LINCOLN – The hidden heroes were highlighted earlier this week during a weekly press briefing hosted by Governor Pete Ricketts.
From the Nebraska State Capitol, Governor Ricketts was joined by Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) Director John Hilgert.
Governor Ricketts began the press briefing by reminding Nebraskans to continue to follow social distancing by keeping six-feet of distance between other people in public, wear a mask when going to a store or any place near people, wash your hands often and avoid crowded bars and restaurants.
“Of course, all of this is around making sure that we preserve our hospital capacity,” said Ricketts. “That’s the whole reason we do this. To make sure we provide that hospital bed, that ICU be or that ventilator to anyone who needs it when they need it.”
In Nebraska, the hospital bed availability is 36%, ICU beds are at 35% and ventilator availability is 83% which hasn’t dropped below 70% with regard to ventilators.
Over 341,000 Nebraskans have signed up for Test Nebraska which has conducted over a million assessments and 223,000+ tests through the site. This makes up for over half the tests Nebraska does state-wide.
Earlier this week, most of the state shifted into phase 4 of the Directed Health Measures (DHMs) besides the Lancaster County Health District which will remain in phase three until September 30.
Established in 2016 by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the initiative recognizes the military caregivers. Following the proclamation signing Monday, Nebraska became the fourth state to do so where there are now 156 communities across the country that are recognized as a Hidden Heroes Community.
There are 5.5 million people who provide care to military members who come back from defending our freedoms. Governor Ricketts added these heroes need to be recognized.
“Because this is a lot of work and it can take a lot of time,” Ricketts added. “Those folks can start feeling isolated or they are. Then that can lead to depression and deterioration of their health. Now in Nebraska, our goal is to be the most Veteran and Military friendly state in the country.”
Andrea Dorsey of Omaha spoke on behalf of military caregivers in Nebraska Monday and as a representative of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes program. She described the challenging and rewarding work of caring for her husband, Joe, a military veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was injured in an explosion while serving in Iraq.
Governor Ricketts will also be in Wayne on Friday, September 18 for remarks during the Ace Hardware and Home Ribbon Cutting located at 615 Dearborn Street at 2 p.m. Other Friday remarks for the governor include at the Nancy County Livestock Friendly Designation from the fairgrounds in Fullerton and Benson VFW Post 2503 POW/MIA for National Day of Recognition Celebration in Omaha Friday.
The AppleJack Festival Parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in Nebraska City as Governor Ricketts will also plan to participate in the parade while the next press briefing will be at 2 p.m. on Monday, September 21.