Weekly Press Briefing From Governor Ricketts

LINCOLN – As another round of holiday gatherings approach, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts continues to ask everyone to use all the tools available to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

From the Governor’s hearing room inside the Nebraska State Capitol, Ricketts held his first of three press conferences Monday morning providing updates on the work the state of Nebraska is doing to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect hospitals.

Advent reflections were given from a member of the Diocese of Lincoln in the Catholic Church as Department of Behavioral Health and Department of Motor Vehicles were also highlighted.

Governor Ricketts is reminding Nebraskans to follow the guidelines.

“If you have any of these symptoms, again you need to stay home,” said Ricketts. “Certainly, go get tested to confirm whether or not it’s the coronavirus. But please stay home if you’ve got any symptoms; that’s just going to be good anytime but especially during this pandemic. So, please follow those rules to be able to keep the pandemic from spreading.”

Test Nebraska has now had 523,000 tests delivered and you can visit testnebraska.com to get tested prior to visiting family during the upcoming holiday.

As of Sunday, there were 692 hospitalizations which was down about 30% from the state’s high of 987 on November 20.

Governor Ricketts also added with the seven-day rolling average, Nebraska dropped from ‘orange’ to ‘yellow’.

“As we go into yellow, this is where we’re in that category of 15-20% of our hospitalizations are coronavirus patients,” Ricketts added. “What that means while we’re in yellow is that some things such as elective surgeries are now allowed, assuming a hospital can maintain that 10% capacity.”

With non-household members now be allowed to watch extracurricular activities being school or club events, high schools have the discretion to change how that works to keep community members healthy. View the updated Directed Health Measure at dhhs.ne.gov.

Governor Ricketts also announced that state buildings will be closed and teammates will be granted a day of leave on Christmas Eve (Thursday, December 24). Exceptions may include law enforcement, security, military and teammates engaged in other essential functions. All teammates should receive official instruction from their agency director or personnel representative.

Other upcoming press briefings are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 16 and Friday, December 18 at 9 a.m. The events are being streamed live at www.NETNebraska.org/capitol/.  

 Complete press briefing, minus Q&A.