIVELY IMPERMEABLE BARRIER. THE KEY IS COMBINING THESE EFFORTS AND DOING THEM CONSISTENTLY. THAT IS WHY WE AS DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR THESE MEASURES TO BE PUT IN PLACE FORMALLY ACROSS THE STATE AND THE REASON WHY WE HAVE ASKED FOR MANDATES IS SIMPLE. THEY WORK. WHEN MANDATES ARE ISSUED AND REQUIREMENTS COME DOWN FROM IT STATE OR LOCAL LEVEL, COMPLIANCE GOES UP CONSIDERABLY. THIS IS HUMAN NATURE. IT HAS BEEN SHOWN CONCLUSIVELY IN STUDIES THAT LOOK AT COMPLIANCE FOR THINGS LIKE SEATBELTS, BUT ALSO FACE MASK WEARING. AS YOU CAN SEE IN A STUDY THAT WAS DONE BY ECONOMISTS FROM GOLDMAN SACHS, THIS INCREASE IN FACE MASK COMPLIANCE RESULTED IN A REDUCTION IN CASES AND A REDUCTION IN FATALITIES. THAT IS WHY WE HAVE BEEN RELATIVELY CONSISTENT IN OUR SUPPORT FOR THOSE TYPES OF INTERVENTIONS. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? YOU HAVE SEEN THE PROJECTIONS, OR THE DATA THAT EXISTS NOW FOR HOSPITALIZATION CURVES, AND THE PROJECTION THAT IN TWO TO THREE WEEKS WE WILL DOUBLE THAT. WE ARE GETTING INTO THE TERRITORY OF NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA. I SCOURED MEDIA SITES LAST NIGHT TO LOOK AT STORIES THAT HAVE COME OUT FROM THOSE TWO STATES. THEY ARE ABOUT TWO TO THREE WEEKS AHEAD OF US IN THEIR EPIDEMIC HER. AND THAT DOUBLING PERIOD WHEN WE GET TWICE AS MANY HOSPITALIZATIONS, THIS IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO ENCOUNTER. AN UNCHECKED EPIDEMIC, AND APPROACHING THIS IDEA OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK IS ACHIEVABLE AND DOES NOT LOOK LIKE CURVES ON A CHART. THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. IT IS UNMEASURABLE. MANY PEOPLE WILL BE SURPRISINGLY — SUFFERING AMONG FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES AMONG NEBRASKA. PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THAT IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO ACHIEVE HEARD IMMUNITY AS A STRATEGY, THIS IS WHAT THAT WOULD MEAN IN NEBRASKA. OVER 7000 DEATHS. IF WE THINK HEARD IMMUNITY IS ACHIEVABLE, POTENTIALLY 70% COMMUNITY ATTACK RATE, WHICH IS A CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE UNDERSTANDING CURRENT EPIDEMIOLOGY, THAT IS ROUGHLY 1.4 MILLION CASES. IF WE LOOK AT HALF PERCENT INFECTION MORTALITY RATE, IT MEANS 99.5% OF PEOPLE WILL NOT DIE, BUT 0.5% WELL. IF YOU HAVE 1.4 MILLION INFECTIONS, THAT IS A HUGE NUMBER, 10 TIMES WHAT WE HAVE STANDARD. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE STARING DOWN IF WE DO NOT IMMEDIATELY CHANGE TRAJECTORY AND IMPLEMENT A LAYER’S OF SWISS CHEESE. THANK YOU. [NO AUDIO] DR. POUR NOW WE WILL HAVE DR. BRUNER. >> I DO NOT HAVE A PRESENTATION LIKE DR. LAWLER, BUT OUR SITUATION HERE IN THE PANHANDLE MIRRORS WHAT HE SHOWED FOR THE STATE. WE HAVE FOUND SIGNIFICANT EXPONENTIAL RISE IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS. TODAY HITTING MORE CRITICAL TIMING, WHERE WE ARE TAKING OUTPATIENT THINGS AND SAVING STAFF ARE INPATIENT THINGS. WE HAVE LOOKED TO CITY COUNCILS AND COUNTY LEADERS TO HELP US WITH THINGS SUCH AS MASK MANDATES AS WELL A CAMPAIGN’S — CAMPAIGNS FOR OTHER PROTECTIONS FOR POPULATIONS. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE VACCINE THAT MAY BE COMING AS WELL AS THE GLOBULIN THERAPY COMING. WE HAVE A STUBBORN POPULATION. DOING THE RIGHT THING RIGHT NOW IS EXACTLY WHAT OUR POPULATION WILL NEED. [NO AUDIO] >> NOW, GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS IS — NOW, GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS AND FIRST LADY SUSANNE SHORE. GOV. RICKETTS THANK YOU FOR PUTTING ON THIS CAMPAIGN TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT WITH REGARD TO THINGS WE NEED TO DO TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. GOV. RICKETTS: THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WILL DOVETAIL WELL WITH WHAT WE ARE ALREADY DOING IN NEBRASKA AND OUR CAMPAIGN THAT HAS BEEN LEVERAGING RADIO PSA’S. THIS CAMPAIGN WILL WORK WITH THAT TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT ABOUT HOW WE AS NEBRASKANS HAVE TO STEP UP AND TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER. THAT IS SOMETHING SUSANNA AND I ARE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW AS WE ARE QUARANTINING AT HOME. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE FOLLOW THOSE RULES. IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED, YOU NEED TO QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS. YOU CANNOT TEST OUT OF THAT. YOU NEED TO STAY AT HOME. IF YOU ARE SICK, YOU NEED TO STAY HOME. GET TESTED TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T HAVE CORONAVIRUS, BUT WITH ANY SYMPTOMS, DO NOT GO OUT. WE NEED TO FOLLOW RULES WITH REGARD TO WEARING MASKS, GOING TO THE STORE ONCE A WEEK, GOING BY YOURSELF, WASHING YOUR HANDS. ALL OF THE TOOLS DR. LAWLER DESCRIBED TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. THAT IS WHAT THIS CAMPAIGN WILL DO. NEBRASKANS HAVE ALWAYS STEPPED UP TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER IN TIMES OF NEED. WE SAW THIS LAST YEAR WITH FLOODING AND THIS YEAR WE NEED TO STEP UP AGAIN RIGHT NOW TO GET BACK TO THE GREAT HABITS WE HAD THIS SPRING. WE SLOWED DOWN THE VIRUS. WE NEED TO PRACTICE THOSE THINGS AGAIN RIGHT NOW TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS AND PRESERVE HOSPITAL CAPACITY. I WANT TO THANK THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, DOUGLAS COUNTY AND THE NEBRASKA CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FOUNDATION FOR THEIR WORK TO HELP SPREAD THE MESSAGE AND MAKE SURE ALL NEBRASKANS UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY CAN DO TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO STEP UP AND MAKE SURE WE SLOW DOWN THIS VIRUS BY DOING RIGHT. THANK YOU AGAIN TO EVERYBODY WHO HAS BEEN PART OF THIS. NEBRASKANS, IT IS TIME FOR US TO DO THE RIGHT THING, DO IT NOW. PLEASE ALLOW SPACE FOR GRACE ALONG WITH THAT. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE EVERY — EVERYBODY IS GOING THROUGH TOUGH TIME AND WE UNDERSTAND THAT, BE MORE FORGIVING TO YOUR NEIGHBORS. I WILL TURN IT OVER TO CHRIS RODGERS. MR. RODGERS: THANK YOU. AS PRESIDENT OF THE DOUGLAS COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH, I NEED TO FOLLOW-UP ON WHAT DR. POUR IN GOVERNOR RICKETTS HAVE SAID. IT IS IMPERATIVE EVERYONE DO THEIR PART TO END THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO TALK AND COMMUNICATE TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR IN NEBRASKA. COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ARE STRUCTURALLY AT HIGHER RISK OF BEING INFECTED AND DYING FROM THE VIRUS. ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE DYING AT A HIGHER RATE THAN ANY OTHER PEOPLE. COMMUNITIES OF COLOR TEND TO LIVE IN MORE CROWDED MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS, NOT TO MENTION UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT OFTEN GO UNTREATED. THOSE WORKING IN ESSENTIAL ROLES ARE UNLIKELY TO HAVE PAID LEAVE AND THEREFORE HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME SELF-ISOLATING AND CANNOT AFFORD TO QUARANTINE TWO WEEKS. IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THIS CAMPAIGN. WEAR A MASK. WASH YOUR HANDS. MAINTAIN SUCCEED. I ALSO ASKED — MAINTAIN SIX FEET. I ALSO ASKED THAT EVERYBODY GET A FLU SHOT. THE DO THE RIGHT THING CAMPAIGN IS TRANSLATED INTO SPINACH — TRANSLATED TO SPANISH TO REACH AS MANY NEBRASKANS ASKED POSSIBLE. IN DOUGLAS COUNTY, WE HAVE RESOURCES TO HELP THOSE WHO MAY BE BURMESE OR SOMALI POPULATIONS THAT NEED ASSISTANCE. WE CAN SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS, BUT WE DID O

Douglas County Health Department announces new initiative to fight COVID-19

The Douglas County Health Department and state officials announced a new initiative to battle COVID-19 spread. “The ‘Do Right, Right Now,’ campaign is slated to last six to nine months and reinforce each community members’ role and responsibility in helping reduce the spread of the virus,” Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour, Ph.D., said. “COVID-19 has impacted the lives of every Nebraskan. In order to fight this pandemic, the Douglas County Health Department and Omaha Community Foundation have teamed up to develop a unified campaign to Do Right, Right Now,” a press release stated.According to the “Do Right, Right Now” website, the campaign focuses on these areas:Wear a maskGive space Wash your handsGet a flu shot Talk it outThe website has a long list of resources categorized by county, FAQs, news and videos. Nebraska Medicine Dr. James Lawler said that, if cases continue on the current trajectory, there will be 2,000 hospitalized within a few weeks. “Given that we only have about 3,200 staff beds to provide critical care services and med search services for adults in the state. You can see that that is an unsustainable proposition,” he said. “I’ve been in combat zones in Afghanistan and Ebola zones in Africa and I have never been as frightened about the status of the health system as I am about the status of our health system in Nebraska.”He said that mask mandates work and increase compliance, and that’s why doctors and scientists have been pushing for one.Lawler said that if you have an event with 10 people, there is a 43% chance that somebody within that event is actively infected and shedding the virus.He said we are headed for “surprisingly high levels of suffering for families and communities within Nebraska.””This is what we’re staring down and what will come to be if we do not change our trajectory,” he said.Gov. Pete Ricketts said the “Do Right, Right Now” campaign will work with other initiatives at the state level to promote awareness and good practices to battle the spread of COVID-19.”Nebraskans have always stepped up to take care of each other in times of need. We saw that last year with the floods and we need to see the same thing now,” he said.Douglas County Health Department Commissioner Chris Rodgers said that communities of color need to be particularly careful, as they’re at increased risk.”African Americans are dying at a higher rate than any other group communities of color tend to live in more crowded multi generational households, not to mention the increased instances of underlying medical conditions that often go untreated, those working in a city are less likely to have paid leave, and therefore have a difficult time so isolate can’t afford to quarantine two weeks. It’s critical that all members of the community follow the recommendations of this campaign: Wear a mask,” he said.

The Douglas County Health Department and state officials announced a new initiative to battle COVID-19 spread.

“The ‘Do Right, Right Now,’ campaign is slated to last six to nine months and reinforce each community members’ role and responsibility in helping reduce the spread of the virus,” Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour, Ph.D., said.

Advertisement

“COVID-19 has impacted the lives of every Nebraskan. In order to fight this pandemic, the Douglas County Health Department and Omaha Community Foundation have teamed up to develop a unified campaign to Do Right, Right Now,” a press release stated.

According to the “Do Right, Right Now” website, the campaign focuses on these areas:

  • Wear a mask
  • Give space
  • Wash your hands
  • Get a flu shot
  • Talk it out

The website has a long list of resources categorized by county, FAQs, news and videos.

Nebraska Medicine Dr. James Lawler said that, if cases continue on the current trajectory, there will be 2,000 hospitalized within a few weeks.

“Given that we only have about 3,200 staff beds to provide critical care services and med search services for adults in the state. You can see that that is an unsustainable proposition,” he said. “I’ve been in combat zones in Afghanistan and Ebola zones in Africa and I have never been as frightened about the status of the health system as I am about the status of our health system in Nebraska.”

He said that mask mandates work and increase compliance, and that’s why doctors and scientists have been pushing for one.

Lawler said that if you have an event with 10 people, there is a 43% chance that somebody within that event is actively infected and shedding the virus.

He said we are headed for “surprisingly high levels of suffering for families and communities within Nebraska.”

“This is what we’re staring down and what will come to be if we do not change our trajectory,” he said.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said the “Do Right, Right Now” campaign will work with other initiatives at the state level to promote awareness and good practices to battle the spread of COVID-19.

“Nebraskans have always stepped up to take care of each other in times of need. We saw that last year with the floods and we need to see the same thing now,” he said.

Douglas County Health Department Commissioner Chris Rodgers said that communities of color need to be particularly careful, as they’re at increased risk.

“African Americans are dying at a higher rate than any other group communities of color tend to live in more crowded multi generational households, not to mention the increased instances of underlying medical conditions that often go untreated, those working in a city are less likely to have paid leave, and therefore have a difficult time so isolate can’t afford to quarantine two weeks. It’s critical that all members of the community follow the recommendations of this campaign: Wear a mask,” he said.