Governor Ricketts Addresses Weekend Protests, COVID-19

WAYNE – After the past couple months have featured Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts hosting daily press briefings, the Nebraska Governor will now shift his focus to twice a week ‘Get Nebraska Growing Briefings’.

According to a release from the office of Governor Ricketts, these briefings will be held on Monday’s and Thursday’s at 2 p.m. Updates will be provided on the work the State of Nebraska continues to do to get Nebraska growing as the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic also continues.

Governor Ricketts opened Monday’s briefing with remarks on protests across the state.

“Over the last several days we have seen a level of disruption and chaos in Omaha/Lincoln that we haven’t seen in recent memory,” said Ricketts. “What has started out as peaceful protests, has been hi-jacked by people who want to cause harm.”

Ricketts went onto add that justice must be served for George Floyd.

“To the folks out there who are hurting, we hear you,” Ricketts added. “We know we must continue to work to be able to provide that equal access to justice for our minority communities. However, what we saw this weekend, with the violence, loss of life and property destruction only takes away and detracts the memory of George Floyd.”

Governor Ricketts also thanked all the peaceful protestors, those who came out and cleaned up following the weekend violence along with law enforcement and the Nebraska National Guard. The administration of Governor Pete Ricketts will continue to work with minatory communities on how they can make progress toward a more equal and justice society.

Moving further into the press briefing with regard to hospital data, Governor Ricketts stated the hospital system in the state continues to be very stable. Nebraska is at 45% of their hospitable beds, 49% of our ICU beds and 77% of ventilator beds available.

Governor Ricketts also mentioned that, effective June 1, the state will reduce a requirement for hospitals to keep open.

“The 30%, 30%, 30% rule that we had in place for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators,” Ricketts mentioned. “Changing that to a 15%, 15%, 15% rule for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators.”

As of Tuesday morning, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is reporting 14,345 total positive cases and 178 fatalities overall with 244 new positive cases confirmed June 1. Douglas county has seen over 4,000 positive tests with Dakota (1,665), Hall (1,515) and Lancaster counties (1,222) all over 1,000 positive tests in their county.

The last scheduled live broadcast of Governor Pete Rickett’s statewide Covid-19 press briefings on KCTY Radio, “The City”, was last Friday. The station began airing the Monday through Friday briefings from Lincoln, along with the national White House coronavirus task force briefings, at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak.

KTCH/KCTY will continue to report on the Governor’s remarks during our regular local radio newscasts and

Both KCTY and KTCH will continue to broadcast the hourly Covid-19 related local news expansions heard typically during the morning hours. However, we are continually evaluating our news coverage and will add or delete features and special events as the situations arise.

Governor Ricketts will hold his next briefing at 2 p.m. on Thursday while the Spanish-Language media event will be held at 3 p.m. also Thursday. Last week was the final NET Town Hall that Governor Ricketts attended.