Top Nebraska pandemic expert ‘frightened’ about rising cases

Nebraska News

The building housing the biocontainment unit at Nebraska Medical Center is seen in this Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 photo in Omaha, Neb. The center is treating patient potentially exposed to a viral outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. (AP Photo/Josh Funk)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A prominent Nebraska infectious disease expert is sounding the alarm about the state’s surging coronavirus cases and calling for a statewide mask mandate, which Gov. Pete Ricketts has repeatedly refused to issue.

Dr. James Lawler, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said Thursday that the pandemic has reached its most dangerous point since the virus outbreak began earlier this year and described the recent increase in virus hospitalizations as unsustainable.

Nebraska hospitals are straining to cope with the spike in coronavirus patients, and officials are urging the public to wear masks and take other precautionary steps to slow the spread of the disease.


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