Leaders and organizations from across Nebraska helped launch a new statewide Coronavirus campaign called 'Do Right, Right Now’ on Thursday.
The goal of the campaign is to create a unified response to the ongoing pandemic.
The following officials spoke during the launch, which happened via Zoom.
- Dr. Adi Pour, Douglas County Health Department
- Dr. James Lawler, Nebraska Medicine
- Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts & First Lady Susanne Shore
- Commissioner Chris Rodgers, Douglas County Health Department
- Matt Blomstedt, Nebraska Department of Education
- Donna Kush, Omaha Community Foundation
- Mary Jo Pankoke, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
The campaign will last six to nine months and will promote mental healthcare services in addition to sharing vital information about COVID-19 and vaccinations in Nebraska.
Information will be promoted in a positive and upbeat manner, according to Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour, and will use current data research to cover a variety of topics including vaccines.
“Once a vaccine is available, the campaign will educate the public on its benefit and how to get it," Dr. Pour said.
Dr. James Lawler with Nebraska Medicine said the state is currently in the most dangerous time of the entire pandemic and hospitalizations are rising at a dramatically higher rate than in the spring.
"I've been in mass casualty situations in combat zones in Afghanistan, I've been in Ebola treatment centers in very austere conditions and I have never been as frightened about the status of a health system as I am about the status of our health system in Nebraska right now," Dr. Lawler said.
Additionally, Dr. Lawler mentioned that hospitalizations could double in two to three weeks unless the state is able to change its course. He said the key is to combine all efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts praised the campaign, saying now is the time for residents to step up and take care of each other.
Douglas County Board of Health President Chirs Rodgers also urged people to work together, adding that communities of color are more vulnerable to the virus. He asked everyone to think of those who may be more vulnerable.
“This is not a black, white problem — this is a Nebraska problem,” said Rodgers.
Commissioner of Education Matt Blomstedt said one problem is that people are growing tired of the pandemic, but stressed that now is not the time to ease up on safety measures.
Blomstedt said reducing the spread won’t be easy with holidays coming up but urged residents to keep family gatherings small.
Watch the event below or on our Facebook page