Nebraska Joint Information Center Update

RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2020

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Six Rules to Keep Nebraska Healthy:

  1. Stay home. Do not take unnecessary trips outside the home. Respect the 10-person limit.

  2. Socially distance your work. Work from home or use the six-foot rule as much as possible in the workplace.

  3. Shop alone and only shop once a week. Do not take family with you.

  4. Help kids follow social distancing. Play at home. No group sports and no playgrounds.

  5. Help seniors stay at home by shopping for them. Do not visit long-term care facilities.

  6. Exercise daily at home or with an appropriately socially-distanced activity.


Nebraska Joint Information Center Update


COVID-19 Case Updates

Nebraska                 Department of Health and Human Services Dashboard

                          9,075 positive tests —  44,266  negative tests  —   107 deaths


Leading Counties (Cities)

Hospital Beds

Douglas (Omaha)  


Staffed Beds


Dakota (South Sioux City)


Percent of Beds Available


Hall (Grand Island)


Percent of ICU Available


Dawson (Lexington) 


Percent of Vents Available


Lancaster (Lincoln)






26 counties report no cases

9 counties have only 1 case

Source: DHHS Dashboard

Colfax (Schuyler)


Saline (Crete)


Platte (Columbus)


Sarpy (Bellevue, Papillion)


Madison (Norfolk, Madison)


Adams (Hastings)



United States         Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

                              1,364,061 cases  —  82,246 deaths

Globally                 World Health Organization Situation Report  

                              The most recent WHO Situation Report had not been uploaded at the time of this News Release

                              These numbers are from the May 13 Report: 4,170,424 cases  — 287,399 deaths

                              Johns Hopkins University of Medicine COVID-19 Dashboard

                              4,405,688 cases  —  300,074 deaths         


State of Nebraska Updates

Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Office

NEW At his 2 p.m. news conference today, Gov. Ricketts declared it National Hospital’s Week in Nebraska. Gov. Ricketts thanked those who work in hospitals for taking care of Nebraskans, not only during this pandemic, but every day. Gov. Ricketts reported that the state has had great collaboration from all the hospitals all across the state.



Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone added his appreciation specifically noting that Nebraska Hospital Chief Executive Officers and Chief Operating Officers have done much to coordinate with the state during this pandemic. “Thank you for keeping me informed,” Anthone said. “This has been a huge team effort.”


Felicia Quintana-Zinn, deputy director in the division of public health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, joined the governor to discuss contact tracing for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.


An important part of tackling this virus head on is the testing and contact tracing which is investigation or detective work into who has been exposed to the disease. 


The state is continuing to add staff to tackle contact tracing in Nebraska.


“We needed to ramp this up and support our local health departments,” Quintana-Zinn said. “This is a group effort with DHHS and public health. We are all working to assist and support each other.”


DHHS has 277 teammates who have stepped up to work as contact tracers during this pandemic. Prior to COVID-19 there are 30 staff who work as contact tracers.




As the state continues its battle against coronavirus, every Nebraskan can help to keep Nebraska healthy and get Nebraska moving again. Crush the curve and beat the virus by going to and taking a quick five-minute assessment. This assessment will help determine where testing needs to occur. Nebraskans at risk of exposure to the virus will be contacted to schedule an appointment to get tested.  Please take five minutes and go to to get assessed. Testing sites are open in Lincoln, Omaha, Lexington and Norfolk.


Tests are being performed free of charge even if an individual does not have health insurance. Additionally, no one will be denied treatment for COVID-19 because of an inability to pay. The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal where health care providers who have tested or treated individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis can submit claims for reimbursement.


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


Several new guidance documents are available under the Reopening Guidelines section including:

  • Recommended Best Practices for Barbers and Salons

  • Recommended Best Practices for Massage Therapy

  • Recommended Best Practices for Body Art (Branding, Body Piercing, Permanent Color Technology and Tattooing)

  • Nebraska Dental Association Recommended Office Re-opening Protocols

  • Guidelines for the Conduct of Faith-Based Services Including Weddings and Funerals Held in Houses of Worship

  • Restaurant In-Room Dining Reopening Guidelines

The guidelines for restaurant re-openings are now online at: or in Spanish at:


COVID-19 Dashboard now includes hospitalization data:


Dashboard link:


Other DHHS Links and Information COVID-19 Information | DHHS News Releases


Military Department

NEW A total of 526 Nebraska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are supporting COVID-19 response efforts in Nebraska.


Six mobile testing teams and two Test Nebraska support teams continue to support local health districts. As of May 13, the teams have collected 20,979 test samples in support of 19 health department districts and 37 counties across the state.


Soldiers and Airmen continue to support food packaging with Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, and food packaging and distribution with Food Bank of Lincoln.


The Nebraska National Guard will be updating this album with photos throughout the COVID-19 response.


Nebraska Department of Transportation

NEW Today, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) announced that, for the seventh straight week, statewide traffic volumes are down over 20 percent. The NDOT has been reporting traffic data since March 1st to track the impact of COVID-19 on statewide traffic volumes. The NDOT noted that traffic volumes have leveled off at around 20 percent below the 2016-2018 average after peaking at 35 percent in mid-April.   


The Traffic Count Dashboard will be updated weekly and can be viewed using the following link:


Percent Difference in Weekly Traffic Volume

compared to 2016-2018 average



Rural Highways

I-80 West of Lincoln

Omaha Streets & Hwys

Lincoln Streets & Hwys

I-80 Lincoln to Iowa,              I-180,         I-680,         I-480

Remaining Small Urban Streets & Hwys

Statewide Total

March 1-7








March 8-14








March 15-21








March 22-28








March 29-April 4








April 5-11








April 12-18








April 19-25








April 26-May 2








May 3-9










The column descriptions are as follows:

  • Rural Highway are all non-interstate roads in areas under 5,000 population.

  • Omaha Streets & Highways include all non-interstate roads in Douglas and Sarpy counties.

  • Lincoln Streets & Highways include all non-interstate roads in Lancaster County.

  • Remaining Small Urban Streets & Highways are all roads in cities with over 5,000 population outside of Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster counties.  (This includes I-129).

  • Statewide Total is a weighted average of all categories.


The NDOT maintains a system of 67 continuous traffic counters statewide.  These are often called automatic traffic recorders (ATRs).  These counters collect traffic volume and classification data 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  Data is then relayed to NDOT twice per week. 


For more information/data about ATRs and links to the Annual ATR and March 2020 reports:


Department of Administrative Services

A number of state agencies and private organizations have received inquiries from Nebraska manufacturers that have the capabilities to provide needed medical equipment for hospitals and medical providers. The Nebraska Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has partnered with the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NMEP) to help organize the manufacturers with these capabilities and connect them with the medical community.


For manufacturers please visit  to register your company and list the products your company is able to produce in short deadlines. For people in the medical community that want to access these companies and order needed supplies, please contact: Doug Carlson, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Nebraska,, 402-471-0972


Department of Agriculture (NDA)

Nurseries and Garden Centers: The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has created guidance for nurseries and garden centers to help keep customers healthy and to slow the spread of COVID-19. All nurseries and garden centers should first consult with their local health department to ensure that the business is able to meet all local health department guidelines. Nursery and garden center guidance and additional agriculture-related information can be found on NDA’s website at:


Department of Banking and Finance

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance is extending its temporary suspension of examinations of financial institutions from April 24 to May 15. This extension will further allow state-chartered banks, credit unions and other financial entities to continue to assist their customers in Paycheck Protection Program requests, loan restructuring and other service items. The department expects to resume offsite examinations in early June 2020. The department’s Statement on Examinations is online here.


Department of Corrections

NDCS has COVID-19 related information on its webpage at


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     

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:


Additional new items on the NDEE COVID-19 webpage include:

  • NEW – NDEE has partnered with Nebraska lending institutions on possible loan relief for Dollar and Energy Saving Loans due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. If a borrower needs extra time to make payments, the borrower works with the lending institution to defer payments. Provided the lender meets conditions established by NDEE, the borrower can receive extended time to repay DESL loans. For more information, go to:

  • NDEE has developed a new guidance document, “Emergency Disposal of Animal Carcasses Associated with a Non-Disease-Related Mass Mortality Event” to help Nebraska livestock producers plan to deal with catastrophic animal mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. The URL to the mass mortality guidance page is

  • NDEE is allowing a temporary period for operations to have more livestock on site than permitted for. This is to help producers who may have issues with hauling livestock to packing plants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Due to current circumstances, there may be instances where dairies are unable to send milk to processors because of a lack of the ability to process the milk.  NDEE is allowing for the disposal of excess milk and milk products in Livestock Waste Control Facilities (LWCF) from dairies during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Municipal lagoons and treatment systems are not included in this exception.

  • NDEE has issued guidance for indoor and outdoor pools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department recommends pools, spas and spray parks carefully evaluate state and local Directed Health Measures, and close or delay opening until they are lifted.


Department of Insurance

NEW Issued a consumer alert, “Medicare Enrollment Due to Loss of Employer Coverage.”  The alert provides guidance on how Medicare-eligible individuals can enroll in Medicare when they no longer have employer-sponsored health insurance following job loss due to the impact of COVID-19.


Department of Labor   and

The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) report 6,351 new unemployment insurance claims were filed during the week ending May 2. This is a decrease of more than 20 percent from the previous week when 8,002 initial claims were filed. Spreadsheets showing claims data are available here and will be updated every Thursday. 


Initial Claims

Initial claims are filed by individuals to request a determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. NDOL processes initial unemployment insurance claims and, if an individual meets eligibility criteria, benefits are paid for each week of continued unemployment.


Continued Weeks Claimed

There were 64,420 continued weeks of unemployment claimed last week. Continued weeks refer to the individual weeks of unemployment claimed after a person applies for benefits. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the highest number of continued weeks was in the second week of 2010 when there were 26,075 continued weeks claimed.  There were 16,566 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimed last week.


Claims by Industry

The highest counts of initial claims were in manufacturing (847), which decreased 1.6 percent from the prior week (861). This is the first time Manufacturing is the top industry for initial claims since the spike in claims due to COVID-19. Most industries had declines in initial claims from the prior week. Public Administration saw an increase of 32.7.


Benefit Payments

The chart below shows individuals paid over time.  Increases can be seen with the start of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments and the Governor’s April 30 Executive Order. Regular and PUA benefits paid each week can be found here.

Filing A Claim

Any worker in a non-paid status due to COVID-19 may file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment claims in Nebraska are filed online at The NEworks mobile app is available to download for free. After filing a new initial claim, applicants must certify their eligibility every week that they continue to be unemployed by logging into their NEworks account.  These weekly certifications must be completed even while the new claim is still being processed.  Claim and payment status can also be viewed by logging into the NEworks account.



The federal CARES Act created a temporary program that offers benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA). The act also increases the amount an individual on regular unemployment or PUA will receive by $600 for every week an individual is unemployed. All individuals who qualify will receive $600 in additional benefits for each eligible week of unemployment through July 25. Workers who have been affected by the pandemic should file a claim for unemployment. NDOL will automatically review every claim that comes in for eligibility under the CARES Act.


Department of Motor Vehicles        DMV news releases

Gov. Ricketts’ executive order 20-05 extends the expiration date of all valid driver’s licenses, CDLs, state IDs, titles, and registrations due to expire on or after March 1st. All credentials will remain valid until 30 days after the order has been lifted. While nobody is required to renew their license or registrations, online services are available at for those who wish to do so. Drive tests are not being provided at any locations statewide; however, some offices do remain open for walk in services.


Department of Natural Resources

On April 23, 125 years ago, NeDNR began its mission to safeguard Nebraska’s most precious natural resource through sound partnerships, cooperation and science-based decision making to help grow Nebraska’s future. Our agency continues to ensure that critical water-related information remains available (see Be assured that our staff continue to update vital information, including real-time streamgaging information, during this pandemic.


To support National Flood Insurance Program policyholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA is extending its 30-day grace period for policy renewals up to 120 days. This is effective for National Flood Insurance Program policies with an expiration date between February 13 – June 15, 2020.


For more information, visit the FEMA website


FEMA also has some guidance on flood insurance claims during this time.  It allows for the claims to be adjusted remotely without an adjustor visiting the property.


Department of Revenue

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Nebraska Department of Revenue provides guidance, direction, or pertinent public information such items may be found here. The most current information will be posted to the department’s website under “Featured Information”. Taxpayer Assistance is also available online and by phone, and contact information may be found here.


Game and Parks Commission

Nebraskans may begin enjoying recreational vehicle camping by reservation only at select state park areas starting May 20. Park areas will be selected based on where social distancing and group-size recommendations can be maintained for public health.


State designated beach and swimming areas will be closed until further notice, in part due to recent incidents at multiple state park venues. All other current closures to facilities will be extended through May 31.


“We sympathize with those who have been affected by this virus and the rippling effects of trying to contain it, and we appreciate the patience and understanding of people who are passionate about camping,” Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas said.


Our park grounds remain open for day-use activities, such as fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing.


For more information:



The Nebraska Lottery mobile app has been updated with a Ticket Scanner feature. Players can check their Scratch and Lotto tickets for prizes and save a trip to a retailer. Visit for more information.


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.


Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NCDHH)

NCDHH has the following VLOGs online relating to COVID-19:

COVID-19: Educational Resources & Communication Access NCDHH Executive Director John Wyvill discusses the importance of ensuring you and your child are prepared and receiving education information during transition to remote-learning.

COVID-19: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Organizations Stress Importance of Communication Access NCDHH Behavioral Health Coordinator Carly Weyers provides information on how to best keep informed with full communication access on announcements related to COVID-19.

COVID-19: NCDHH Offices and Social Distancing Information regarding preventative measures to keep you and the NCDHH team healthy featuring Behavioral Health Coordinator, Carly Weyers.


Nebraska Emergency Management Agency

NEMA continues to operate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) with conference calls each week among the emergency support function coordinators, weekly calls with county emergency managers and daily Joint Information Center calls with public information officers.


State Fire Marshal’s Office

The Nebraska State Fire Marshal has developed an electronic burn permit that can be used by fire chiefs across the state beginning today. It allows fire departments to review, approve and issue burn permits without having to meet in-person with those who are requesting them, thus promoting social distancing and reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to the firefighting community.


To obtain a PDF copy of the electronic burn permit, or to find out more, a fire chief can contact Assistant State Fire Marshal Doug Hohbein by email at and request one. Requirements for the proper issuance and use of the permit are included on page 2 of the permit.


The issuance and use of electronic burn permits will terminate 30 days after the COVID-19 declared State of Emergency has been withdrawn.”


Nebraska State Patrol

Nebraska State Troopers continue to assist the state’s COVID-19 response by providing on-site security at several testing locations throughout the state. This effort include several teams of troopers who have traveled throughout the state during the past several weeks. Troopers have also taken on the task of transporting test samples collected at various testing locations to the state testing lob at St. Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center as part of the Test Nebraska initiative.


Troopers and Investigators also remain focused on the mission of keeping Nebraska safe. If anyone needs assistance on the road or sees an impaired or dangerous driver, they can call *55 or 800-525-5555 to reach the NSP Highway Helpline.


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

The State continues to monitor alerts and guidance from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). We caution all Nebraskans to practice safe security habits online. For security tips and related information from the State of Nebraska’s Office of the CIO, visit our newsroom online:


Public Service Commission

The PSC is reminding natural gas customers that a moratorium suspending residential disconnections of natural gas services for non-payment for Black Hills Energy and NorthWestern Energy customers remains in place through June 1, 2020. Read more @


Secretary of State’s Office

NEW There were 471,434 votes cast in the Nebraska primary election. A rough estimate is that 60,000 voters actually went to the polls. The Secretary of States Office will release final numbers from counties and prepare the state canvass book after the June 1 deadline for counties to send in specific numbers by county, including voting by party and voting by method.


As of 5/13/20 at 9 a.m.


Ballots Sent

Ballots Accepted

Percentage %

By-Mail Precincts




All Other Precincts










1972 - 413,015 primary votes cast but before we get to proud that was 58% of registered voters (18 year old vote – maybe?)

2016 – 313,468 Presidential primary votes cast 26.9%

2020 – 471,434 Presidential primary votes cast 38.6%




Election results, including county voter turnout numbers, are available on the Secretary of State’s Election Results webpage.


Local Resources

City County and Village Links


Health Department Links


Clay County Health Department

Dakota County Health Department

Douglas County Health Department

Polk County Health Department

Red Willow County Health Department

Scotts Bluff County Health Department



Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department



Central District Health Department –

East Central District Health Department

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department

Four Corners Health Department

Loup Basin Public Health Department

North Central District Health Department

Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department

Panhandle Public Health District

Public Health Solutions District Health Department

South Heartland District Health Department

Southeast District Health Department

Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department

Three Rivers Public Health Department

Two Rivers Public Health Department

West Central District Health Department


Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors         


State Partner Updates

American Red Cross

In coordination with the FDA, the Red Cross, along with blood industry partners, is seeking people who are fully recovered from the new coronavirus to sign up to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease. To learn more, visit


Nebraska Food Security Task Force

Helping Nebraskans who now need to rely upon food banks, pantries and school lunch programs for their next meal is the goal of the Nebraska Food Security Task Force. People who could previously meet their food needs are now temporarily unable to do so.


Since there are fewer volunteers available to help distribute food because of social distancing precautions, the food banks are not accepting food donations at this time. There are still ways to help.

  • Donate Funds—Your financial donations can be used to purchase the necessary food items in larger quantities directly from suppliers.

  • Sponsor a fundraiser. Is your business or church operating remotely, but still wanting to help your community? There are many fun and creative ways your organizations can engage your employees, or members, while raising money to support the food bank.


To donate: visit the Food Bank for the Heartland which serves Nebraska and western Iowa at or the Food Bank of Lincoln which serves 16 counties in Southeast Nebraska at


Nebraska Impact

and its COVID-19 Relief Fund. The organization has raised more than $340,000 to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in Nebraska. The fund has distributed more than $250,000 worth of food thus far to people in some of Nebraska's hardest hit communities. 

Money donated to the Nebraska Impact COVID19 Relief Fund is being directed through the statewide Community Collaboratives that are part of Bring Up Nebraska, a program administered by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Funds are helping individual communities meet their needs for food, rent, and utility assistance, as well as school supplies for students from low-income families now studying from home.

To donate to the fund, visit

In addition, First Lady Shore asks Nebraskans to visit the site for information on donating cloth facemasks to Nebraska's vulnerable populations. Information on making “sew and no-sew masks” is available at Masks can be mailed to Nebraska Impact, 201 N 8th St., Suite 215, Lincoln, NE 68508. To arrange a pickup in the Lincoln or Omaha area, email




Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Teams

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) remain at the ready throughout the state and are working with their local partners to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nebraska. The MRC Unit Coordinator Leadership has been working with DHHS to help affiliate volunteers to assist in local COVID-19 responses throughout Nebraska. Those interested in volunteering with their local MRC can contact Quinn Lewandowski at


Natural Resources Districts (NRDs):

Want to visit an NRD recreation area? Check for closures and access limitations by visiting:

NRD employees doing field work are essential workers. Landowners and the public should allow them to do their work uninterrupted.


University of Nebraska Medical Center  | Nebraska Medicine

UNMC experts answer questions about COVID-19


Federal Partners

Federal Emergency Management Agency     Rumor Control     How to Help

Center for Disease Control and Prevention The CDC provides guidance on daily life and coping during

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)/Center for Disease Control

National Institutes of Health

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Department of Treasury Resources for Financial Relief      Assistance for Small Businesses.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Coronavirus Veteran FAQ

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Safety and COVID_19      FDA COVID-19 webpage

U.S. Small Business Administration


Other Resources

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has developed resources to make it easier for consumers without a bank account to find a bank that can open an account online without going into a branch.  In addition, the FDIC has developed a new webpage dedicated to helping consumers get the information they need to receive economic impact payment (AKA stimulus check) electronically. 


Also two resources to help consumers are included on the webpage:

  1. A link to Bank On Coalition’s list of banks that offer remote account opening with a $0 balance. 

  2. A link to the American Banker Association’s list of banks that offer remote account opening all across the country (developed in response to the COVID-19 situation), along with additional resources for consumers. 

Once someone opens their account, they can then provide the information to the IRS to receive the payments electronically through the IRS portal


FDIC’s Receiving Economic Impact Payment Page:




Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 map with world case information      Johns Hopkins Resource Center.

Mayo Clinic information about COVID-19       COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool      website

World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Pandemic information    Public Advice