March 20, 2020 (LINCOLN, Neb.) The State of Nebraska continues to work together in its response to COVID 19. The Department of Health and Human Services is the lead agency for the state’s response. All state agencies are coordinating information and resources and working at the direction of the Governor in support of the state response.
Governor Pete Rickett’s Office Gov. Ricketts’s news releases
Today Gov. Ricketts thanked Nebraskans for “doing the right thing” during his daily news conference. He said Nebraskans are taking seriously the threat of COVID-19 and reminded people to continue to:
- Practice good hygiene,
- Wash hands for 20 seconds
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick or if a family member is sick
- Socially distance yourself from others.
Ricketts announced there are 33 cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska including the first case in Lincoln.
He also announced that he is working with legislators on a $58.6 million appropriation to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Small Business Administration Designation: Gov. Ricketts received information today that his request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance Program for Nebraska businesses has been approved. For information:
o Visit SBA.gov/disaster
o Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or
o E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Nebraska COVID-19 Information Line is (402) 552-6645. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST – every day.
- State agencies are sharing information using the #NECOVID19 Hashtag
- DHHS has produced COVID-19 Public Service Announcements which are available in English and En Español
- Health Care Provider Information (HAN)
- DHHS News Releases:
o 3/18/2020 – Staying Mentally Strong During The Coronavirus Outbreak
o 3/17/2020 – Drinking Water Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency NEMA news releases
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, as well as the Joint Information Center, activated March 16. NEMA officials and partner agencies continue to work together in response to the rapidly evolving health concerns surrounding COVID-19. NEMA officials and partner agencies are monitoring conditions, fielding calls from citizens and community partners and locating resources to keep citizens safe. Daily webinars and conference calls are providing situational awareness with emergency support function coordinators and partners while limiting the need for large meetings.
Local entities can and have been submitting emergency declarations to the state through NEMA so that should conditions change and state and federal assistance be needed, the local governments and schools can make requests for assistance without any undue delay.
Department of Corrections https://corrections.nebraska.gov/ndcs-coronavirus-health-update
NDCS has developed a new webpage dedicated to its response to the COVID-19 including answers to some frequently asked questions.
Department of Economic Development https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/nded-covid19/
DED has COVID-19 Information on it’s website to help Nebraskans at https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/nded-covid19/
Department of Environment and Energy http://www.deq.state.ne.us/
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s Wastewater Division would like to remind people that sanitizing wipes, baby wipes and even “flushable” wipes are not flushable — regardless of what the product states. Flushed wipes cause sewer system blockages, resulting in overflows from manholes and basement backups. This can lead to expensive repairs and damage to your municipal systems or homes. Please throw sanitizing wipes in the trash.
Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Information;
Unemployment claims should be filed online at NEworks.nebraska.gov or on the free NEworks mobile app. For more information visit: Short-Time Compensation FAQs https://dol.nebraska.gov/PressRelease/Details/141
Department of Motor Vehicles DMV news releases
Requirements for Nebraska residents relating to driver licensing and vehicle registration requirements have been eased, pursuant to the executive order issued by Nebraska Governor Ricketts. The Governor is extending the validity of driver licenses and vehicle registrations due to expire on or after March 1, 2020. The extension will remain in effect until 30 days after the order is lifted.
The extension will apply to all driver licenses, CDLs, state identification cards, permits, or other credentials issued by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Customers will still be able to renew credentials online. In addition, the order also applies to vehicle titling requirements, registrations, in-transit tags, and motor carrier temporary documents. Any enforcement action should take into account the contents of this order.
To view the executive order signed by the Governor you can find it at: https://governor.nebraska.gov/press/gov-ricketts-issues-executive-order-temporarily-ease-driver-and-vehicle-requirements.
Department of Revenue, Lottery 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. 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
Department of Transportation NDOT has been working with its trucking partners and rest area contractors to ensure facilities will be opened to all who need them during this pandemic. All rest area facilities will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Contractors on site will clean and sanitize the buildings during normal daytime hours. Travelers are reminded to wash hands, avoid unnecessary touching of surfaces and to maintain social distancing whenever possible. Continue to check 511.nebraska.gov for updated information on availability.
Game and Parks http://outdoornebraska.gov/healthinfo/
- Nebraska Game and Parks’ public buildings are temporarily closed to public walk-in traffic until further notice. A list can be found at http://outdoornebraska.gov/healthinfo/
- All special events and programs are cancelled through May 31 or until further notice.
- State parks and recreation areas grounds remain open for day-use, fishing and recreation.
- Park permits, fishing permits, and hunting permits should be purchased in advance online at OutdoorNebraska.org
Nebraska State Patrol
Gov. Ricketts issued an executive order Thursday evening allowing greater flexibility for restaurants and bars to sell alcohol to customers for off-site consumption. Click here to view the executive order.
The Nebraska State Patrol would like to remind restaurants, bars and members of the public that the executive order does not affect open container laws found in Neb. Rev. Stat 60-6,211.08. All off-sale alcohol must be in its original, unopened container. NSP encourages all motorists to drive responsibly and always drive sober.
Office of the Chief Information Officer Website
The OCIO asked Nebraskans to be aware that there are many reports of social media pleas, texts or calls related to COVID-19 and that all Nebraskans should avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. They asked that everyone use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19. Tips for Using Caution with Email Attachments: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-010 Tips for Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014
Public Service Commission
The PSC is asking Telecommunications Carriers doing business in Nebraska to take the “Keep Nebraskans Connected” pledge. The link to the PSC news release is: https://psc.nebraska.gov/for-consumers/psc-urges-carriers-pledge-keep-nebraskans-connected. The pledge is similar to the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge only for Nebraskans. A webpage listing carriers that have agreed to participate is available at: http://tiny.cc/KeepNebraskansConnected
State Fire Marshal
The State Fire Marshal’s office has suspended inspections of nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living facilities performed until April 8. In addition, training classes administered by NSFM training specialists are canceled through March 31.
The Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) launched a virtual visitor system to keep veterans’ home members and their families connected while the facilities are limiting entry. Access to the four state veterans’ homes is currently limited to NDVA teammates and medical professionals only as a precaution against COVID-19 exposure.
- Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
- If you feel sick, stay home.
- If your children are sick, keep them home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider
- If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
- If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
- If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on How to Protect Yourself.