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Nebraska Medicine warns of post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge

“We just have so much more COVID-19 in our community right now compared to previous holidays.” Dr. Mark Rupp, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Nebraska Medicine
Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 5:37 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska’s on the cusp of triggering another round of COVID-19 restrictions; just 69 hospitalizations away from hitting Governor Ricketts’ 1,000 COVID-patient threshold -- and the Thanksgiving holiday is likely to catapult the state past it.

“I mean people are traveling. they’re being very conscientious about wearing masks,” said Julia Post, before departing from Eppley Airfield, Friday.

Despite the best advice people are still on the move.

“I keep my mask on the whole time, and the airplane wasn’t full so I feel it was good,” said Debbie Gunther, on her way back home to Colorado.

“What people need to understand is this is going to take a while to percolate through the population,” said Dr. Mark Rupp, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Nebraska Medicine. “So, we’re going to be seeing the spike in cases probably by the middle of December.”

And it’s expected to be the worst post-holiday surge in COVD cases yet.

“I’m very concerned that with the Thanksgiving holiday that we’ll see an even bigger bump,” said Dr. Rupp. “We just have so much more COVID-19 in our community right now compared to previous holidays.”

Experts calling on anyone who’s gathered to hunker down for at least a week, ideally two

“It’s really important that after folks have had these gathers, after they’ve travelled that they kind of self-quarantine,” said Dr. Rupp, noting anyone with any COVID symptoms should get tested.

“Congestion, some mild aches, mild fevers, headache they really need to present for testing,” he said, while also warning, not to use testing as excuse not to follow other precautions.

“Is not perfect and it’s not a get out of jail free card,” said Dr. Rupp. “It won’t tell you that two or three days from then that wouldn’t be potentially shedding at that time.”

And anyone with any hope of gathering come Christmas time, it’s probably best to let that go.

“Clearly the end of year holidays, I suspect are going to be very, very impacted by this, most likely, rise in case incidences.”

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