Nebraska Joint Information Center Update

RELEASE DATE: Apr 01, 2020

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According to the CDC website, there are 186,101 COVID-19 cases in the United States and 3,603 deaths (Updated 4/1/2020). Cases have been reported in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These statistics include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.

Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Office

NEW Gov. Pete Ricketts will answer questions from Nebraskans during another one-hour NET News town hall meeting about COVID-19 and the state’s response at 8:30 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 2. “Speaking of Nebraska: COVID-19 Town Hall with Governor Ricketts” will be carried on television and radio by NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations. It will also be streamed on the NET website, the NET Nebraska app and on Facebook. Viewers and listeners may ask questions during the town hall program by calling 1-800-676-5446 or 402-472-1212. Both before and during the broadcast, questions can be emailed to or submitted to the Facebook pages for NET NebraskaNET News or NET Radio. Questions can also be submitted via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #COVID19Nebraska.

NEW At his daily news conference, Gov. Ricketts said his days are totally focused on the COVID-19 response in Nebraska. He said his team at the State of Nebraska is working on the availability of personal protective equipment, testing capacity and hospital capacity.

NEW  Gov. Ricketts said social distancing measures remain extremely important.

  • Keep six feet away from others.

  • Do not gather in groups of 10 or more.

  • If you are an employer and someone shows up sick, send them home.

  • If you are one of those people with a fever, shortness of breath and a cough…stay home.

  • If you are in one of the areas where there is a directed health care measure in place, ALL MEMBERS of your household need to self-quarantine for 14 days as well.

  • Do not go into a clinic unless you have called ahead.

  • “Social distancing measures are so important.”

NEW  Gov. Ricketts reminded people to make sure to practice social distancing (six feet or more) when going to grocery stores. Limiting contact with other people will help stop the spread of COVID-19. Other advice shared at the daily news conference included:

  • Keep your distance from other customers and employees at grocery stores to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • If the grocery store parking lot is full, go home and come back at a time when fewer people are at the store.

  • Only send one person from your family to the store, and shop one time a week.

  • Touch only the products you intend to purchase and help keep everything as sanitized as possible.

  • Do not shop if you are sick.

  • Do not bring reusable bags into the store.

  • Do not stockpile. Purchase what you need and leave items for your neighbors.

  • Wash your hands at every opportunity.

  • Be nice to other customers and grocery store workers because we are all in this together.

NEW   Travelers coming back to Nebraska from out of state should self-quarantine for 14 days. This includes snowbirds returning to Nebraska after having spent the winter in places like Arizona, Florida or Texas or those visiting secondary residences within Nebraska. However, the guidance to self-quarantine does not apply to commuters or workers in the transportation industry.

NEW   The seventh Directed Health Measure was issued yesterday and applies to Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps counties and is in effect until May 11 unless renewed.

An alphabetical list of all counties under a DHM is available online here.

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 6 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.

  • The fifth COVID- 19 DHM applies 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 34 the number of counties under directed health measure.

  • The sixth DHM applies to  Webster, Adams Nuckolls and Clay and will be in effect until May 11.

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

NEW  Executive Order gives healthcare facilities greater flexibility to respond to coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of the order is to enable healthcare facilities to expand capacity as the need arises. The Governor’s news release, which outlines the changes, is available here.

NEW  Gov. Pete Ricketts signed an executive order to allow people to get online notary services. This will allow customers of banks, realtors and financial institutions to get work done while allowing for better social distancing.

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

NEW   DHHS held a Facebook Live about #COVID19, featuring Dr. Gary Anthone, chief medical officer and director of Public Health for DHHS and Dr. Tom Safranek, state epidemiologist for DHHS. Watch it here:

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

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) data dashboard provides daily updates to the state’s COVID-19 case totals and is online at

As of April 1 at noon, the current case numbers for Nebraska are:

210 positive tests

3,475 negative tests,

4 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 continues to operate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) with daily conference calls among the emergency support function coordinators. NEMA also is working to support DHHS as the lead agency in the COVID-19 response in Nebraska.

Nebraska Attorney General’s Office COVID-19 Information

NEW   Scammers and others may use COVID-19 as an opportunity to defraud Nebraskans. Learn more about potential COVID-19 scams at ProtectTheGoodLife.Nebraska.Gov. If you suspect fraud, file a consumer complaint or send an email to

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     

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

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

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.

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

NEW   You can now file your Petition for Redetermination (Protest) Electronically. This applies to Notices of Deficiency Determinations issued by the Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR). This does not apply to protests or appeals filed with the Property Assessment Division.

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 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   Hunters, other recreationists advised to be smart during COVID-19 crisis: The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is advising hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts to honor guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health organizations, to avoid spread of coronavirus as they head to the field this spring.

 “Outdoor recreation has long been an important part of our way of life for relaxing and getting in touch with nature, and many people are turning to outdoor recreation as they seek comfort during this monumental public crisis," said Jim Douglas, director of Game and Parks. “As we head outdoors during this time, though, we need to be smart about it and follow physical distancing and other existing guidelines and directives concerning the prevention of coronavirus transfer.”

  Travel Guidelines Under the provisions of an executive order by Gov. Pete Ricketts this week, nonresidents who do not already have a permit for Nebraska’s spring turkey season will not be able to get one.

 For the hunters who do have a permit, the agency recommends they stay at least 6 feet away from people they meet, including fellow hunters and property owners. The same advice to physically distance goes for other forms of outdoor recreation, including fishing, hiking and boating.

 To avoid face-to-face encounters, hunters should gain permission from landowners in advance by phone or internet and avoid knocking on doors while seeking a place to pursue gobblers. To avoid contact, concerned landowners may put a sign on their door with messaging for any hunters who might visit.

Other guidelines for the public include minimizing travel distance from your home and spreading out. Avoid congested parking lots, trailheads, and other access sites.

Recreationists should research their trip in advance. Campgrounds and other usual amenities may be temporarily closed to the public.

 People also should carry all needed supplies for their activities to lessen the chance of encounters with other people while stopping at businesses. Proper hygiene at gas pumps, restrooms, boat ramps and other high-traffic locations is imperative.

Any person who is sick, has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, has knowingly been exposed to sick individuals, or has travelled outside of the country or to any areas with the community spread of COVID-19, should remain at home.

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

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

NEW     Please visit the PSC COVID-19 Information & Guidance page for the latest from the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

American Red Cross

NEW During this uncertain time, the American Red Cross encourages individuals to schedule and keep blood donation appointments to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.       

         Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. To ensure the health of employees, volunteers and staff, precautions include:

  • Checking temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.

  • Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.

  • Following social distancing between donors including entry, donation and refreshment areas.

  • Routinely disinfecting surfaces, equipment and donor-touched areas.

  • Wearing gloves, and changing gloves often.

  • Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.

  • Staff wearing basic face masks.

Information for members of the League Association of Risk Management (LARM)

LARM announced a new program that provides funds to LARM members whose volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members are required to be in quarantine as a result of exposure in the line of duty to the coronavirus.

LARM Loss Control Manager Dave Bos states that LARM will pay $120 per day for a volunteer exposed to COVID-19 in the line of duty while providing firefighting or rescue squad services for a LARM member for a quarantine period of up to 10 days. The total amount allotted by LARM for this program is $1 million.

LARM Board Chair Doug Hanson states that the COVID-19 Volunteer Emergency Responder Assistance Program is being implemented to help volunteers who may come into contact with COVID-19 on rescue calls.

“Volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members are on the frontline of the coronavirus disease in our Nebraska communities,” said Hanson. “They can’t afford to miss work because of a required quarantine as a result of a rescue call. As a risk management pool for 171 governmental entities across Nebraska, we hope to provide needed assistance for these communities.

For more information go to


NEW   An April Fool’s joke making the rounds on social media today is that students will have to repeat a grade because of COVID-19 and the closing of schools. Gov. Ricketts said that is not the case. Schools are taking steps to make sure students are able to advance to the next grade.


U.S. Department of Labor information on Employee Rights