LINCOLN – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a press briefing this past Friday talking about back-to-school details and will hold another Tuesday afternoon.
From the Governor’s Hearing Room in the Nebraska State Capitol, Governor Ricketts and Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt addressed school children heading back to the classrooms this fall.
Phase three of the Directed Health Measures (DHMs) began on June 22 for majority of the state while the four remaining counties joined on July 6. Governor Ricketts wants to remind Nebraskans to continue to loosen restrictions, they need to continue to follow social distancing.
“Remember just kind of three basic things,” said Ricketts. “Which is one, when you go out in public try and keep that six-foot distance between you and other people; two, if you go to the store wear a mask and then finally wash your hands often for 20 seconds at a time.”
Nearly 230,000 people have signed up for TestNebraska.com with over 85,000 tests being conducted. Visit testnebraska.com for more information.
With some schools set to open their 2020-21 school year in less than a month, Governor Ricketts added it’s important as an academic standpoint to get kids back in classrooms.
“But it’s also important from a mental health aspect,” Ricketts added. “Social isolation is not good for kids. We want to get kids back around their colleagues and do it in a safe way. But have them to be able to get that social interaction is going to be important for kids.”
Blomstedt mentioned his staff is looking forward to the opportunity of how to get kids back in the classrooms safely.
“The reality is that it’s going to take all of us to be able to do this well to accommodate one another in this particular work,” Blomstedt mentioned. “To ensure that we are making decisions that are best for each building and best for each district and community based on the conditions that they have.”
The Department of Education released about a 25-page document to state-wide superintendents on planning for a safe return to school.
Another press briefing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21 to continue to talk about back-to-school issues. President Ted Carter with the University of Nebraska will join Governor Ricketts and make brief remarks while discussing the university system’s plans to resume classes safely this fall.
Governor Ricketts will also offer remarks on Thursday, July 23 at 10 a.m. for the Korean War Veterans Signing Ceremony.