Nebraska Joint Information Center Update

RELEASE DATE: Mar 31, 2020

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According to the CDC website, there are 163,539  COVID-19 cases in the United States and 2,860 deaths (Updated 3/31/2020). Cases have been reported in 55 U.S. jurisdictions, including: 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Marianas, and the US Virgin Islands. These statistics include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.

Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Office

“Every Nebraskan needs to do their part to slow the spread of the virus in the state.”

NEW   On Monday, Gov. Ricketts extended statewide social distancing restrictions through April 30. Earlier in March, the State of Nebraska issued social distancing restrictions for the entire state.  The previously announced restrictions, which have now been extended, can be found here.

NEW  Gov. Ricketts announced that the state’s Panhandle counties are now included in the state’s fifth COVID- 19 directed health measure (DHM). Counties included in the DHM are Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties. It will be in effect until May 11 unless renewed. That brings to 30 the number of counties under directed health measure.

NEW  Gov. Rickets also announced that the counties of Webster, Adams Nuckolls and Clay were included in the state’s sixth COVID-19 DHM until May 12.

The DHM imposes an enforceable limit on public gatherings. Among other steps, the DHM requires restaurants and bars in these areas to close their dining areas immediately and move to takeout service, delivery and/or curbside service only until further notice. Additionally, schools in these areas are directed to operate without students in their buildings. This restriction does not apply to school staff working in school buildings. It also does not apply to daycares that may be operated at a school per the governor’s executive order regarding childcare, which you can access here.

The first DHM, issued, March 18, applies to Cass, Douglas and Sarpy counties and is in effect until at least April 30.

The second DHM, issued, March 25, applies to Dodge, Lancaster, Saunders and Washington counties and is in effect until at least May 6.

The third DHM, issued, March 28, applies to Butler, Hall, Hamilton, Merrick, Polk, Seward, and York counties and is in effect until May 6th unless renewed.

The fourth COVID-19 related directed health measure was issued for Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties as of 9 a.m. Sunday after a community transmission of COVID-19 was identified in Madison County. It will be in effect until May 6 unless renewed.

If you have concerns about a directed health measure contact your local health department or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Information | DHHS News Releases

NEW   DHHS has developed an FAQ for Homeless Shelters and Their Guests.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched a new data dashboard that provides daily updates to the state’s COVID-19 case totals. You can find it at

As of March 31 at noon, the current case numbers for Nebraska are:

172 positive tests

2,931 negative tests,

3 deaths

Numbers now include negative results from NPHL and commercial labs. Both state and local health departments are testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between DHHS cases and cases reported by local public health officials, data reported by the local health department should be considered the most up-to-date.

DHHS now provide daily updates to the state’s COVID-19 case totals, visit the new data dashboard at:

  • Nebraska COVID-19 Information Line: (402) 552-6645.  Hours are: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST – every day.

  • State agencies are sharing information using the #NECOVID19 Hashtag

  • DHHS has produced COVID-19 announcements available in English and En Español

  • Health Care Provider Information (HAN)

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency

NEW   NEMA staff met via conference line with local emergency managers from across the state to discuss resource needs and concerns at the local level. NEMA continues its daily State Emergency Operations Center briefing with emergency support function coordinators.

Nebraska Attorney General’s Office COVID-19 Information

Consumers may file a consumer complaint through the attorney general’s website at or send an email to

Many Nebraskans will be looking for ways to generously help communities in response to COVID-19. The Attorney General’s Office is dedicated to educating and providing Nebraskans with best practices for donating. We also have a Mediation Center that takes complaints from those who believe they have been scammed by someone or some organization. Visit ProtectTheGoodLife.Nebraska.Gov where a checklist as well as Wise Giving Tips are included to support Nebraskans in donating with care.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)

NEW  NDA has a COVID-19 webpage available to the public with information pertaining to agricultural producers. Go to for more information.

Department of Banking and Finance

Department of Corrections

NDCS has a COVID-19 webpage available to the public with information pertaining to the agency’s response to the virus. Go to for more information.

Department of Economic Development

DED is working to inform and assist businesses during Nebraska’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Information for businesses is available on the DED website. DED is committed to serving Nebraskans facing financial challenges during this time, and understands that local economic leaders will play an important role in creating regional solutions for businesses and their workforce. The department’s Field Services Team is working with business leaders in these regions to address ongoing COVID-19 challenges.

Department of Environment and Energy     

NEW  NDEE has developed a COVID-19 information webpage that includes a message from the Director, links to state and federal resources, and NDEE-related issues.  Webpage address is:

Department of Insurance

NEW Today, the NDOI issued a notice to all insurance producers stating that a 90-day temporary resident insurance license will be issued to Nebraska insurance producers who fulfill the requirements.

Department of Labor   and

Unemployment claims should be filed online at or on the free NEworks mobile app. For more information visit:  Short-Time Compensation  FAQs

Department of Motor Vehicles        DMV news releases

NEW The DMV office located at 108th & Maple in Omaha will close at the end of the day, Thursday April 2 until further notice. The closure is taking place as part of the ongoing transformation of services in the Omaha metro area; however, the opening of the Metro West service center set to replace this office has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Omaha metro. The State DMV’s north Omaha and Bellevue offices remain open with strict social distancing measures in place.

The need to visit a State DMV office has reduced significantly for most people, with the Governor’s executive order extending the expiration date for all driver license types, due to expire on or after March 1, 2020, until 30 days after the order has been lifted. Answers to specific questions can be found under the News Releases section of the DMV website here.

NEW Department of Revenue Revenue Ruling 99-20-1: All Nebraska Taxes, Signature Requirements

The Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR) has issued new guidance with specific instructions and information regarding signature requirements, which will assist taxpayers, especially in situations where the individuals responsible for signing tax returns are working from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For most forms and filings, for which there is no separate DOR taxpayer filing system, DOR will accept as a taxpayer signature, any mark, handwritten or digitally rendered that is applied with actual or apparent intention to authenticate the filing. More information is available at the Nebraska Department of Revenue website; or contact the Department by email or phone here.


Nebraska Lottery players with prizes up to $19,999 are encouraged to claim by mail. Instructions for claiming prizes by mail can be found at Regional Lottery Claim Centers in Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte, and Scottsbluff are closed to the public, but Nebraska Lottery headquarters in Lincoln and the Omaha Claim Center are open. Call 402-471-6100 to confirm office hours before claiming a prize in person at these locations.

Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) remains open for business

The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has activated a continuity-of-business plan to keep team members and the public safe during this pandemic. Team members who can work remotely are doing so at this time. Those who need to access the office are practicing social distancing and alternating work days.

We continue to be open for business; however, due to these events, there may be times when certain messages take a little longer to return. Please be patient and know that your message will be returned as quickly as possible. We are working to ensure continuity of contracting efforts and timely payment of eligible reimbursement payments under contracts and encourage that contractors send electronic versions of documents to expedite processing.

Our agency also continues to ensure that critical water related information remains available (see It is being updated continuously, including real-time streamgaging information.

Department of Transportation

NEW Today, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) released data that shows a 29 percent decrease in March statewide traffic volumes compared to the 2016-2018 three-year average. NDOT will publish weekly updates to estimate the impact COVID-19 is having on vehicle traffic volumes across Nebraska. 

Percent Difference in Weekly Traffic Volume

March 2020 compared to 2016-2018 average



Rural Highways

I-80 West of Lincoln

Omaha Streets & Highways

Lincoln Streets & Highways

I-80 Lincoln to Iowa,




Remaining Small Urban Streets & Highways

Statewide Total

March 1-7








March 8-14








March 15-21








March 22-28








Traffic volumes fluctuate greatly depending on variables like weather and construction. Travelers tend to take to the road more in the summer while freight traffic tends to stay fairly steady year round.

“The traffic data comparison is one tool for helping us understand how COVID-19 is impacting Nebraska,” said NDOT Director Kyle Schneweis. “While we are seeing freight traffic stay at near normal levels, a 29 percent decrease in statewide traffic volume has impacts on how NDOT manages our transportation system. We’ll continue to analyze the data to understand impacts and social trends.”

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

The NDVA State Service Office, located at 40th and Old Cheney in Lincoln, is closed for in-person visits and cannot take walk-ins for the time being. However, state service officers are still available to help veterans and their family members file claims. Call 402-420-4021 and we will work with you to gather documentation, submit claims, answer questions, and help however we can.

Game and Parks Commission

NEW The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is suspending the sale of nonresident spring turkey hunting permits in a proactive effort to prevent the potential for the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is being done by the commission in coordination with Gov. Pete Ricketts Executive Order No. 20-11 to help protect the health of Nebraskans by discouraging unnecessary travel.

Game and Parks will stop selling 2020 nonresident spring turkey permits effective immediately. Nonresidents who have purchased permits will be able to use them, but will not be able to purchase additional permits. Nonresidents with Nebraska turkey permits will be contacted by Game and Parks through email within the next week with additional information, including potential refunds.

Nebraska’s spring turkey season opened March 25 for archers. The shotgun season opens April 11 for youth and April 18 for adults. All turkey seasons close May 31.

The agency in late March closed all parks offices and commission offices; service and education centers; and other facilities temporarily. Also closed in April, with a possible extension period, are state park and recreation area lodges, cabins, and public shower buildings.

State parks, recreation areas and campgrounds remain open at this time, as are a limited number of public restrooms, which are sanitized regularly per Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommendations.

For the most up-to-date information on closures and event cancellations or postponements, visit

Military Department

NEW Please do not contact local units or the Nebraska National Guard headquarters directly with requests for assistance.

Nebraska State Patrol

The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) continues to encourage drivers to follow all traffic laws. Any motorist can report a dangerous driver by calling the NSP Highway Helpline at *55 or 800-525-5555.

Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Unclaimed Property Division offices are closed to the public. Treasurer’s Office staff are available by phone at 402-471-8497 or 877-572-9688 and will continue to process claims mailed into the Lincoln office or filed online.

Office of the Chief Information Officer Website

Malicious cyber threat actors are capitalizing on the global attention surrounding COVID-19 to facilitate scams, distribute malware, and send phishing emails. We ask all Nebraskans to practice the following safe security habits online:

  • Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to COVID-19. (Tips for Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. (Tips for Using Caution with Email Attachments:  

  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.

  • Look at the email address, not just the sender. A genuine email from a legitimate organization would have the organization’s name in the domain name, indicating that it is coming from someone at the organization.

  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.

  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.

  • Look for obvious grammatical errors and be wary of any emails that have implied consequences for failure to comply with demands.

Homeland Security is encouraging state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments to reference known official resources on COVID-19 information. Members can read more about COVID-19 related scams at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resource here.

Public Service Commission

The Nebraska Public Service Commission has entered an order (NUSF-92) that will allow telecommunications carriers to seek reimbursement for providing service to low-income families as a part of the response to the COVID-19 emergency. The order makes one million dollars available through the NUSF Broadband Adoption program to assist carriers in providing low-income subscriber’s access to broadband to facilitate online learning.  Read the PSC news release on the grant program at


American Red Cross Update

NEW The American Red Cross has been able to meet immediate patient needs thanks to the many people who gave blood and scheduled appointments to give blood. During this uncertain time, the Red Cross encourages individuals to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and to make new blood donation appointments for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.

  • There remains an ongoing need for platelet donations due to their short, five-day shelf life.

  • In times of crisis, the Red Cross is fortunate to witness the best of humanity as people roll up a sleeve to help those in need. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the public to help stock hospital shelves.

  • There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come. It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled.

Nationally, about 7,000 Red Cross blood drives were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 200,000 fewer blood donations. In the Nebraska/Iowa region there were 268 canceled drives, resulting in nearly 9,000 fewer donations. 

Other Resources:

John Hopkins University COVID-19 Map\

CDC COVID-19 Website


NEMA COVID-19 Interactive Maps-Declarations, Cases, School Closures


There is NO truth to the rumor that Homeland Security is preparing to mobilize the National Guard.