LINCOLN – Today, during a press briefing at the State Capitol, Governor Pete Ricketts provided an update on the State’s work to slow the spread of the virus and protect hospitals. The Governor reviewed Nebraska’s recently announced plan to tighten or loosen health restrictions in phases, based on trends in coronavirus-related hospitalizations. A chart outlining each of the five, color-coded phases is available by clicking here. Currently, Nebraska is in the “orange” phase.
The Governor reminded Nebraskans to take advantage of the option for free coronavirus testing through Test Nebraska. All Nebraskans are eligible for testing. Nebraskans can sign up, take a short health assessment, and schedule a time to get tested by visiting www.TestNebraska.com.
Gov. Ricketts also encouraged Nebraskans to support restaurants as they continue to serve customers during the pandemic. Zoe Olson, Executive Director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association, joined the Governor at this morning’s press conference. She discussed the precautions restaurants are taking to help staff and customers stay healthy. She also urged Nebraskans to support restaurants as they deal with the challenges of the pandemic.
Gov. Ricketts: Protecting Hospitals
- Less than two months ago, we had 200 coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Nebraska. Today, these hospitalizations are at 914.
- As I announced last Friday, additional restrictions will take effect to protect our hospitals if Nebraska reaches 25% of staffed hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients.
- To protect our hospitals, we need every Nebraskan to stay committed to good health habits.
- We’re urging all Nebraskans to avoid the “Three Cs”:
o Crowded Places
- Avoid gathering in groups where you can’t maintain six-feet distance from others.
o Close Contacts
- Wear a mask or maintain six-feet distance when you’re with people you don’t live with.
o Confined Spaces
- Avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
Zoe Olson: Restaurants
- Our members have been very diligent in protecting the safety of both staff and patrons.
- We have some of the strictest health codes in the nation, and we follow them.
- We’re taking extra precautions during the pandemic.
o Using Plexiglass shields when customers make payment at registers.
o Adding space between tables and booths.
o Wearing masks.
- Our association asks diners to wear masks when they come into our restaurants, too.
o Doubling the frequency of sanitization.
- Our national association participates in studies with the CDC, epidemiologists, and research universities throughout the country.
o Through these studies, they’ve developed new ventilation guidance for our members.
- I’d like to thank Nebraskans for supporting our restaurants. When indoor dining was closed this spring, Nebraska was second per-capita in the nation for takeout dining.
- Right now, our restaurants are seeing about a 30% decline in revenues. Please continue to order takeout and delivery to support them.
Video from today’s press conference is available by clicking here.
To see a chart of the restrictions in each colored phase of the State’s coronavirus response, click here.