LINCOLN – This afternoon, Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference at the State Capitol to provide an update on the State’s work to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect hospitals. The Governor reported that coronavirus hospitalizations have stabilized in recent days. He urged Nebraskans to continue taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus, and he advised limiting the size of Thanksgiving gatherings over the holiday weekend.
The Governor also encouraged Nebraskans to take part in “Small Business Saturday” this weekend. As people stay home to stay healthy, local businesses are seeing far less foot traffic than usual. “Small Business Saturday” is a nationwide campaign mobilizing people to shop local on Saturday, November 28th. Nebraskans can call ahead to arrange orders or shop online to reduce in-person contact while supporting small businesses on Saturday. Dave Rippe, owner of Queen City Development Corporation in Hastings and former director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, joined the Governor to talk about how the community of Hastings plans to celebrate “Small Business Saturday.”
Gov. Ricketts also announced that he has issued an executive order to allow government boards, commissions, and other public bodies to meet by videoconference or teleconference. The order stipulates that all virtual meetings must be available to members of the public, including media, to give citizens the opportunity to participate as well as to be duly informed of the meetings’ proceedings. The order takes effect December 1, 2020, and it is available by clicking here.
Paul Timm, a science teacher at Lyons-Decatur Northeast Secondary School and 2021 Nebraska Teacher of the Year, shared his experience of having the coronavirus. Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt also took part in today’s press conference. He thanked teachers, administrators, school boards, and others for working together to provide a high-quality education and to help schools stay healthy. He also talked about schools’ work to finish the calendar year strong as winter break approaches.
Video from this afternoon’s press conference is available by clicking here.