Gov. Ricketts, squawk leaders discuss COVID-19 preparations – KETV Omaha

Gov. Ricketts, squawk leaders discuss COVID-19 preparations


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>> THIS IS BREAKING NEWS FROM KETV NEWSWATCH 7. I AM JOHN OAKEY. THE GOVERNOR OF NEBRASKA AND BUSINESS LEADERS ARE ABOUT TO HOLD A MEETING. PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED THROUGH NEXT WEEK AND OTHERS DOING THE SAME, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SPRING BREAK. >> CAN WE BALANCE IT OUT, LIKE MAYBE SOME PEOPLE COME OVER HERE? MATT, YOU WANT TO BE ON THAT SIDE. GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU FOR MAKING TIME. WE WILL GIVE YOU AN UPDATE WITH RESPECT TO THE STATE OF NEBRASKA’S CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HERE THAT DEMONSTRATE NEBRASKA HAS A GREAT TEAM OF OFFICIALS WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF NEBRASKANS. YOU WILL HEAR FROM A NUMBER OF THESE OFFICIALS TODAY TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING. I EXPECT THIS TO LAST ABOUT AN HOUR, SO WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO IS I WILL INTRODUCE ALL THE DIGNITARIES AND AS SOME OF OUR FOLKS WERE TALKING, THEY WILL SPEAK AND WE WILL CALL THEM BACK UP TO ANSWER QUESTION. WE WILL KEEP THIS SPECIFICALLY FOCUSED ON CORONAVIRUS, JUST SO WE ARE ALL CLEAR. THE ORDER OF SPEAKING WILL BE I WILL GO FORCE, THEN WE WILL HAVE MR. BLOMSTEDT, DR. CHERYL LOGAN, DR. SUTPHIN, THE ASSOCIATE SUPERINTENDENT DR. MATT LARSON. THEY WILL SPEAK ABOUT THEIR SCHOOLS SPECIFICALLY AND THEN WE HAVE DR. JEFF RULED — JEFF RULED. — GOULD. BRIAN SLOAN, PRESIDENT OF THE STATE CHAMBER. ALSO WITH US IN THE AUDIENCE, WE HAVE MAYOR BAIRD, MAYOR LINCOLN, MAYOR STOTHERT, DR. CHRIS SCRAMBLE FROM USMC — MELISSA POLANCEK. Y DAVID PATTON FROM TH LEARNING COMMUNITY. RANDY FROM THE METRO COMMUNITY COLLEGE. WE HAVE GOT DR. YOUR — DR. BARRY HER ROCK, DR. ANDY RICK LEE. DR. MIKE LUCAS. DR. JEFF RIPPEY, WILL VIEW. DR. RICH BARON FROM GRETNA. DR. MARK AVENUE LEARNED FROM RALSTON. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF SUPER INTENDANTS — SUPERINTENDENTS WE HAVE A GREAT TEAM OF PEOPLE WORKING TO KEEP NEBRASKANS HEALTHY AND SAFE. NOW WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS? RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE 13 CONFIRMED CASES IN NEBRASKA. THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC THESE FOLKS AND THEY ARE TRACING THOSE FOLKS BACK TO HOW THEY GOT IT. WE KNOW THAT THE CORONAVIRUS SPREADS EASILY. IT IS A RESPIRATORY DISEASE SPREAD BY PEOPLE COUGHING AND THAT IS WHY I HAVE TOLD — WE HAVE TOLD PEOPLE TO COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU ARE COUGHING, STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, ALL OF THOSE PUBLIC HYGIENE THINGS. WE KNOW FROM THE EXPERIENCE, AND WE ARE VERY BLESSED TO HAVE THE RESOURCE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER IN OUR STATE BECAUSE WE HAVE THE WORLD LEADING EXPERTS WHO HAVE HANDLED EBOLA AND HAVE HELP QUARANTINE PATIENTS FROM WUHAN, CHINA. WE HAVE THE WORLD LEADING EXPERTS TO HELP US DEAL WITH THIS. WHAT THEY HAVE TOLD US IS THE CORONAVIRUS CAN SPREAD PRETTY EASILY AS A RESPIRATORY DISEASE THAT ABOUT 5% OF THE PEOPLE WHO GET IT WILL HAVE TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. AND WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS MITIGATE THAT BREAD SO THAT WE DON’T — THAT SPREAD SO THAT WE DON’T OVERWHELM OUR MEDICATION — MEDICAL SYSTEMS. YOUNG PEOPLE WHETHER THIS FAIRLY WELL — WEATHER THIS FAIRLY WELL. WE DO NOT KNOW OF ANY PATRIOTIC — PEDIATRIC DEATHS. WE ARE TRYING TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF THE ELDERLY OR PEOPLE WITH UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS, BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE ARE ALSO AT RISK. IF YOU HAVE DIABETES, PULMONARY DISEASE, RESPIRATORY DISEASE, THOSE THINGS BUT PEOPLE AT GREATER RISK. IF YOU ARE YOUNG AND HEALTHY, YOU MAY NOT EVEN KNOW YOU HAVE IT. YOU MAY BE COMPLETELY ASYMPTOMATIC YOU MAY HAVE THE TYPICAL PROFILE, COUGHING, MAYBE TROUBLE BREATHING. OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE SLOW DOWN THE RED OF THE VIRUS — THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS SO WE DO NOT OVERWHELM THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND CAN TAKE CARE OF THOSE FOLKS WHO WILL GENERALLY BE ELDERLY OR HAVE AN UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITION, TO PROVIDE THE CARE THEY NEED. THAT IS THE GOAL WE ALL ARE WORKING ON AND WE HAVE A GREAT GROUP OF PEOPLE ALL WORKING TOWARD THAT HERE IN THE STATE OF NEBRASKA WITH THE ADVICE OF THE FOLKS AT YOU FMC, WE ARE LOOKING TO SEE WHEN WE HAVE THAT COMMUNITY SPREAD. WE DO NOT HAVE THAT NOW. THAT MEANS PEOPLE WHO WE DON’T KNOW HOW THEY GOT IT. PUBLIC WORKERS ARE WORKING DILIGENTLY WITH OUR CASES TO TRACE BACK HOW THOSE PEOPLE GOT IT AND IT IS PRIMARILY RELATED TO TRAVEL CASES. OUR PATIENT ONE CAME FROM THE U.Okay., SO WE KNOW THAT SHE COME OF IS HOW SHE GOT IT. — SHE, THAT IS HOW SHE GOT IT WE ARE TRACING ALL THE CONTACTS SINCE SHE GOT BACK TO NEBRASKA AND SIMILAR TO ALL OF THE OTHER CASES. WHEN WE KNOW SOMEONE HAS IT, WE TRACE IT BACK AND SEE HOW THEY HAVE GOT IT AND THEY HAVE BEEN PRIMARILY TRAVEL RELATED CASES. WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO IS MAKE SURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO TRACK ALL OF THIS, BUT THERE MAY BE PEOPLE WE CANNOT TRACK. THERE MAY BE PEOPLE WE DON’T KNOW HOW THEY GOT IT AND THAT IS CALLED COMMUNITY SPREAD. BASED UPON THE ADVICE WE HAVE GOTTEN FROM YOU NMC, AS WE APPROACH 1% OF THE POPULATION HAVING THE VIRUS, THAT IS WHEN WE AT THE STATE WILL MAKE A DECISION TO CLOE DOWN SCHOOLS AND LARGE PUBLIC GATHERINGS. WE WILL BE OBVIOUSLY TAKING OTHER STEPS LEADING UP TO THAT, BUT THAT WILL BE THE TRIGGER AT THE STATE TO DO THAT. UNTIL WE HAVE THE TESTING TO BE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE WE ARE APPROACHING THAT 1%, IS A GENERAL RULE OF THUMB WHAT I WILL BE USING HIS THOSE CASES THAT WE CANNOT TRACK, AND WE HAVE TWO OF THOSE CASES IN OMAHA , ONE OR TWO IN LINCOLN, WE WILL THEN MAKE THAT DECISION TO SAY SCHOOLS NEED TO BE CLOSED FOR SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS. NOW AS WE LOOK AT THE REST OF THE STATE, AS THE COMMISSIONER SAID WE HAVE DECIDED, WITHIN AN ESU, IF THEY HAVE ONE OF THOSE CASES WE CANNOT TRACK, WE WILL SHUT DOWN THE SCHOOLS. WE ARE GOING TO USE OUR JUDGMENT ON THIS, SO FOR EXAMPLE, DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF CASE, IF WE HAVE A CASE THAT ORDER LINES TWO ISSUES WE WILL CLOSE THEM BOTH DOWN. WE NEED GOOD COMMUNICATION TO APPROACH THAT. ORGANIZATIONS CAN BE MORE CONSERVATIVE WANT. SOME OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS, IF YOU WERE ON SPRING BREAK LAST WEEK AND YOU HAVE KIDS TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY AND CASES ARE TRAVEL RELATED, YOU MAY WANT TO TAKE A BREAK FOR A WEEK TO GIVE OFFICIALS A CHANCE AND BASICALLY THOSE KIDS TO STAY AT HOME TO SEE IF THEY DEVELOP SYMPTOMS. SCHOOLS OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS CAN BE MORE CONSERVATIVE IF THEY WISH, BUT WHAT I AM TELLING YOU IS THIS IS HOW WE AT THIS DATE ARE GOING TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS. WHEN WE HAVE THOSE CASES WE CAN’T TRACK IN A COMMUNITY, WE WILL BE CLOSING SCHOOLS FOR SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS. THAT IS OUR CURRENT PLAN. JUST SO EVERYBODY KNOWS, THAT IS OUR RULE OF THUMB. WE ARE GOING TO USE OUR JUDGMENT. WE HAVE OTHER WAYS TO MEASURE WHAT IS GOING ON IN HUMAN — COMMUNITIES SO PUBLIC HEALTH TRACKS FLU SYMPTOMS. IF WE SEE A SPIKE IN FLU SYMPTOMS BUT A DECLINE IN TESTING FOR INFLUENZA A OR B, WE MAY HAVE MORE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY WITH THAT VIRUS. SO THAT IS HOW WE ARE THINKING ABOUT THE STATE WITH REGARD TO WHEN WE ARE GOING TO START CLOSING SCHOOLS AND LARGE PUBLIC EVENTS. I WANTED TO COMMUNICATE THAT SO EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS HOW WE AT THE STATE ARE APPROACHING IT. WE ALSO HAVE TESTING AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW. WE HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR ABOUT 200 TESTS BETWEEN THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAB AND THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA HEALTH CENTER. PRIVATE LABS ARE GEARING UP TO DO TESTING. DR. ANTHONE CAN TALK MORE ABOUT THIS, BUT IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED, CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. THEY WILL DO A SCREENING AND DETERMINE IF YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE TO GET A TEST. THEN THAT WOULD BE THE APPROPRIATE TIME TO GET A TEST. WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE SCREENED FIRST BECAUSE THERE IS STILL LOTS OF FLU AND THE SYMPTOMS ARE VERY SIMILAR. IF YOU KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEBODY WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, THAT IS A REASON TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AND GET TESTED. SO AGAIN, I WANT TO EMPHASIZE, WE HAVE A GREAT TEAM REPRESENTED BY A LOT OF PEOPLE UP HERE OR SITTING IN THE AUDIENCE. I APPRECIATE THE MAYORS BEING HERE TO SUPPORT THE SUPERINTENDENTS, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK ON KEEPING NEBRASKANS HEALTHY AND SAFE. I WILL TURN IT OVER TO THE COMMISSIONER. MR. BLOMSTEDT: THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR BEING HERE TODAY. IT IS A UNIQUE MOMENT IN TIME, IN HISTORY, QUITE FRANKLY. I DON’T BELIEVE ANY OF US HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING QUITE AS DISRUPTIVE AS WHAT CORONAVIRUS IS. GOV. RICKETTS: IF YOU HAVE, WE WANT TO KNOW. MR. BLOMSTEDT: I WROTE MY STAFF TODAY IN TALKING ABOUT THE PHONE WE HAVE THAT WE CAN’T SEE, AND THAT PHONE, CORONAVIRUS CREATES THE COVID-19 DISEASE. WE ALSO CANNOT THE THE FEAR, SO ONE OF THE CHALLENGES IS BALANCING THAT. THAT IS ONE OF THE ROLES OF LEADERSHIP. THIS LEADERSHIP AND ALL OF YOU HAVE WORKED VERY HARD. WE HAVE HAD REGULAR CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHAT WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR. WHAT WE ARE PREPARING FOR IS ENSURING THAT OUR PUBLIC SERVICES, OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, OUR PRIVATE SCHOOLS, ALL OF OUR SCHOOLS, ALL OF US WORKING TOGETHER ARE ENSURING THE PUBLIC SAFETY. I KNOW WHAT OUR GOALS ARE IN EDUCATION AND I CAN TELL YOU, I GET GOALS — QUESTIONS ABOUT, WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT HOURS BANG? WORRY ABOUT PUBLIC GOOD. WHAT ABOUT TESTING THIS YEAR? I QUITE SUSPECT THERE WILL BE LOW — NO LEGITIMATE TESTING THAT TAKES PLACE ACROSS THE STATE OF NEBRASKA. I GET QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT ELSE DO WE DO, HOW DO WE MANAGE THE OTHER ENVIRONMENTS WE ARE IN? FRANKLY, YOU WILL HAVE TO BE ABLE TO MANAGE THOSE WITH YOUR BEST INTEREST. WE WANT TO THINK ABOUT STRATEGIES. WE ARE HAVING A WEEKLY CONVERSATION WHERE I INVITED THE SUPERINTENDENTS OF THE STATE TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT. THAT WILL BE EXPANDING IN THE SENSE THAT I HAVE INVITED PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS TO BE A PART OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS SO WE CAN BE INFORMED AS LEADERS ABOUT WHAT IS BEST. THE GOVERNOR HAS ACCEPTED TO BE PART OF THOSE CALLS AS WELL. THAT WILL BE CRITICAL TO KEEP PEOPLE INFORMED ACROSS THE STATE. I AM ASKING ESU’S TO PROVIDE LEADERSHIP AND KEEP FOLKS INFORMED ON WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHAT THE LATEST IS. I KNOW THE LEADERS STANDING UP HERE, THE EDUCATOR DOES EDUCATION LEADERS AND LEADERS IN THE ROOM ARE HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THEM. WHEN YOU MAKE A DECISION ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU, THAT IS THE RIGHT DECISION. WHEN WE LOOK AT THIS TO ASSURE THE SAFETY AND BEST PLANNING POSSIBLE AND ENSURE WE ARE ABLE TO OPERATE AS NORMALLY AS POSSIBLE WHEN WE CAN, THAT HAPPENS. THAT DISRUPTED QUICKLY YESTERDAY. THAT CHANGED FAST. WE WANT SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TO PROVIDE — WE WANT SCHOOLS TO OFFER SOME SENSE OF NORMALCY FOR THEIR FAMILIES, INCLUDING CONCERNS ABOUT FOOD. I HAVE HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH LEADERS ACROSS THE STATE OF NEBRASKA ABOUT HOW THAT WILL BE DONE AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT AS WELL. I CAN PROMISE THAT CONCERNS ABOUT RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE NOT YOUR CONCERN. YOUR CONCERN IS ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOUR FAMILIES, CHILDREN , COMMUNITIES, WORKING WITH YOUR MAYORS AND OTHER COMMUNITY LEADERS, MAKING THAT HAPPEN. I AM PROUD OF THE RESPONSE OF SCHOOLS AND LEVEL OF CARE THAT IS TAKING PLACE FROM PRIVATE TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO ENSURE SAFETY AS BEST WE CAN FOR OUR FAMILIES, OUR RELATIVES, ALL OF US WHO HAVE PEOPLE CLOSE TO US WHO ARE VULNERABLE. WHEN I CAN TELL YOU ULTIMATELY IN THE END, WE ARE DEDICATED TO MEETING NEXT WEEK AND CONTINUING THOSE MEETINGS TO CONTINUE PROTOCOLS ON WHAT WE MIGHT DO. GIVEN THE LAST TWO DAYS IF I CAN PREDICT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT WEEK, OR EVEN YET TODAY, I DON’T KNOW. I WANT EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND HOW SERIOUS THIS IS. I GET PUSHBACK, AND ICJ BALLER IN THE ROOM. WE GOT A LOT OF PUSHBACK FOR NOT ALLOWING FANS INTO THAT EVENT. THE REALITY IS, THIS IS A RAPIDLY MOVING — WE ARE MAKING RAPID DECISIONS FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. I AM A PARENT. IT IS A TOUGH SCENARIO FOR ALL THE PARENTS. WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT OUR KIDS. OUR SCHOOLS ARE BOTH THINGS, THE PLACE WHERE WE ARE CONCERNED IF THEY GO THEY MIGHT GET SICK AND THE PLACE WHERE IF I DON’T HAVE THEM GOING, I DON’T KNOW HOW THEY WILL BE SAFE. WE HAVE BOTH OF THOSE ENVIRONMENTS WORKING AND I WILL WORK WITH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU AND CONTINUE THAT WORK. I AM PROUD OF SCHOOL LEADERS IN THE STATE, VERY PROUD OF THE THREE THAT WILL SPEAK, BUT FOR ALL OF YOU THAT ARE MAKING THE DECISIONS YOU THINK ARE RIGHT FOR YOUR DISTRICT. TURNING IT BACK OVER TO THEM. GOV. RICKETTS: DR. LOGAN. DR. LOGAN: GOOD MORNING. THANK YOU, GOVERNOR RICKETTS, FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP IN INVITING ALL OF THE SUPERINTENDENTS. WE WERE YEARNING FOR A SNOW DAY CALL. I DON’T SAY THAT TO DIMINISH THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION. THE SUPERINTENDENTS IN THIS ROOM — AND THERE ARE MANY — HAVE SHOWN THEMSELVES TO BE THE BEST AND FINEST IN NEBRASKA IN TERMS OF THEIR CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND LEADING THEIR SCHOOL COMMUNITIES WITH INTEGRITY AND WITH RESOLVE. THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR STUDENTS IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY. IN THE OMAHA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WE HAVE BEEN ON BREAK DURING THE LAST WEEK AS WELL AS ONE OTHER DISTRICT. WE BEGAN PLANNING FOR A RANGE OF COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO COVID-19 A FEW WEEKS AGO, IN CASE WE WOULD BE NEEDED OR CALLED UPON, OR WAS NECESSARY FOR US TO RESPOND. THE INFORMATION IS CHANGING SO RAPIDLY, DURING OUR SPRING BREAK, INFORMATION CHANGED HOUR-BY-HOUR AND SOMETIMES IN IT BY MINUTE. WE VALUE OUR CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS AND THE HEALTH EXPERTS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED US. BEGINNING A CLOSURE MONDAY ALLOWS US TO CONTINUE THE CLOSE COORDINATION WITH OFFICIALS, THE NEBRASKA — AND THE STATE TO BEST RESPOND TO THE EVOLVING SITUATION. IT WAS CAREFULLY CONSIDERED. WE WILL REASSESS THE SITUATION LATER THIS WEEK TO DETERMINE NEXT STEPS IN CONSULTATION WITH LOCAL AND STATE PARTNERS. WE ARE CONTINUING TO ENGAGE OUR STUDENTS THROUGH ANY LENGTH OF CLOSURE. WE WILL CERTAINLY DO OUR BEST EFFORT. WE HAVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS ON ENSURING THAT STUDENTS WHO HAVE FOOD INSECURITY WILL NOT EXPERIENCE A DISRUPTION IN AT LEAST HAVING A SOURCE FOR FOOD AND OTHER THINGS THAT THEY MAY NEED. THANK YOU SO MUCH, AND I APPRECIATE THE INVITATION. GOV. RICKETTS: THANK YOU, DR. LOGAN. >> GOOD MORNING. THANK YOU, GOVERNOR RICKETTS, FOR ORGANIZING THIS. WE APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE. WE WILL BE ON SPRING BREAK NEXT WEEK SO WE HAVE SOME TIME TO FIGURE THIS OUT, BUT THE INTENSITY OF WHAT IS OCCURRING IN THE COMMUNITY IS DRIVING INCISION MAKING. — DECISION-MAKING. AFTER TALKING TO MANY PARENTS, IT STARTED ON WHEN THEY WHEN NSA SAID NO FANS IN BASKETBALL. THAT WAS THE TIPPING POINT IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT GOT THE ATTENTION BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAD BEEN NATIONAL AND NOW WE WERE LOCALIZED, AND PARTICULARLY THIS YEAR BECAUSE WE HAVE GREAT BASKETBALL GOING ON, PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED, IT MUST BE SERIOUS IF WE CANNOT WATCH THESE KIDS PLAY. WE WATCHED THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES CAN’T GO AND THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA WAS PROVIDING A DIFFERENT MODEL. THERE WERE LOTS OF THINGS HAPPENING SO FAST, AND EVERY DECISION THAT IS BEING MADE BY BUSINESS, WHETHER IT IS WORK FOR HOME, BEING MADE BY THE UNIVERSITY THAT IS IN LEARNING, IT IMPACTS THE PUBLIC SCHOOL BECAUSE WE EITHER HAVE SOMEBODY THAT IS RELATED TO SOMEBODY OR THEY HAVE A CHILD THAT IS THERE OR EMPLOYER OR THEY ARE AN EMPLOYER THAT ATTEND OUR SCHOOL, AND THEY ARE ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT WITH ALL OF THIS HAPPENING, WHY ARE YOU STAYING OPEN? FOR US AT MILLARD TO STAY OPEN, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS WE NEED TO HAVE THAT WILL HELP US ONE OF THEM IS, WE NEED AN INCIDENT COMMAND MODEL, AND ORGANIZED AND TRANSPARENT TEAM THAT CAN COMMUNICATE WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND PUBLIC, HERE IS EXACTLY WHERE WE’RE AT, WHAT GOVERNMENT RICKETS TALKED ABOUT, THE COMMUNITY SPREAD, TO HAVE THAT IN THE FOREFRONT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NO MORE DANGER SENDING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL THEN LEAVING THEM HOME. THAT IS IMPERATIVE. WE NEED CLEAR AND CONSISTENT EDUCATION GOING OUT TO OUR COMMUNITY. TO SIT AND STAY WE HAVE A HEALTH CRISIS, WE DON’T HAVE THAT, BUT WE HAVE HEALTH PANIC. I WAS AT THE GROCERY STORE LAST NIGHT, 45 MINUTES TO GET THROUGH THE LINE AND THERE IS NO FOOD LEFT IN THE CITY. PEOPLE ARE BUYING AND STOCKING UP. THERE IS FEAR BEING SPREAD ACROSS, AND EDUCATION IS THE GREAT AND ALL, WE NEED TO EDUCATE OUR COMMUNITY SO WE SLOW DOWN THE FEAR THAT IS OCCURRING BECAUSE PARENTS DON’T WANT TO SEND THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL WHEN THEY DON’T LIKE THEIR SCHOOLS ARE SAFE, AND THAT IS QUICKLY BECOMING THE ISSUE IS THEY ARE NOT BILLING IT IS SAFE BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT INFORMATION OUT. THIS IS NOT A RESPONSE THAT CAN BE DONE BY Okay-12 EDUCATION. THIS IS A RESPONSE THAT MUST BE DONE BY BUSINESS, THE UNIVERSITY, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS , AND Okay-12 EDUCATION. IT HAS TO BE THE SAME MESSAGE IF WE WANT A CHANCE TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS OPEN AND OUR SCHOOLS SAFE. >> THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY. WE UNDERSTAND THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THE LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ RESPONSE TO COVID-19. ANY DECISION WE MAKE IMPACTS OUR STUDENTS, FAMILIES, STAFF, AND COMMUNITY. THIS IS A DECISION WE DO NOT TAKE LIKE THE DUST LIGHTLY AND OUR FIRST — LIGHTLY AND OUR PRIORITY IS THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF STUDENTS AND STAFF MEMBERS. THERE ARE MANY CONSIDERATIONS THAT GO INTO A DECISION SUCH AS THIS AND THE INFORMATION CHANGES BY THE HOUR. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE COLLABORATION AND OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH VARIOUS ENTITIES AS WE NAVIGATE NEW TERRITORY. WE HAVE BEEN ENGAGED WITH SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS, MEETINGS, AND CONSULTATIONS WITH THE NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS, THE MAYOR’S OFFICE, GOVERNOR RICKETTS, THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. WE HAVE ALSO CONSULTED WITH PROFESSIONALS FROM UNMC, AND ARE COLLABORATING WITH OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND HIGHER EDUCATION IN OUR COMMUNITY. ULTIMATELY, OUR DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOLS WILL BE BASED ON THE UNIQUE NEEDS AND WILL BE MADE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR STUDENTS, STAFF, AND COMMUNITY. LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL ANNOUNCE A DECISION THIS AFTERNOON. WE KNOW THAT FAMILIES ARE TRYING TO PLAN. WE ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO MAKE PLANS NOW IN THE EVENT THAT WE DO NOT HAVE SCHOOL NEXT WEEK OR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WEEKS. WE APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER. GOVERNOR, AND THANK ALL OF YOU AND OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS FOR THEIR DEDICATION TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF OUR STUDENTS AND LARGER COMMUNITY. THANK YOU. GOV. RICKETTS: NOW WE HAVE DR. GOLD. >> THANK YOU, GOVERNOR, FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY. I WOULD LIKE TO START OFF THAT SAYING JUST OVER 40 YEARS AGO, I TOOK THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH WHEN I BECAME A PHYSICIAN. AS DID ALL OF THE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS THAT ARE PART OF THE MED CENTER, PART OF THE COMMUNITY, AND PART OF THE STATE I AM ALSO A PARENT AND GRANDPARENT OF INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO UNFORTUNATELY LIVE IN AREAS WHERE THE PROGRESSION IS ON CONTROLLED — UNCONTROLLED AT THIS TIME. I AM THE PARENT AND SPOUSE OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS IN THOSE COMMUNITIES AS WELL, SO FROM A PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, AND FAMILY LEVEL, I GET THIS. UNMC AND NEBRASKA MEDICINE ARE HONORED TO HELP. WE WERE HONORED TO HELP IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK IN 2014 AND 2015 AND HAVE BEEN FRONT AND CENTER SINCE THEN IN EPIDEMIOLOGY, QUARANTINING, EDUCATION, NOT JUST IN OUR STATE AND REGION SEVEN, BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD. HEALTH PROFESSIONALS THAT FORMED THE GLOBAL CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY, THE GCHS HAS A NATIONAL REPUTATION FOR WHAT WE DO ON A LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL LEVEL. WE ARE DEFINITELY HERE TO HELP. IN RECENT MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON, THE MESSAGE I HAVE RECEIVED IS YOU GUYS LEAN IN. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT NOT ONLY DO WE LEAN IN, BUT WE ARE LOOKED AT AS A STANDARD, AND THE DECISIONS WE MAKE ARE WATCHED NOT JUST IN OUR COMMUNITY BUT AROUND THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD. WE DO NOT TAKE THAT TRUST LIGHTLY. THE HEALTH CARE PROFESSION DOES FOR DIFFERENT THINGS — PREVENT DISEASE, DIAGNOSE DISEASE, TREAT DISEASE, AND EDUCATE COMMUNITIES. THIS CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK WHICH IS TRULY AN UNPRECEDENTED PANDEMIC EVEN IF YOU INCLUDE THE EXPERIENCES OF 1917/1918 BECAUSE OF THE RAPID PROGRESSION OF THIS DISEASE, THE UNIQUE PERIOD OF INCUBATION, AND PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING AND FEELING WELL CAN CARRY AND SHED THE VIRUS CREATE UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL PATIENT CHALLENGES AND PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF PREVENTION, THE BEST WE CAN DO IS TO EDUCATE, TO SCREEN, TO USE WHATEVER PHARMACOLOGIC AND MEDICAL MEASURES THAT ARE AVAILABLE WHICH ARE VACCINES AND ANTIVIRALS, WHICH ARE NONE OTHER THAN THOSE IN RESEARCH, AND TO USE NONPHARMACOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS SUCH AS SOCIAL DISTANCING WHICH INCLUDES PUBLIC EVENTS, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, YOU NAME IT. ON THE DIAGNOSTIC SIDE, WE HAVE TESTING. THAT IS SPECIFIC AND ACCURATE FOR THE PRESENCE OF THIS VIRUS, HOWEVER WE CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WITH CAPACITY, MUCH LESS IN NEBRASKA BECAUSE WE DO HAVE CAPACITY CURRENTLY, BUT ON THE COAST IT HAS BECOME A REAL PROBLEM AND IT CONTINUES TO GET BETTER BUT IT IS NOT THERE YET. AND THEN WE TREAT. TREATMENT CAN BE EVERYTHING FROM REASSURANCE AND EDUCATION TO HOSPITALIZATION, OUTPATIENT FOLLOW-UP, INPATIENT CARE, INTENSIVE UNIT CARE, HOWEVER THERE ARE NO SPECIFIC DRUGS AND MOST OF THE DRUGS AND THERAPIES ARE RELATED TO THE COMPLICATIONS SUCH AS ANTIBIOTICS FOR BACK TO AERIAL SUPER INFECTIONS, USE OF A VENTILATOR, ETC.. . FINALLY, WE CARE FOR COMMUNITIES THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRYING TO CONVERT FEAR INTO HEALTHY DEGREES OF CONCERN AND CONVERT THAT CONCERN INTO PROACTIVE RESPONSE. WE ARE TRULY AT A HISTORIC MOMENT, I BELIEVE NOT JUST AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD , BUT FRANKLY IN NEBRASKA AS WELL. THE COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIPS THAT THE MED CENTER ENJOYS WITH OUR FEDERAL PARTNERS ACROSS THE AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, OUR FEDERAL DELEGATION, THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE STATE — STATE, CITIES, AND COMMUNITIES WE SERVE IS TRULY REMARKABLE AND I DARESAY EXEMPLARY FROM WHAT OTHER STATES IN THE UNITED STATES ARE GOING THROUGH. IF THEY ONLY HAD THE TIGHTNESS OF THESE RELATIONSHIPS AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE COMMUNICATION, MANY OF THEM WOULD BE IN A BETTER STATE. I WOULD SAY I DON’T PERSONALLY THINK THERE IS ANY MAGIC THAT GOES INTO WHAT THE CASE COUNT IS OF THE TOTAL EPIDEMIC SPREAD IN ANY GEOGRAPHIC REGION OF THE STATE. THE GOVERNOR’S PARAMETERS FOR DECLARING A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND TAKING SPECIFIC STATEWIDE ACTION ARE PERSONALLY — PERFECTLY REASONABLE. THAT DOES NOT MEAN LOCAL DECISION-MAKING WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE AS WELL. SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS, STUDENTS WHO ARE IMMUNOSUPPRESSED, STUDENTS WITH UNIQUE MEDICAL OR FAMILY PROBLEMS, INDEED THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROTECT THE OLDER POPULATION WITH HYPERTENSION, DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, LUNG DISEASE, ETC., ARE THE NAME OF THE GAME. THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO GET THROUGH THIS IN A WAY SUCH THAT WE DO NOT EXCEED THE CAPACITY OF THE HEALTH CARE IN OUR REGION AND STATE. WE ARE COMMITTED AS THE UNIVERSITY, AND THE GOVERNOR AND MAYORS UNDERSTAND THIS, THAT THAT HAS GOT TO BE THE GOAL THROUGH THESE NONPHARMACOLOGIC INTERVENTIONS. IF THEY ARE IMPLEMENTED TOO EARLY, WE WILL MISS THE BOAT AND LATE, THE BOAT WILL HAVE LEFT THE DOCK OUR GOAL IS TO GET IT COORDINATED RIGHT. I WOULD BE MORE THAN PLEASED TO TAKE ANY QUESTIONS OR TAKE ANY QUESTIONS OFFLINE, AND TO SAY HOW HONORED I AM THE MED CENTER — I AND THE MED CENTER ARE TO PLAY THIS ROLE. GOV. RICKETTS: DR. ANTHONE. DR. ANTHONE: THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. OUR MAIN GOAL IS TO ENSURE THE HEALTH OF ALL NEBRASKANS. JUST ONE WEEK AGO, COVID-19 ARRIVED IN NEBRASKA AND NOW WE HAVE A TOTAL OF 13 CASES. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND OUR LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS ARE LEADING THE RESPONSE. AS SOON AS THE PUBLIC OR A POSITIVE CASE IS IDENTIFIED, OUR EPIDEMIOLOGY TEAM AT THE STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS ARE ON THE SPOT IMMEDIATELY TO DO THE CLOSE CONTACT AND OTHER INVESTIGATIONS TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. WE HAVE NUMEROUS PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS IN OUR STATE, IN OUR EMERGENCIES, AND AT U.N. MC — UNMC. SO FAR, WE HAVE NOT DETECT CORONAVIRUS SPREADING IN NEBRASKA IN THE COMMUNITIES. THAT COULD CHANGE AND COULD CHANGE HOW EMPLOYERS AND SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES NEED TO BE PREPARED. WE WILL SEE MORE CASES IN NEBRASKA AND WE NEED TO EXPECT CLOSURES AS WE HAVE SEEN, AND CANCELLATIONS. BUSINESSES WILL BE AFFECTED. EMPLOYERS SHOULD BE READY TO IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES TO PROTECT THEIR WORKFORCE WHILE ENSURING THE CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS. BUSINESSES CREATED THEIR OWN PANDEMIC FLU PLANS AND RESPONSE TO THE H1N1 PANDEMIC A FEW YEARS AGO. THESE SHOULD PROVIDE A SOLID HOW TO BE ASSISTED ON WHAT TO DO. WE HAVE ONGOING AND ACT OF COMMUNICATION WITH EVERY EMPLOYEE, LET THEM KNOW THE STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN IN YOUR EMPLOYMENT TO TRY TO KEEP THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS FROM HAPPENING. EMPLOYEES IN NEBRASKA ARE OUR GREATEST ASSET. WE ENSURE POLICIES THAT WILL KEEP THEM HEALTHY. LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS ARE LEADING THE RESPONSE FOR COVID-19 AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL, AND WE WILL HELP INFORM THE PUBLIC TO DRIVE THESE DECISIONS. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO REACH OUT TO YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT. EMPLOYERS CAN FIND THE LATEST GUIDANCE ON OUR DHH WEBSITE. ALL OF US HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN THIS RESPONSE IN WORKING TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WORK HORSE. — WORKFORCE. I WILL IN ON AN ANECDOTE STORY. WE HAVE AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD GRANDSON WHO CAME TO ME AND SAID, I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. I SAID, JUDE, YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY. IT HASN’T REALLY AFFECTED CHILDREN OR YOUNG ADOLESCENT. HE SAID, BUT GRANDPA, I AM WORRIED ABOUT YOU NOW. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT MYSELF AS OLD BUT I THINK THAT SAYS A LOT. [LAUGHTER] DR. ANTHONE: THANK YOU. >> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THIS IS HISTORIC TIMES WE ARE IN AND THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA SYSTEM HAS MADE A DECISION TO DO SOMETHING WE HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE. YOU ARE SEEING THIS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY SO WE MADE THE DECISION NOT JUST ON THE ABUNDANCE OF BEING SAFE, BUT FOR COMMUNITIES TO GO TO REMOTE EDUCATION. THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN ONLINE EDUCATION. THIS IS THE ABILITY WE HAVE PREPARED FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, ONE I.T. SYSTEM FOR ALL OF OUR CAMPUSES AND WHERE WE CAN HAVE OUR TEACHERS, FACULTY, AND STAFF TO TAKE CARE OF OUR MISSION TO EDUCATE 51,000. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA IS CLOSED. IT IS QUITE THE OPPOSITE. WE ARE OPEN. OUR DORMITORIES, HOUSING, CAFETERIA — GOV. RICKETTS: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO KICK MY SON OUT, RIGHT? >> AS LONG AS HE KEEPS GETTING THOSE GOOD GRADES. WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP SOME SENSE OF NORMALCY WITH OUR AMAZING PROGRAM THAT AFFECTS THE ENTIRE STATE. WHEN I TALK ABOUT FOUR CAMPUSES, I SHOULD TALK ABOUT SIX CAMPUSES BECAUSE THE FLAGSHIP IN LINCOLN AND OMAHA, THE MED CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA CARNEY, AND WE ALSO HAVE NCTA IN CURTIS AS WELL AS OUR EXTENSION PROGRAM. THEY TOUCH THE ENTIRE STATE, SO WE ARE COORDINATED WITH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES, THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. WE DID NOT MAKE THESE DECISIONS IN A VACUUM. WE WILL BE SENDING OUR STUDENTS ON SPRING BREAK AND WILL BE READY TO PROMOTE EDUCATION WHEN THEY RETURN. PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS MAY CLOSE AND EMPLOYEES MAY HAVE TO GO HOME TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR KIDS AND WHOEVER ELSE IS AFFECTED. WE WILL BE READY TO WORK ACROSS ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEES TO BE REMOTE AND SHOULD WE GO TO A STATE OF EMERGENCY, WE WILL BE READY FOR THAT FOR OUR STUDENTS IN THE WORKFORCE, WE ARE LOOKING TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE, AND ALL OF THE OTHER SPECIAL NEEDS WITH OUR STUDENTS REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE, WE ARE TAKING CARE OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO INCLUDE STUDENTS OVER SEEDS — OVERSEAS AND INTERNATIONALS. WE ARE PROUD OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THUS FAR AND ARE STAYING PLUGGED IN. GOV. RICKETTS: DID YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS WITH YOU? NOW I AM GOING TO BRING UP BRIAN SLOAN. THIS IS A COMMUNITYWIDE RESPONSE AND SO WE WANT BUSINESSES TO BE PREPARED AND ENGAGED AS WELL. BRIAN SLOAN IS SPEAKING TO THE STATE CHAMBER — SPEAKING FOR THE STATE CHAMBER. WE WANT BUSINESSES TO TAKE THE SAME STEPS THAT SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES ARE TAKING, BEING PREPARED FOR YOUR TEAMMATES AT WORK HAVING TO STAY HOME, BEING PREPARED IF SOMEONE COMES TO WORK SICK YOU SEND THEM HOME, BE FLEXIBLE WITH THEIR OPTIONS, CONSIDER WORK AT HOME OPTIONS TO BE FLEXIBLE WITH THOSE PARENTS TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. WE WANT BUSINESSES TO THINK ABOUT THEIR COTTON WOODY. WE WANT BUSINESSES TO BE IN — CONTINUITY. WE WANT IS THIS IS TO BE ENGAGED AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR PEOPLE. WE WANT THIS THIS IS — BUSINESSES TO EXECUTE THE UTMOST FLEXIBILITY TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR PEOPLE. BRIAN: BUSINESSES NEED TO BE AN IMPORTANT PARTNER IN THIS PROCESS AND THANK YOU TO EVERYONE IN THE EDUCATION AND HEALTH FIELDS. AS A PARTNER, THERE ARE TWO PRIMARIES, TAKING CARE OF OUR WORKFORCE AND IF WE HAVE SCHOOL CLOSINGS, MAKING SURE WE HAVE APPROPRIATE PLANNING AROUND THAT. WHAT I WOULD URGE BUSINESSES ACROSS THE STATE TO THINK ABOUT IS MOST BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN PREPARING AND COMMUNICATING WITH THEIR EMPLOYEES FOR SOME TIME, BUT THAT COMMUNICATION PROCESS DOES NOT STOP WITH THAT. IT IS CLEAR THAT COMMUNICATION PROCESS HAS TO BE ONGOING. THE PLANS WILL CHANGE. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR WORKFORCE WILL CHANGE AS EVENTS OCCUR SO I WOULD ENCOURAGE BUSINESSES TO DO A COUPLE OF THINGS. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CLEAR PLANS AND POLICIES IN THE EVENT THAT YOU HAVE A TEAMMATE IN YOUR TEAM WHO GETS SICK OR OTHERS MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED. MAKE SURE THAT THOSE POLICIES ARE VERY CLEAR AND ESTABLISHED UPFRONT. MAKE SURE THAT IN ESTABLISHING THOSE POLICIES YOU ARE IN CONTACT WITH THEIR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE AWARE OF THE CDC GUIDELINES THIS AREA READ AS THE GOVERNOR NOTED — AREA. AS THE GOVERNOR NOTED, WE HAVE — WE MAY HAVE SUBSTANTIAL NUMBERS OF OUR WORKFORCE, PARENTS WHO HAVE TO STAY HOME TO TAKE CARE OF A SICK CHILD OR RELATIVE. BUSINESSES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE IN ESTABLISHING NEW WORKFORCE ARRANGEMENTS, NEW WORK HOURS, NEW EFFORTS TO DEAL WITH A DEPLETED WORKFORCE. IT WILL VARY BY TYPE OF BUSINESS AND SIZE OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY, SO THERE WILL NOT BE A ONE SIZE FOR ALL SOLUTION — ONE SIZE FOR ALL SOLUTION. OF COURSE, AS WE RAMP UP THESE EFFORTS, BUSINESSES HAVE TO CONTINUE TO REINFORCE THE BASIC REMINDERS AND DEFENSES HERE, REMIND OUR EMPLOYEES TO WASH THEIR HANDS, PROVIDE THEM WITH SANITIZERS AND DISINFECTANT WIPES, AND BE CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT IF A WORKER OR ANYONE ON YOUR TEAM IS SICK THEY SHOULD NOT COME TO THE WORK LACE. — WORKPLACE. BUSINESSES WILL HAVE TO BE DILIGENT. I AM CONFIDENT IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN EXCELLENT SO FAR. GOVERNOR, I KNOW WITH YOUR LEADERSHIP, AND I REMEMBER THE FLOOD SITUATION FROM LAST YEAR, THIS IS A STATE THAT ALWAYS COMES TOGETHER AND LEAD AND I AM CONFIDENT IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN THIS TIME. GOV. RICKETTS: THANK YOU. YOU HAVE JUST SEEN THE TREMENDOUS LEADERSHIP WE HAVE ACROSS THE STATE. NEBRASKANS SHOULD FEEL ASSURED THAT OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS ARE WORKING TO PROTECT THE SAFE THE AND HEALTH OF ALL NEBRASKANS. WE ARE A STRONG STATE. WE ARE A STRONG NATION. WE ARE A STRONG PEOPLE. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER AND CONTINUE TO WORK TO KEEP NEBRASKANS SAFE AND UPDATE YOU ON THE PROGRESSION OF THIS. WE DO NOT HAVE ANY CASES IN THE COMMUNITY THAT WE CANNOT TRACK. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRACE ALL THE FOLKS WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE BACK TO SOME INCIDENT. SO WITH THAT, I AM GOING TO OPEN UP TO QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, FOCUSING ONLY ON CORONAVIRUS. PLEASE SAY YOUR NAME, WHAT OUTLET YOU REPRESENT, AND WHO YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ANSWER YOUR QUESTION IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC PERSON. QUESTIONS? >> [INDISCERNIBLE] GOV. RICKETTS: RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE THE CAPACITY BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER TO DO 100 TEST A-DAY. — TESTS A-DAY. WE HAVE ONLY DONE 90 OVERALL AND 10 HAVE COME BACK POSITIVE. COUNTING MORE TEST KITS THAN 200. GOV. RICKETTS: THAT IS HOW MANY WE CAN DO IN A DAY. THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES LIKE QWEST AND LAB CORE MAKING THEIR TESTS AVAILABLE SO IF YOU GO TO A DOCTOR AND THE DOCTOR SAYS YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET A TEST AND THE TURNAROUND TIME IS ABOUT FOUR DAYS. THERE ARE OTHER TESTS ASIDE FROM WHAT WE HAVE GOT OURS ARE QUICKER BUT WE WILL PRIORITIZE THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEBODY, WHO HAVE BEEN TRAVELING, THAT KIND OF THING. TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE TESTS ARE OUT THERE. >> DURING THIS PRESS CONFERENCE, REPORTS THAT THERE IS A NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY. DOES THAT CHANGE ANYTHING? GOV. RICKETTS: NO, IT DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING WE JUST HEARD. PUBLIC OFFICIALS ACROSS THE STATE ARE WORKING TO KEEP NEBRASKANS HEALTHY AND SAFE, SO WE ARE WORKING HERE. WE HAVE A DIFFERENT SITUATION THAN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. WE ARE TRACKING THE PEOPLE IDENTIFIED WITH CORONAVIRUS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT, AND CONTINUE TO MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THE BEST INTEREST OF PEOPLE WE ARE SERVING. YOU HAVE SEEN THIS WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSING, AND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO SEE THAT WITH REGARD TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS AND HOW THEY ARE CHANGING WHAT THEY ARE DOING. WE WILL MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT WE THINK IS BEST FOR NEBRASKANS. >> WILL COMMUNITIES OUT WEST HAVE JUST AS MUCH ACCESS TO TESTING? GOV. RICKETTS: THIS WILL BE THE SAME FOR ALL AREAS OF THE STATE. RURAL COMMUNITIES, THE PROCESS WILL APPLY WHEN YOU HAVE GOT SOMEBODY, THEY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED, THEY SHOULD CONTACT THEIR HELP PROVIDER AND PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS, DO THE SCREENING AND GET THE TEST. >> YOU HAVE BEEN CRITICIZED IN THE LEGISLATURE [INDISCERNIBLE] ON THE MEDICARE EXPANSION AND THE OTHER CHAMBER SAYS [INDISCERNIBLE] ARE YOU WILLING TO EXECUTE YOUR DUTIES? GOV. RICKETTS: WE ARE STAYING FOCUSED ON THE CORONAVIRUS HERE, WHICH MEANS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING WITH REGARD TO OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO RESPOND TO IT. IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MEDICAID EXPANSION WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT LATER OFF-LINE. >> MR. SLOAN, I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANY KIND OF CONCERN IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN TERMS OF BUSINESSES BEING HURT, PEOPLE NOT GOING TO RESTAURANTS, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS? >> THE QUESTION IS, ARE THERE CONCERNS IN TERMS OF BUSINESS IMPACT AND PARTICULARLY ON THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, AND THE ANSWER CLEARLY IS YES. THIS WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AT LARGE. ALMOST EVERY COMMUNITY CERTAINLY IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY THERE WILL BE SOME IMPACT. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MEASURE RIGHT NOW. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY RIGHT NOW, IS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. THAT IS ALSO IN EVERY BUSINESS’ INTEREST. >> IS THERE ANY WAY TO REASSURE PEOPLE THEY CAN STILL GO TO RESTAURANT? >> RESTAURANTS ARE TAKING ALL THE SAME PRECAUTIONS THAT WE ARE IN TERMS OF INCREASED SANITATION. RESTAURANTS AT THIS POINT ARE STILL SAFE, BUT I THINK AS THIS PROGRESSES, I THINK THE LARGE EVENTS AT THIS POINT NATIONALLY HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS THINGS THAT ARE BEING ADDRESSED, SO YOU MAY SEE SOME VERY LARGE BANQUET AND LARGE EVENTS AFFECTED IMMEDIATELY. GOV. RICKETTS: IF I COULD BUILD ON THAT, WE WILL PUT OUT GUIDANCE WITH REGARD TO BEFORE WE HAVE THAT COMMUNITY SPREAD AND AFTER WE HAVE THAT COMMUNITY SPREAD WITH REGARD TO THOSE LARGE EVENTS, BUT RIGHT NOW I WANT TO EMPHASIZE, WE DON’T HAVE ANY OF THAT IN NEBRASKA THAT WE HAVE DETECTED. I WAS OUT WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH MY FAMILY, WENT TO HACIENDA REAL IN LINCOLN. WENT OUT TO DINNER LAST NIGHT, GOING OUT TO DINNER TONIGHT. WE WANT PEOPLE TO TREAT THIS SERIOUSLY. IT IS VERY SERIOUS. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE WELL EDUCATED ABOUT THE NATURE OF IT IN NEBRASKA. WE HAVE 13 IDENTIFIED CASES WHICH WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRACK BACK. IF WE HAVE A CASE WE CANNOT TRACK, WE WILL ANNOUNCE THAT AND MAKE THAT PUBLIC AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION FOR THAT GEOGRAPHY. IF WE HAVE A CASE IN OMAHA THAT WE CANNOT TRACK THAT WOULD BE WHAT WE CONSIDER A COMMUNITY CASE, SOMEONE IN THE COMMUNITY GOT IT AND WE DON’T KNOW HOW, THAT DOES NOT IMPACT SCOTTS BLUFF BECAUSE THAT IS ON THE OTHERS OF THE STATE. WE WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WORKS BUT GO TO THE RESTAURANT, DO NOT SHAKE ANYBODY’S HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU EAT, DO NOT COUGH ON ANYBODY. ALL OF THE THINGS WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING PEOPLE CAN BE INVOLVED IN TODAY TO HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. >> A WEIRD QUESTION — HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE HASN’T BEEN COMMUNITY SPREAD IF YOU ARE JUST TESTING PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME INTO CONTACT WITH PEOPLE OR TRAVEL? GOV. RICKETTS: WHEN WE KNOW IT IS BROADLY IN THE COMMUNITY, WE ARE USING THAT RULE OF THUMB, TWO CASES IN OMAHA WE CANNOT TRACE BACK, OR WHEN WE HAVE MORE TESTING WE WILL CREATE MORE MODELS. WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS THOSE THINGS RIGHT NOW AS TO HOW TO EXPAND THE TESTING. WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO TALK ABOUT IT QUITE YET, BUT THAT IS HOW I WILL GO FROM THE RULE OF THUMB TO HAVING MORE SPECIFIC DATA WITH REGARD TO TESTING AND MODELING. WE WILL BE ABLE TO USE THAT AS WELL. ANOTHER WAY WE ARE TESTING OR MONITORING THIS IS PEOPLE REPORTING FLU SYMPTOMS WHICH THE HEALTH SYSTEMS TRACK ALREADY. IF WE SEE A DECLINE — INCREASE IN SYMPTOMS BUT A DECLINE IN TESTING FOR INFLUENZA A AND B, THAT IS A SIGN. >> THE LAST REPORT THERE WERE 11 CONFIRMED CASES. IS THAT ACCURATE? GOV. RICKETTS: WE ARE UP TO 13 CASES. >> I AM FROM THE JOURNAL STAR. GOV. RICKETTS: YOU GOT TWO PEOPLE? IS THAT FAIR? >> WE HAVE SUCH A LARGE STAFF. [LAUGHTER] I WANT TO MAKE SURE I UNDERSTAND YOUR POLICY AS A STATE. IF YOU HAVE 1% — GOV. RICKETTS: AS WE APPROACH, WE ARE NOT GOING TO WAIT, AS WE APPROACH 1%. >> ONE TO TWO CASES IN LINCOLN IF YOU CAN’T TRACK THE SOURCE — GOV. RICKETTS: THAT IS ONE I WILL DECLARE THAT WE ARE SHUTTING SCHOOL DOWN, ENDING LARGE PUBLIC EVENTS FOR A PERIOD OF SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS. >> THAT IS THE STATE, BUT THE DISTRICTS CAN ACT? GOV. RICKETTS: ABSOLUTELY. EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL BE DIFFERENT. WE HAVE A BROAD GEOGRAPHY ACROSS THE STATE. EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT CAN MAKE THAT DECISION ON THEIR OWN OUTSIDE OF WHAT I DO, IF THEY WANT TO DO SOMETHING. FREMONT SCHOOLS CLOSED BECAUSE OF OUR PATIENT ONE VISITING FREMONT AND GOING TO THE BASKETBALL GAME. THAT IS A TERRIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW A SCHOOL DISTRICT TOOK ACTION TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS A SPECIFIC ON THE GROUND ISSUE. >> THE NUMBERS, IF THAT HAPPENED IN LINCOLN, [INDISCERNIBLE] GOV. RICKETTS: ABSOLUTELY, IF WE MAKE THAT DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOLS FOR SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS IN LINCOLN, THAT WILL NOT IMPACT SCOTTS BLUFF. WE WILL MAKE SCOTTS BLUFF BASED ON A SYSTEM. THAT GOES BACK TO THE 17 GEOGRAPHIC ESU’S WE HAVE IN THE STATE AND WE WILL DO IT BASED ON GEOGRAPHY. >> CAN I ASK ANOTHER SILLY QUESTION? >> I WAS HOPING THE GOVERNOR WOULD SAY NO. >> WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO OUR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES? >> IT HAS BEEN QUITE A CONVERSATION AROUND THE STATE AND I HAVE HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT SUPERINTENDENTS. I KNOW SUPERINTENDENTS HAVE BEEN WORRIED THAT HOURLY EMPLOYEES WILL OTHERWISE NOT BE AVAILABLE TO THEM IF THEY CLOSE. WE ARE CONCERNED THAT THE INCOME LEVELS OF FOLKS AS PART OF THE CRISIS, I HAVE ENCOURAGED SUPERINTENDENTS AND SCHOOL ATTORNEYS TO LOOK AT THIS. HOW CAN YOU USE EMPLOYEES YOU WOULD NOT OTHERWISE HAVE TO HAVE FOR OTHER PURPOSES WITHIN THE COMMUNITY? WHEN I AM CONCERNED ABOUT HOW WE ARE GOING TO FEED PEOPLE, IF WE ARE NOT TRANSPORTING PEOPLE TO SCHOOLS HOW CAN BUS DRIVERS BE PART OF THE SOLUTION SO WE CAN DO DIFFERENT THINGS? HOW CAN WE USE CUSTODIAL STAFF TO MAKE SURE THINGS ARE BEING DONE WITHIN SCHOOLS AND THE COMMUNITY? THERE MIGHT BE THINGS WE CAN DO. EVEN IN MY OWN STAFF AT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, I HAVE TO GO BACK AND HAVE THAT NAME TYPE OF CONVERSATION. WHAT I HAVE SAID TO OUR STAFF THERE THAT HAVE QUESTIONED WHETHER THEY CAN HAVE A PLACE TO WORK IF WE DO NOT HAVE A FACILITY, I WILL SAY THEY ARE WORKING FOR ME BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS I NEED TO GET ACCOMPLISHED, SO I ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO DO THAT. THEY HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT APPROACHES AND I APPRECIATE PEOPLE’S LEADERSHIP AND MAKING GOOD DECISIONS FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES. >> SCHOOL FOR ONLINE CLASSES — IS THAT COMPUTER-BASED? >> IT IS DIFFERENT ACROSS THE STATE. I HAVE HAD TAX JUST — TEXTS JUST SINCE WE HAVE BEEN HERE. IT IS NOT JUST THAT YOU CAN DO ONLINE, IT IS THINK ABOUT HOW TO DO THINGS REMOTELY AND PROVIDE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS. WE HAVE CAREER ORGANIZATIONS AND OUR HEALTH OCCUPATIONS ORGANIZATION, I SAID, WHAT A UNIQUE MOMENT IN TIME. THEY ARE LOOKING AT HOW TO DO A DIGITAL CONFERENCE AND WORK WITH THEIR STUDENTS AND PROVIDE DIGITAL CURRICULUM AT A STATEWIDE LEVEL. WE MIGHT BE LOOKING AT THINGS WE CAN PROVIDE TO HELP SCHOOLS WHO OTHERWISE DO NOT HAVE THOSE RESOURCES. THERE IS OTHER PARTNERSHIPS TO BE BUILT BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK. >> I WANT TO ADD SOMETHING BECAUSE IT BRINGS UP A GREAT QUESTION. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA LEVEL, WE ARE TRYING TO THINK OUT IN FRONT OF THIS. THIS IS A PROBLEM ACROSS THE ENTIRE NATION. IF WE ARE DOING THIS SIX MONTHS FROM NOW — NOT SAYING WE WILL — IT MAY CHANGE THE FACE OF HOW WE EDUCATE. WE WANT TO GET THIS RIGHT, MAKE SURE WE ARE THINKING THROUGH THINGS AND EVERYTHING FROM COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES, HOW WOULD WE DO THAT VIRTUALLY IF WE HAD TO? THIS GOES DOWN TO Okay12, VIRTUAL’S — TECHNICAL SCHOOLS. WHERE THERE IS GREAT CHALLENGES, THERE IS ALSO GREAT OPPORTUNITIES SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE THINKING FOR THIS AND HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR NEBRASKA, THE NATION, AND THE WORLD. GOV. RICKETTS: WE HAVE GREAT LEADERS WHO ARE TAKING CHARGE TO THINK ABOUT HOW FOR THEIR INSTITUTIONS THEY WILL PROTECT THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF NEBRASKANS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE YOU AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE WE SLOW THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS AND PROTECT OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS IN NEBRASKA, AND NEBRASKANS CAN BE CONFIDENT THAT ALL OUR WORKING TOGETHER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE YOU AS WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW NEBRASKA WILL ADDRESS THIS PANDEMIC. THANK YOU. JOHN: WE DID LEARN THAT THE GOVERNOR HAD MENTIONED THERE IS ONE MAN IN HIS 50’S AND A WOMAN IN HER 60’S. THIS MORNING WE WERE REPORTING 11 PEOPLE WERE CONFIRMED WITH COVID-19 AND NOW IS 13. FOR QUESTIONS, C

Gov. Ricketts, squawk leaders discuss COVID-19 preparations

Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a press convention Friday morning with leaders from the Nebraska Division of Schooling to talk about how the squawk is making ready for varsity closures ensuing from COVID-19.Primarily primarily primarily based on Gov. Ricketts, about 5% of folks that salvage COVID-19 will must wander to the hospital. Ricketts acknowledged younger folks continuously handle the disease glowing successfully. Ricketts added closing colleges is about holding folks who are in probability, including the elderly and these with underlying health stipulations. Folks who are younger and healthy could well furthermore just no longer know they’ve COVID-19, in response to Ricketts.Ricketts acknowledged that officials are working to sluggish down the unfold of the coronavirus with a design to forestall the healthcare gadget from being overwhelmed and to supply protection to the elderly. Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, officials are working to trace all instances and resolve how the folks grew to develop into in uncomfortable health. Ricketts acknowledged there will be folks who officials can’t resolve how they got COVID-19, which would label group of workers unfold of the coronavirus.There are no longer any instances of group of workers unfold in Nebraska at present, Ricketts explained. Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, because the squawk of Nebraska approaches 1% of its population having COVID-19, squawk officials will then fabricate the selection to terminate colleges and entertaining public gatherings. He added that colleges could well furthermore just terminate up being closed for six-to-eight weeks in the match of imaginable group of workers unfold in Nebraska. Ricketts acknowledged, as a customary rule of thumb, if there are two instances of group of workers unfold in Omaha or one-to-two instances of group of workers unfold in Lincoln, officials will then think to terminate colleges for six-to-eight weeks. Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, the instances in Nebraska are primarily jog instances. Ricketts acknowledged one patient came around from travelling in the UK and officials are working on tracing who she has been alive to with since she got aid to Nebraska. Ricketts stressed that organizations and person college districts can fabricate the selection to be more conservative relating to the selection to cancel courses or gatherings if they want.Whenever you occur to suspect you’ll need been uncovered, officials urge you to contact your healthcare supplier to allow them to absorb a screening to examine if or no longer it’s miles very major be examined for COVID-19. Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, there are currently 13 instances of COVID-19 in Nebraska.

LINCOLN, Neb. —

Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a press convention Friday morning with leaders from the Nebraska Division of Schooling to talk about how the squawk is making ready for varsity closures ensuing from COVID-19.

Primarily primarily primarily based on Gov. Ricketts, about 5% of folks that salvage COVID-19 will must wander to the hospital. Ricketts acknowledged younger folks continuously handle the disease glowing successfully.

Ricketts added closing colleges is about holding folks who are in probability, including the elderly and these with underlying health stipulations.

Folks who are younger and healthy could well furthermore just no longer know they’ve COVID-19, in response to Ricketts.

Ricketts acknowledged that officials are working to sluggish down the unfold of the coronavirus with a design to forestall the healthcare gadget from being overwhelmed and to supply protection to the elderly.

Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, officials are working to trace all instances and resolve how the folks grew to develop into in uncomfortable health.

Ricketts acknowledged there will be folks who officials can’t resolve how they got COVID-19, which would label group of workers unfold of the coronavirus.

There are no longer any instances of group of workers unfold in Nebraska at present, Ricketts explained.

Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, because the squawk of Nebraska approaches 1% of its population having COVID-19, squawk officials will then fabricate the selection to terminate colleges and entertaining public gatherings.

He added that colleges could well furthermore just terminate up being closed for six-to-eight weeks in the match of imaginable group of workers unfold in Nebraska.

Ricketts acknowledged, as a customary rule of thumb, if there are two instances of group of workers unfold in Omaha or one-to-two instances of group of workers unfold in Lincoln, officials will then think to terminate colleges for six-to-eight weeks.

Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, the instances in Nebraska are primarily jog instances. Ricketts acknowledged one patient came around from travelling in the UK and officials are working on tracing who she has been alive to with since she got aid to Nebraska.

Ricketts stressed that organizations and person college districts can fabricate the selection to be more conservative relating to the selection to cancel courses or gatherings if they want.

Whenever you occur to suspect you’ll need been uncovered, officials urge you to contact your healthcare supplier to allow them to absorb a screening to examine if or no longer it’s miles very major be examined for COVID-19.

Primarily primarily primarily based on Ricketts, there are currently 13 instances of COVID-19 in Nebraska.

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