District 17 Senator Joni Albrecht Gives Her Weekly Update

LINCOLN – The USDA is awarding $362,534 in grants to Nebraska colleges through the Tribal College Initiative Grant Program. A $196,270 grant is awarded to the Nebraska Indian Community College in Macy. This will pay for more paved roads and parking on campus. The additional $166,264 in grants will go to Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago. This will largely go toward building repairs and some amenities.

Another USDA grant is going out to ELTEE Mangalitsa’s, LLC in Thurston County. The $49,750 grant will fund pork processing. Grants can be used for expenses related to producing a value-added product.

USDA Rural Development loans and grants are available to numerous groups of people. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ne.

Unemployment continues to decrease in Nebraska. The number of new claims, continued claims, and benefits were all down for the week of October 11 through 17.

For the week of October 17 – 23, here are the updated COVID-19 numbers. Dakota County had 71 new positives. Wayne County reported 35 new cases. There were 22 positives in Thurston County.

New Directed Health Measures (DHMs) were announced by Governor Ricketts. The measures deal mostly with hospital capacity and gathering size.

Hospitals must accept and treat COVID-19 patients and cannot transfer patients to make room for elective procedures. They must keep 10% of their ICU beds unoccupied. Hospitals may submit a surge plan to continue to perform elective surgeries.

Indoor gatherings can have 50 percent occupancy, while outdoor gatherings remain at 100 percent possible occupancy. Plans must be submitted to local health departments for gatherings of more than 500 people.

Bars and restaurants can have 100 percent occupancy, with a maximum of eight to a party. Weddings have the same guidelines.

Senator Joni Albrecht encouraged her constituents to share their thoughts with her by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov or by calling her office at 402-471-2716.