April 6, 2020 (LINCOLN, Neb.)
According to the CDC website, there are 330,891 COVID-19 cases in the United States and 8,910 deaths (Updated April 6). Cases have been reported in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These statistics include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.
U.S. Small Business Administration
UPDATED The U.S. Small Business Administration launched a $349 billion emergency loan program last week entitled Paycheck Protection Program, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The program provides forgivable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years. Visit www.SBA.gov/Coronavirus for information about protecting your business, employees and customers.
SBA issued guidance today clarifying that all faith-based organizations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities, to the extent they meet the eligibility criteria.
Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Office https://governor.nebraska.gov/
NEW President Donald J. Trump approved Nebraska’s request for federal disaster assistance on Saturday, April 4. Governor Pete Ricketts submitted the request to aid Nebraska in its ongoing response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
NEW At his daily news conference, Gov. Ricketts encouraged every Nebraskan to slow the spread of COVID-19. He asked Nebraskans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected.
NEW Gov. Ricketts reminded Nebraskans that as of Friday, April 3, all 93 counties across the state are under a directed health measure that includes:
- Schools are operating without students
- Restaurant dine-in service is closed. Drive through and delivery are allowed.
- Elective surgeries and non-emergency dental work must be delayed until after May 11
- People should stay home if they are sick as should anyone in their household
- People should wash their hands regularly and for 20 seconds at a time.
- Any meetings or gatherings must include 10-people or less.
- Stay at least 6-feet away from other people.
Ricketts said the Nebraska DHM is very similar to the stay-at-home orders in other states, and in some cases, it is more restrictive than other states’ orders.
NEW Protect Yourself and Others information is available in Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and American Sign Language Video at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx#SectionLink5
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) data dashboard provides daily updates to the state’s COVID-19 case totals and is online at http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus
NEW As of April 6 at noon, the current case numbers for Nebraska are:
409 positive tests
6,378 negative tests,
Numbers now include negative results from NPHL and commercial labs. Both state and local health departments are testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between DHHS cases and cases reported by local public health officials, data reported by the local health department should be considered the most up-to-date.
- Nebraska COVID-19 Information Line: (402) 552-6645. Hours are: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST – every day.
- State agencies are sharing information using the #NECOVID19 Hashtag
- DHHS has produced COVID-19 announcements available in English and En Español
- Review the Health Alert Network (HAN) for recent information and guidelines for health care providers.
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency https://nema.nebraska.gov/news
NEMA continues to operate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) with daily conference calls among the emergency support function coordinators and public information officers. NEMA also is working to support DHHS as the lead agency in the COVID-19 response in Nebraska
REMINDER There is no essential staffing list maintained by the State of Nebraska for people who have jobs to perform. Individuals leaving their homes in order to perform an activity or function for their jobs DO NOT need to carry or present any letter, identification card or other paper proving that they are allowed to leave their home.
Attorney General’s Office COVID-19 Information
Scammers and others may use COVID-19 as an opportunity to defraud Nebraskans. Learn more about potential COVID-19 scams at ProtectTheGoodLife.Nebraska.Gov. If you suspect fraud, file a consumer complaint or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Administrative Services
A number of state agencies and private organizations have received inquiries from Nebraska manufacturers that have the capabilities to provide needed medical equipment for hospitals and medical providers. The Nebraska Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has partnered with the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NMEP) to help organize the manufacturers with these capabilities and connect them with the medical community.
For manufacturers please visit https://go.unl.edu/criticalmanufacturing to register your company and list the products your company is able to produce in short deadlines. For people in the medical community that want to access these companies and order needed supplies, please contact: Doug Carlson, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Nebraska, email@example.com , 402-471-0972
Department of Agriculture (NDA) nda.nebraska.gov
NDA has a COVID-19 webpage available to the public with information pertaining to agricultural producers. Go to nda.nebraska.gov/COVID-19 for more information.
Department of Banking and Finance
Gov. Ricketts signed Executive Order 2020-13 on April 1 and it provides regulatory flexibility to financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance. The order gives the department flexibility on conducting installment loan company exams, temporarily extends the time for financial institutions to submit annual audits, and enables the department to accept various applications in electronic format. The order also authorizes the Nebraska Secretary of State to immediately implement the online Notary Act.
Department of Corrections corrections.nebraska.gov
NDCS has released updated information regarding its response to COVID-19. All staff are required to wear face masks while at work. Two new videos have been posted on https://corrections.nebraska.gov/ndcs-coronavirus-health-update. One focuses on mask expectations. The other focuses on NDCS teammate COVID-19 precautions.
Department of Economic Development https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/nded-covid19/
DED is working to inform and assist businesses during Nebraska’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Information for businesses is available on the DED website. DED is committed to serving Nebraskans facing financial challenges during this time, and understands that local economic leaders will play an important role in creating regional solutions for businesses and their workforce. The department’s Field Services Team is working with business leaders in these regions to address ongoing COVID-19 challenges.
Department of Environment and Energy http://dee.ne.gov
NDEE has developed a COVID-19 information webpage that includes a message from the Director, links to state and federal resources, and NDEE-related issues. Webpage address is: http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/onWeb/COVID
Department of Insurance
Today, the NDOI issued a notice to all insurance producers stating that a 90-day temporary resident insurance license will be issued to Nebraska insurance producers who fulfill the requirements.
Department of Labor NEworks.nebraska.gov and dol.nebraska.gov
Gov. Ricketts announced an update to his Executive Order that extends unemployment insurance waivers through August 1. He reminded people to not quit their jobs in order to get unemployment. “If you quit your job, you are not eligible of unemployment benefits,” Ricketts said.
The federal CARES Act created a temporary program that offers benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others. This act also increases the amount an individual will receive by $600 for every week an individual is unemployed. Once the Department receive guidance from the Federal Government, all individuals who qualify will receive $600 in additional benefits for each eligible week of unemployment, including prior weeks.
Department of Motor Vehicles DMV news releases
Department of Revenue
Revenue Ruling 99-20-1: All Nebraska Taxes, Signature Requirements You can now file your Petition for Redetermination (Protest) Electronically. This applies to Notices of Deficiency Determinations issued by the Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR). This does not apply to protests or appeals filed with the Property Assessment Division.
The Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR) has issued new guidance with specific instructions and information regarding signature requirements, which will assist taxpayers, especially in situations where the individuals responsible for signing tax returns are working from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For most forms and filings, for which there is no separate DOR taxpayer filing system, DOR will accept as a taxpayer signature, any mark, handwritten or digitally rendered that is applied with actual or apparent intention to authenticate the filing. More information is available at the Nebraska Department of Revenue website revenue.nebraska.gov; or contact the Department by email or phone here.
Nebraska Lottery players with prizes up to $19,999 are encouraged to claim by mail. Instructions for claiming prizes by mail can be found at https://nelottery.com/homeapp/article/4220/display Regional Lottery Claim Centers in Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte, and Scottsbluff are closed to the public, but Nebraska Lottery headquarters in Lincoln and the Omaha Claim Center are open. Call 402-471-6100 to confirm office hours before claiming a prize in person at these locations.
Department of Natural Resources To support National Flood Insurance Program policyholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA is extending its 30-day grace period for policy renewals up to 120 days. This is effective for National Flood Insurance Program policies with an expiration date between February 13 – June 15, 2020.
For more information, visit the FEMA website https://nfipservices.floodsmart.gov/
FEMA also has some guidance on flood insurance claims during this time. It allows for the claims to be adjusted remotely without an adjustor visiting the property.
Our agency also continues to ensure that critical water related information remains available (see https://dnr.nebraska.gov/). It is being updated continuously, including real-time streamgaging information.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs is hiring at all four veterans’ homes, with openings for food service workers, housekeepers, RNs, LPNs, CNAs and more. If you are interested in becoming a CNA, we offer CNA classes that pay an hourly wage during training, pay for supplies and the certification exam, and come with a job in the facility upon completion of the training. Our teammates have great state benefits, job security, a friendly work environment, and a chance to serve those who served. Join our team of heroes helping heroes. Find openings and apply at statejobs.nebraska.gov. Applicants can expect to have a virtual interview rather than in-person
Game and Parks Commission http://outdoornebraska.gov/healthinfo/
In a proactive effort to prevent the potential for spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will prohibit overnight camping at state parks, state recreation areas and wildlife management areas starting today through Friday, May 8, with a possible extension.
In addition, the closure of state park area lodging and cabins will be extended through May 8.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services recommends travelers coming to Nebraska or back to Nebraska from out-of-state should limit public interactions, practice strict social distancing, self-monitor for symptoms and self-quarantine for 14 days.
State parks and recreation areas will remain open for day use so guests may enjoy activities such as fishing, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing while maintaining proper physical distancing of at least six feet. A limited number of restrooms, which will be disinfected regularly using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols, will be available.
The closures are in keeping with national recommendations from the CDC; cities and states across the nation are taking similar proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Game and Parks’ top priority is the health and well-being of the public and its staff.
Refunds will be given to campers who have prepaid fees. The camping closure will be reevaluated in the future to determine if an extension is necessary.
Those still enjoying outdoor recreation should follow CDC guidelines. They include staying home for people who are sick, have knowingly been exposed to a sick individual or are coming from any area of community spread of the virus. People also should avoid crowds, adhere to the 10-person-limit guideline, and bring supplies from home, including food and hygiene products, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.
For a list of all Game and Parks cancellations, postponements and closures, go to OutdoorNebraska.org/healthinfo. For more detailed information about how coronavirus cancellations may affect customers, check the Frequently Asked Questions page at OutdoorNebraska.gov/covid19faqs or use the Contact Us form at OutdoorNebraska.gov/contact. Past news release are available online: http://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/category/news/
NEW On Sunday, 23 Nebraska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen supported DHHS with setting up on-site testing for all YRTC-Kearney residents and staff. The Nebraska National Guard continues to provide logistical and planning support to our state and federal partners.
Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NCDHH)
NCDHH has the following VLOGs online relating to COVID-19:
COVID-19: Educational Resources & Communication Access NCDHH Executive Director John Wyvill discusses the importance of ensuring you and your child are prepared and receiving education information during transition to remote-learning.
COVID-19: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Organizations Stress Importance of Communication Access NCDHH Behavioral Health Coordinator Carly Weyers provides information on how to best keep informed with full communication access on announcements related to COVID-19.
COVID-19: NCDHH Offices and Social Distancing Information regarding preventative measures to keep you and the NCDHH team healthy featuring Behavioral Health Coordinator, Carly Weyers.
Nebraska State Patrol
NEW The Nebraska State Patrol will prioritize specific fingerprinting services in accordance with the state of emergency and executive orders issued by Gov. Ricketts. Between April 6 and May 22, NSP will only schedule fingerprinting appointments for the following categories:
- Those who are required to be fingerprinted under the Sex Offender Registration Act, including federal sex offenders regulations
- Concealed handgun permit applicants
- Concealed handgun permit renewal applicants who are unable to renew online.
- Law enforcement officers
- Healthcare, daycare and other essential personnel not covered by an Executive Order
Nebraskans who fit any of those categories can call the NSP Criminal Identification Division office in Lincoln at 402-479-4971 to schedule appointments, regardless of your location in Nebraska. Fingerprinting appointments much be made in advance and will include extra precautions. Appointments for all other categories will be available beginning Tuesday, May 26.
Renewals or changes to existing CHPs, such as updating a name or mailing address, can still be completed online at https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-nsp-chp/. Additional information on this change can be found at: https://statepatrol.nebraska.gov/nsp-prioritize-specific-fingerprinting-services-during-pandemic
Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Unclaimed Property Division offices are closed to the public. Treasurer’s Office staff are available by phone at 402-471-8497 or 877-572-9688 and will continue to process claims mailed into the Lincoln office or filed online.
Office of the Chief Information Officer Website
Malicious cyber threat actors are capitalizing on the global attention surrounding COVID-19 to facilitate scams, distribute malware, and send phishing emails. We ask all Nebraskans to practice the following safe security habits online:
- Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to COVID-19. (Tips for Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014)
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. (Tips for Using Caution with Email Attachments: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-010)
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Look at the email address, not just the sender. A genuine email from a legitimate organization would have the organization’s name in the domain name, indicating that it is coming from someone at the organization.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.
- Look for obvious grammatical errors and be wary of any emails that have implied consequences for failure to comply with demands.
Homeland Security is encouraging state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments to reference known official resources on COVID-19 information. Members can read more about COVID-19 related scams at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resource here.
Public Service Commission
Please visit the PSC COVID-19 Information & Guidance page for the latest from the Nebraska Public Service Commission.
Secretary of State’s Office
NEW The Nebraska Secretary of State’s office is actively recruiting registered voters interested in serving as poll workers. Poll workers are a paid position. To be a poll worker you must be 16 years old and if 18 years old or older, must be a registered voter in the county. Service clubs and other volunteer organizations are able to contract with a county election office, to be paid directly for their volunteer’s time, and can use the funds as they wish for their charitable projects. Poll worker pay will not reduce unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed. Virtual training will be available online or on television.
Every polling site will receive kits that includes:
- At least two N95 masks per poll worker
- 25 pairs of gloves
- 540 ml bottle of hand sanitizer
- A canister of disinfecting wipes
- Individual black pens for each voter to keep
- Social distancing standards will apply.
Contact your local county office by phone or email if you wish to serve as a poll worker. Make a difference in your community and become a proud poll worker. For county election contact information visit https://sos.nebraska.gov/elections/election-officials-contactinformation.
State Partner Updates
American Red Cross
NEW The American Red Cross is accepting financial donations for the COVID-19 outbreak
The Red Cross needs financial donations to help the organization continue to deliver its lifesaving mission nationwide due to this public health emergency. Donations will be used to ensure that the Red Cross can maintain a sufficient supply of blood to help patients in need and prevent any shortages. Donations will also be used to make sure the Red Cross is able to provide critical relief services to people affected by disasters big and small.
To donate to help the American Red Cross continue to deliver its lifesaving mission nationwide due to this public health emergency, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word CORONAVIRUS to 90999. You can also donate by check by writing “Coronavirus Outbreak” in the memo line, and mailing it to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.
Natural Resources Districts (NRDs):
Individual NRDs will decide on closures of their local recreation areas. The public should visit http://www.nrdnet.org/recreation to find contact information for the specific recreation area to find out about closures/limitations.
A majority of NRD physical offices are closed to the public; however, NRD employees continue to work and answer phones/email to provide service to the public.