Monday’s Governor Press Briefing Update

LINCOLN – With back-to-back press briefings to open the week, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed in DHHS leaders Monday prior to designating this Saturday as Hunting and Fishing Day in the state.

From the Governor’s Hearing Room in the Nebraska State Capitol, Ricketts was joined by Tim Meyers, President of WellCare of Nebraska; Angie Ling, Incident Commander for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Gina Uhing, health director for the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department Monday

Prior to all the speakers, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts gave an update for the state’s hospital capacity.

“We’ve always been able to provide that hospital bed, that ICU bed or that ventilator to anybody who has needed it when they needed it,” said Ricketts. “Currently in the state of Nebraska our hospital capacity is at 37%, our ICU bed capacity is at 34% and our ventilator capacity is at 83%.”

Test Nebraska has now delivered over 240,000 test results.

The Department of Health and Human Services discussed the changes being made by managed care Organizations (MCOs) to better serve Nebraskans during the pandemic. Nebraska contracts with three national health plans, or MCOs, to provide Medicaid health care services to Nebraskans.

Ricketts and the DHHS leaders brought forward information about how the Nebraska Accommodation Project (NAP) is providing temporary housing to teachers to mitigate the risk of the virus traveling between households and schools. Representatives from the Medicaid provider plans were also on hand.

Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt also participated in the press briefing to provide an update on the ways schools are partnering with their local health departments and the State to combat the spread of the virus.

Blomstedt added schools are finding a routine of the best way to provide educational opportunities.

“But we’re kind of getting there,” Blomstedt added. “I’m starting to feel a sense across the state of comfort in what’s taking place. Again, people can stick to that, continue to do that and that’s going to be to the benefit of our students and hopefully as we continue to go make it through this school year.”

Representatives of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation as well as youth hunting program mentors, participants and graduates will join Governor Ricketts in the signing of a proclamation ceremony of Hunting and Fishing Day. The press briefing will be scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.