District 17 Senator Reminds Residents To Continue To Social Distance, Hears From Department Of Ag

WAYNE – As District 17 in northeast Nebraska began re-opening this past week, Senator Joni Albrecht provided her weekly update.

According to a release from the office of Senator Albrecht, Dakota County within District 17 has seen growing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases. Senator Albrecht would like to thank the leadership at Dakota County Health Department, the emergency manager and the Nebraska National Guard for the work they’ve done and long hours they’ve devoted to doing it.

Certainly, the increased numbers of confirmed cases are concerning.  As numbers increase, they also serve as a reminder for Nebraskans to be exercising appropriate caution when making choices that will protect our health and the health of our loved ones and our community. During these times, please remember to follow the six rules suggested by the Governor Pete Ricketts.


  1. Stay home. No non-essential errands and no social gatherings. Respect the ten-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.


Information videos are also available highlighting the six rules to keep families healthly during the pandemic and one about what to do if an individual or family member becomes ill or has been exposed to COVID-19. These videos have been translated and released on YouTube in the following six languages of Spanish, Arabic, Karen, Somali, Nepalese and French.

The other two counties within District 17, Thurston and Wayne, were part of the 19 separate health district regions with updated Directed Health Measures (DHMs) that relax some restrictions in place which began on May 4. Businesses that may open or reopen under more relaxed guideline limitations include restaurants, barber ships, hair salons, nail studios, massage services, tattoo parlors, and childcare facilities. Each business is subject to certain restrictions and social distancing practices.

Because of the increasing number of cases seen in Dakota County, Dakota County Health region, which oversees Dakota County, is NOT included in any DHM loosening restrictions at this time and business closings previously ordered will remain in place.  For more information about the Directed Health Measure changes, visit the Governor’s website at www.governor.nebraska.gov

Although Thurston and Wayne County are not seeing the significant numbers seen in Dakota County, I urge residents to be just as dedicated to making choices that protect your health and the health of your families.

Maintaining the integrity of Nebraska’s health care system remains the State’s top consideration when making decisions about public health measures.  The Governor’s office and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) continue to monitor the state’s and each region’s ability to have ample capacity to care for area residents.

Senator Albrecht also reported processing plants work to deep clean, stagger shifts and adapt to social distancing and other safety recommendations in response to COVID-19 but many producers have been struggling with decision about livestock depopulation. During the governor’s press conference last week, Director Wellman from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture spoke to the issue and referred to resources available to AG producers having to make these tough decisions.

The office of District 17 reached out to Director Wells for more information. To recap, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NEE), has provided temporary period, until June 1, 2020 for operations to have more livestock than previously permitted on the land. There are requirements and necessary precautions that must be taken. There also may be some federal assistance to help deal with the financial aspects related to depopulation and mortality management under the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). For more information, be sure to follow the Governor’s daily briefings and access state information at hpps://nda.nebraska.gov/COVID-19, keyword Livestock Depopulation Guidance www.deq.state.ne.us for NEE guidelines and/or the USDA website at www.usda.gov

Even during these challenging times, the office of Senator Join Albrecht remains open. Senator Albrecht invites residents to voice their thoughts, ideas, concerns or suggestions by calling 402-471-2716 or emailing jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov.