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Bryan Health officials say it’s time to get back to school, but precautions need to be taken

Bryan Health officials say schools can be a safe environment if parents work with students now to practice safety precautions. Photo courtesy: MGN
Bryan Health officials say schools can be a safe environment if parents work with students now to practice safety precautions. Photo courtesy: MGN(MGN)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 11:55 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Bryan Health officials said in a press conference Tuesday morning that it's time for Lincoln kids to get back to learning and back to being with their classmates, but that can only be accomplished safely if certain measures are taken.

John Woodrich, CEO and President of Bryan Health said if masks are worn, social distancing is enforced and hands are washed, schools can be a safe environment.

“I think we’ve proven that here in the hospital as we have taken care of many patients with COVID-19 and haven’t had any hospital workers get it from working with patients,” Woodrich said.

He said the best way to ensure schools will remain safe is for parents to work with their kids now about the importance of wearing a mask.

"I know it's tough to do," Woodrich said. "It's not comfortable wearing all day long but we have to try and get back to educating kids appropriately."

Woodrich cited a UNMC study that said kids shouldn’t be in school with the rate of coronavirus spread, and said he trusts the health department will make the best decisions for the community.

As far as Bryan Health's current data, Woodrich said 16,962 people had been tested, 2,000 of those have been positive and 111 tests are still pending.

He said they've made "great progress" with test turnaround times which are now down to within two days.

They are currently treating seven coronavirus positive patients, four are from Lancaster County. One is on a ventilator, two are in the intensive care unit, one is in the progressive care unit and four are in the general care unit.

Woodrich said they are worried about seeing a spike of cases associated with high school graduation parties.

"We have heard stories of large groups of people in homes and nobody is wearing a mask," he said.

Woodrich said the only way to prevent a spike is to follow proper precautions like wearing a mask and socially distancing.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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