According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, there are 374,329 COVID-19 cases in the United States and 12,064 deaths (as of April 6 at 4 p.m.) 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. https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.
Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Office https://governor.nebraska.gov/
REMINDER Stay Home. Stay healthy. Stay Connected
Follow Directed Health Care Measure imposed for all counties
NEW It is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Nebraska. Please continue to look out for children in your communities. Pay attention. Look for signs of child abuse. Everyone has a responsibility to report child abuse or neglect. You can do so by calling the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-652-1999.
NEW Stephanie Beasley, director of the Division of Children and Family Services with the Department of Health and Human Services was at the governor’s news conference to report on how the division is working to provide for people and families during the COVID-19 outbreak.
DHHS has launched a pilot program for online purchasing and delivery of groceries purchased through benefits received from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nebraska is one of the pilot states to test the online purchasing program. Currently, 154,844 Nebraskans rely on the SNAP program to provide food for their families.
Amazon and Walmart are currently the qualified retailers that will be able to handle SNAP purchases online in Nebraska. Walmart will start with two stores for a week, one in Norfolk and one in South Sioux City, before launching statewide. Amazon will be able to deliver statewide at the start of the program. This program comes at a critical time as Nebraska fights to lower the infection rate of COVID-19. Individuals who live in areas where the program is operational should see an option to pay with EBT at electronic check out.
NEW Gov. Ricketts reminded Nebraskans that all 93 counties across the state are under a directed health measure
NEW Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts will answer questions during a one-hour NET News town hall meeting about COVID-19 and our state’s response.
This special episode of the discussion program “Speaking of Nebraska” will air Thursday at 8:30 p.m. CT on NET, NET Radio, and streaming online.
Along with Gov. Ricketts, questions will be answered by Nebraska Director of Economic Development Anthony Goins and Dr. James Lawler, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Last week’s episode prompted hundreds of questions from Nebraskans. What questions do you have?
Call in during the program to ask your question:
Also people can ask their questions on a form in the below link:
NEW DHHS has released information on How to talk to your children about COVID-19 which is online at the DHHS Website.
NEW Nebraska Medicaid has submitted an 1135 Waiver application to the federal government as part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Visit http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Nebraska-Medicaid-Submits-1135-Waiver-Application.aspx to find out more about the waiver.
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 7 at noon, the current case numbers for Nebraska are:
447 positive tests
6,811 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
REMINDER COVID-19 can affect persons of any age. Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by:
- Frequently wash your hands
- Frequently disinfect surfaces
- Practice physical distancing (at least six feet from other people)
- Stay home as much as possible.
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
Department of Corrections corrections.nebraska.gov
NDCS has a COVID-19 webpage available to the public with information pertaining to the agency’s response to the virus. Go to corrections.nebraska.gov for more information.
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
NEW Omaha The American Job Center at Heartland Workforce Solutions in Omaha has temporarily relocated to Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha Campus at 5300 N. 30th St., Building 7. The location change is anticipated to last through this week.
Customers needing assistance should use the Army Entrance off 30th street at the north end of campus or the 30th and Fort St entrance. The 32nd and Sorenson entrance is closed due to construction.
Since all job centers are adhering to social distancing guidelines, call 531-622-6173 before visiting the center. Customers with questions regarding their unemployment insurance claims should go to NEworks.nebraska.gov and view their Claim Summary or call 855-995-8863.
Call Heartland Workforce Solutions at 402-444-4700 for local workforce system programs and for employers seeking talent.
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.
Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT)
NEW NDOT announced statewide traffic volumes from the first week of April held steady from March reports. Volumes showed a slight uptick in statewide vehicle traffic from a 29 percent decrease March 22-28 to a 28 percent decrease in the first week of April compared to the 2016-2018 three-year average.
Percent Difference in Weekly Traffic Volume
March- April 4, 2020 compared to 2016-2018 average
|Rural Highways||I-80 West of Lincoln||Omaha Streets & Highways||Lincoln Streets & Highways||I-80 Lincoln to Iowa,
|Remaining Small Urban Streets & Highways||Statewide Total|
|March 29-April 4||-22||-28||-33||-30||-40||-28||-28|
Data collected from 58 sites across the state reported a 28 percent decrease in weekly statewide traffic volumes compared to the 2016-2018 three year average. Truck/freight traffic continues to remain at near normal levels across the state. NDOT will publish weekly updates to estimate the impact COVID-19 is having on vehicle traffic volumes across Nebraska.
The column descriptions are as follows:
- Rural Highway are all non-interstate roads in areas under 5,000 population.
- Omaha Streets & Highways include all non-interstate roads in Douglas and Sarpy counties.
- Lincoln Streets & Highways include all non-interstate roads in Lancaster County.
- Remaining Small Urban Streets & Highways are all roads in cities with over 5,000 population
outside of Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster counties. (This includes I-129).
- Statewide Total is a weighted average of all categories.
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 A total of 123 Nebraska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen supporting COVID-19 response efforts in Nebraska.
A second team of 23 Nebraska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed to Grand Island and began collecting samples at a mobile testing site Tuesday.
The first 23-member team that supported DHHS with setting up on-site testing for all YRTC-Kearney residents and staff Sunday and Monday will continue mobile testing support in the Kearney area.
The Nebraska National Guard continues to provide logistical and planning support to our state and federal partners.
National Guard personnel supporting COVID-19 response are receiving health checks themselves at least twice daily.
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 It continues to be safe to give blood. American Red Cross employees follow the highest standards of safety and infection control. The Red Cross has also implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of its donors and staff during this outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.
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.
Federal Partner Updates
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
NEW According to FEMA Region VII which serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, the federal government has provided approximately 1.2 million surgical masks, 1 million pairs of gloves, 500,000 N95 respirators, 20,000 surgical gowns, $245,000 face shields and $7,500 coveralls to Region VII states and tribes.
- For general information related to the federal response efforts, visit www.fema.gov
- For rumor control, go to www.fema.gov/Coronavirus-Rumor-Control
- For information on How to Help by volunteering, selling or donating medical supplies to FEMA, visit: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Center for Disease Control (CDC)
NEW Find answers about COVID-19 here: https://faq.coronavirus.gov/
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
NEW The FDA is working with U.S. Government partners, including CDC and international partners to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Find more info here: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/counterterrorism-and-emerging-threats/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
NEW The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. Find more info here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus%20
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
NEW Get answers to VA related questions about the coronavirus: https://www.va.gov/coronavirus-veteran-frequently-asked-questions/
U.S. Small Business Administration
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). 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.