Governor Press Briefing Provides Vaccine Update, January Proclaimed Human Trafficking Awareness Month

LINCOLN – Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets hosted his first of back-to-back press briefings early in the week providing updates on the work the State of Nebraska is doing to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect hospitals.

From the Governor’s Hearing Room in the Nebraska State Capitol, Governor Ricketts first reminded Nebraskans that the virus is still out there and to use all the tool available.

Ricketts updated the hospitalization numbers.

“Right now, we’ve got 36% of our hospital beds are available, 35% of our ICU beds available and 76% of our ventilators are available,” said Ricketts. “So, that’s all good news and we’re sitting at 475 hospitalizations. Which is down by half from where we were at our peak on November 23 of 987.

Test Nebraska tests are being turned around in less than 24 hours as the state has delivered over 600,000 tests.

Angie Ling, Incident Commander for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services then provided an update on the COVID-19 vaccination.

As of Sunday’s update, 76,882 vaccines have been administered in Nebraska. Over 38,000 doses were administered last week alone. Nebraska is listed as one of the top states regarding the percent of doses-used.

DHHS officials will be launching a vaccine registration and administration system later this month.

“This system will allow Nebraskans to register to receive the vaccine by entering some basic information to determine what phase they’re in and when their phase is open,” Ling added. “Some of that information includes name, date of birth, email address, phone number, occupation and some health questions.”

After healthcare and long-term care residents are vaccinated, Nebraskans age 75 and older will be next. There are three ways for this group to get vaccinated being through community vaccine clinics with the local health departments, through select healthcare systems or through select pharmacies.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson also joined the press briefing working to end human trafficking. Governor Ricketts also proclaimed January as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month”.

Governor Ricketts also had another press briefing scheduled for this morning at 10 a.m. The State of the State Address will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Legislative Chamber.

Complete Briefing audio (minus Q&A):