Nebraska Joint Information Center Update
RELEASE DATE: Apr 02, 2020
According to the CDC website, there are 213,144 COVID-19 cases in the United States and 4,513 deaths (Updated 4/1/2020). Cases have been reported in all 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 https://governor.nebraska.gov/
NEW At his daily news conference, Gov. Ricketts emphasized that all schools in Nebraska will be operating without students through the rest of this school year. Extra-curricular activities for the spring season have been cancelled. In addition, Gov. Ricketts asked parents not to send their children to any club sports.
NEW The State of Nebraska has signed an agreement with the University of Nebraska System to provide rooms for people who need to quarantine or people who are recovering from COVID-19. The Governor thanked the university of Nebraska system for its great cooperation,
NEW Gov. Ricketts announced an update to his Executive Order that extends unemployment insurance. He reminded people to not quit their jobs in order to get unemployment. “If you quit your job, you are not eligible of unemployment benefits,” Ricketts said.
NEW Nebraska First Lady Susanne Shore, president of Nebraska Impact, gave an update on the Nebraska Impact COVID-19 Relief Fund which is a relief fund that will be directed to provide statewide assistance in communities across the state. The fund is a partnership between Nebraska impact, the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and the Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts. The fund will provide direct aid to communities and organizations working to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak across Nebraska. Visit neimpact.org to donate or for more information.
NEW Gov. Ricketts thanked telecommunications companies for stepping up in response to the COVID-19.
NEW The state’s eighth directed health measure was issued yesterday and include 15 additional counties in north and central Nebraska: Antelope, Arthur, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Hooker, Keya Paha, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Pierce, Rock and Thomas counties. It will be in effect until May 11 unless renewed. There are now 56 counties the state’s directed a health care measure.
An alphabetical list of all counties under a DHM is available online here. If you have concerns about a directed health measure contact your local health department or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
TONIGHT Gov. Ricketts will answer questions from Nebraskans during another one-hour NET News town hall meeting about COVID-19 and the state’s response tonight at 8:30 p.m. CDT during Speaking of Nebraska: COVID-19 Town Hall with Governor Ricketts. The program is carried on television and radio by NET, Nebraska’s PBS and 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 news@netNebraska.org or submitted to the Facebook pages for NET Nebraska, NET News or NET Radio. Questions can also be submitted via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #COVID19Nebraska.
NEW DHHS .
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 http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus
As of April 2 at noon, the current case numbers for Nebraska are:
246 positive tests
3,978 negative tests,
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: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.
· 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
· Health Care Provider Information (HAN)
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency https://nema.nebraska.gov/news
REMINDER There is no essential staffing list maintained by the State of Nebraska for people who have jobs to perform. Individuals leaving their homes in order to perform an activity or function for their jobs DO NOT need to carry or present any letter, identification card or other paper proving that they are allowed to leave their home.
NEMA continues to operate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) with daily conference calls among the emergency support function coordinators and public information officers. NEMA also is working to support DHHS as the lead agency in the COVID-19 response in Nebraska.
Attorney General’s Office COVID-19 Information
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Agriculture (NDA) nda.nebraska.gov
NDA has a COVID-19 webpage available to the public with information pertaining to agricultural producers. Go to nda.nebraska.gov/COVID-19 for more information.
Department of Banking and Finance
NEW Gov. Ricketts signed Executive Order 2020-13 on April 1 and it provides regulatory flexibility to financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance. The order gives the department flexibility on conducting installment loan company exams, temporarily extends the time for financial institutions to submit annual audits, and enables the department to accept various applications in electronic format. The order also authorizes the Nebraska Secretary of State to immediately implement the online Notary Act.
Department of Corrections corrections.nebraska.gov
NDCS has a COVID-19 webpage available to the public with information pertaining to the agency’s response to the virus. Go to corrections.nebraska.gov for more information.
Department of Economic Development https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/nded-covid19/
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 http://dee.ne.gov
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: http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/onWeb/COVID
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.
NEW Gov. Ricketts announced an update to his Executive Order that extends unemployment insurance waivers through August 1. He reminded people to not quit their jobs in order to get unemployment. “If you quit your job, you are not eligible of unemployment benefits,” Ricketts said.
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. This act also increases the amount an individual will receive by $600 for every week an individual is unemployed. Once the Department receive guidance from the Federal Government, all individuals who qualify will receive $600 in additional benefits for each eligible week of unemployment, including prior weeks.
Department of Motor Vehicles DMV news releases
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 revenue.nebraska.gov; 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 https://nelottery.com/homeapp/article/4220/display 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 https://dnr.nebraska.gov/). 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 http://outdoornebraska.gov/healthinfo/
NEW In a proactive effort to prevent the potential for spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will prohibit overnight camping at state parks, state recreation areas and wildlife management areas starting Monday, April 6 through Friday, May 8, with a possible extension.
In addition, the closure of state park area lodging and cabins will be extended through May 8.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services recommends travelers coming to Nebraska or back to Nebraska from out-of-state should limit public interactions, practice strict social distancing, self-monitor for symptoms and self-quarantine for 14 days.
State parks and recreation areas will remain open for day use so guests may enjoy activities such as fishing, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing while maintaining proper physical distancing of at least six feet. A limited number of restrooms, which will be disinfected regularly using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols, will be available.
The closures are in keeping with national recommendations from the CDC; cities and states across the nation are taking similar proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Game and Parks’ top priority is the health and well-being of the public and its staff.
Refunds will be given to campers who have prepaid fees. The camping closure will be reevaluated in the future to determine if an extension is necessary.
Those still enjoying outdoor recreation should follow CDC guidelines. They include staying home for people who are sick, have knowingly been exposed to a sick individual or are coming from any area of community spread of the virus. People also should avoid crowds, adhere to the 10-person-limit guideline, and bring supplies from home, including food and hygiene products, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.
For a list of all Game and Parks cancellations, postponements and closures, go to OutdoorNebraska.org/healthinfo. For more detailed information about how coronavirus cancellations may affect customers, check the Frequently Asked Questions page at OutdoorNebraska.gov/covid19faqs or use the Contact Us form at OutdoorNebraska.gov/contact. Past news release are available online: http://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/category/news/
Please do not contact local units or the Nebraska National Guard headquarters directly with requests for assistance.
Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NCDHH)
NEW 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 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: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014)
Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. (Tips for Using Caution with Email Attachments: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-010)
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
Please visit the PSC COVID-19 Information & Guidance page for the latest from the Nebraska Public Service Commission.
State Partner Updates
American Red Cross
Every day patients rely on lifesaving blood transfusions including those who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.
Right now, people are following public health guidance to keep their families safe—and that includes contributing to a readily available supply of blood for hospitals.
This is the time to take care of one another. If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment to donate mid-April and after by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
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 www.larmpool.org.