LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said during a press conference Monday that Directed Health Measures set to expire today are being extended until Dec. 31.
Gov. Ricketts said 32 percent of hospital beds are available in Nebraska. If the state hits 25 percent, stricter restrictions will be put in place.
He mentioned a decrease in hospitalizations over the last week but urged people to continue working to slow down the spread so healthcare systems aren’t overwhelmed.
Nebraska currently has 896 COVID-19 related hospitalizations compared to 227 on Oct. 1.
Gov. Ricketts stressed that people get tested for COVID-19 if they traveled for Thanksgiving or had a large gathering.
When asked about recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force on implementing a statewide mask mandate, Gov. Ricketts said "we put together a plan, here in Nebraska, that is right for Nebraska."
Additionally, the governor was asked about being seen without a mask over the weekend at an Omaha brewery. Gov. Ricketts said he was following the rules, not wearing a mask while drinking, and wants to support small businesses.
The governor added that applications for CARES Act funds are being worked through. Applicants will be notified whether or not they qualified. He added it’s unlikely there will be leftover money this year.
John Hilgert, the director at Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs, also spoke regarding his experience with COVID-19. He said people should think beyond their own family in regards to the virus.
Watch his remarks below or on our Facebook page.