Nebraska prepares for possible patient surge with tents, donated hand sanitizer

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) --

Nebraska Medicine prepares more surge tents

The Nebraska Medicine emergency preparedness team has completed the setup of the tents for the emergency department for a potential COVID-19 surge of patients.

According to the release, the two main tents can hold up to 19 patients. Each one is separated by a curtain. COVID-19 tests will be available along with fluids, the ability to monitor vitals and perform diagnostic tests.

Another tent has been added as a workspace for medical staff along with a safe place for personnel to remove protective gear. The tents are equipped with electricity, wireless internet, heat, and air conditioning, according to the release.

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Nebraska's innovation campus partners with Nebraska Ethanol to create hand sanitizer for health care providers

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is partnering with the Nebraska ethanol industry to make hand sanitizer for health care providers in Nebraska.

A first full day of production was completed at the Food Processing Center on Nebraska Innovation Campus on April 6.

Hunter Flodman, an assistant professor of practice in chemical and biomolecular engineering began the project in mid-March with the Nebraska Ethanol Board by working with the federal Food and Drug Administration to relax its regulations so that fuel ethanol producers could provide their product to create hand sanitizer.

“After hearing about shortages of hand sanitizer, we hoped we could find a way to overcome some of the obstacles our fuel-grade ethanol producers were facing — including navigating the FDA’s regulations,” Flodman said. “This partnership with the Food Processing Center is key. Without them, we would not have been able to make this happen.”

Nebraska Medicine uses up to 132 gallons of hand sanitizer each day, according to the release.

More than 20 organizations are participating in the effort and after the first day of production, more than 2,000 gallons of hand sanitizer with 80 percent alcohol will be sent to facilities in need, according to the release.