LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and other officials provided a coronavirus update as some services begin to open up across the state.
Ricketts started things off by sharing an update on Nebraska’s test sites. He said 137,000 people registered at TestNebraska.com and testing begins today in Omaha and Grand Island. The state is currently carrying out 1,300-1,400 tests a day through private labs and those numbers should be ramping up.
In regards to the need for more childcare options, as people go back to work, the governor said childcare facilities are allowed to have up to 15 children starting today. Since it might be hard to find childcare options, the site nechildcarereferral.org has been set up to help parents find openings.
Restaurants and salons across the state had the option to open back up today. When asked if he planned on dining out, Ricketts said he does and advised anyone who is fearful of doing so, or sick, to stay home. If a business or church isn’t following guidelines on social distancing, and in the case of salons that require masks for patrons and staff, Ricketts asks that people talk to them. If that doesn’t work, he suggests going to the mayor and then police as a final option.
Businesses that fail to honor guidelines may be ticketed and could be shut down if they have too many infractions, he said.
When it comes to the ethanol industry, which is getting hit hard by the pandemic, the governor said he wants Congress to include it in the next stimulus package.
3 News Now Reporter Jon Kipper and Anchor Jennifer Griswold provided live updates via Twitter:
Getting ready for Gov. Ricketts news conference coming up at 1 pm.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
I’ll be tweeting any updates in the thread below. pic.twitter.com/Y0muzqeUVw
Ricketts says 137,000 people have signed up for https://t.co/zZgVjq54PQ.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
Testing begins today in Omaha and Grand Island.
Beginning today, child care facilities in much of the state, including Omaha, can go from 10 to 15 kids.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
Still it can be tough to find a facility so,
a new website: https://t.co/LKYii67Ceh has been launched to help parents find a daycare that has openings.
Ricketts gets asked about the ethanol imdusty, which is getting hit hard from this virus.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
The governor wants congress to include the industry in the next stimulus package.
Can personal data by Test Nebraska be accessed by law enforcement or other officials?— Jennifer Griswold (@griswoldkmtv) May 4, 2020
Gov. says it’s only used by state to respond to virus, such as to determine where testing is needed.
Why doesn’t Nebraska track recovery data?— Jennifer Griswold (@griswoldkmtv) May 4, 2020
Gov. says not all health districts are doing it and not in a complete way so state doesn’t want to put out incomplete data.
May change in future.
Info on salons is part of Directed Health Measure therefore if people take masks off it is a punishable offense, misdemeanor.— Jennifer Griswold (@griswoldkmtv) May 4, 2020
As for the restaurants opening in the Omaha-area today, Ricketts says go out if you’re comfortable. Older and vulnerable people, should not go out.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
Ricketts says he’ll likely go out to eat this week.
Ricketts says if you see a restaurant, salon or church not following new guidelines, to first go talk to them, then go to the mayor, before calling in the police.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
Technically, businesses could get a ticket.
The state is testing around 1,300-1,400 tests a day with around 30-40% of those coming from private labs.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) May 4, 2020
The number of tests should be going up.
You can watch the stream below: