Weekly Senator Update Provides More Information About #TestNebraska, 21 Days Of Stay Home & Stay Healthy Concludes Friday

WAYNE – A northeast Nebraska senator is urging residents to take part in the #TestNebraska Initiative and challenge.

According to a release from the office of District 17 Senator Joni Albrecht, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts rolled out the new state initiative to increase the rate of COVID-19 testing as an aid to strategizing the re-opening of Nebraska businesses last week.

This will allow residents to have better access to testing and help slow down the spread of COVID-19, in an effort to get Nebraskans back to normal as quickly as possible.

To expand its testing capabilities, the state has launched a public-private partnership that leverages the technologies and relationships of a number of companies to help solve limited testing challenges that have been experienced. The initiative will expand testing in Nebraska over the next several weeks.

To prepare for the increased testing, Governor Ricketts simultaneously issued the #TestNebraskaChallenge, asking Nebraskans to sign up to take the test by first completing an assessment at www.TestNebraska.com. Testing will be set up in different locations across the state in the next two to five weeks. The sites will have multiple kits and multiple test options.

All individually identifiable information being gathered for the TestNebraska initiative is protected by state and federal law. Aggregate data collected will be shared with the public health departments which are expected to then provide the aggregate data to the National information gatherers.

As the initial state Directed Health Measures start to expire in late April and early May, new DHMs have been created which include the Northeast Nebraska Health Department health district (Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne counties). The May 4 DHM will be in place for 19 local health districts and be effective through May, 31. Dakota county was not included as Dakota County Health is not able to loosen restrictions under its own Regional DHM and business closings will remain in place.

For more information about the Directed Health Measure changes, visit www.governor.nebraska.gov.

Maintaining the integrity of Nebraska’s health care system remains the state’s top consideration when making decisions about public health measures. Nebraska continues to have ample capacity to care for the state’s residents. As of April 24, 48% of hospital beds, 42% of ICU beds and 74% of ventilators are available for use statewide.

In the weekly update, Senator Albrecht reminds District 17 residents to guard their health and follow the six steps from Governor Pete Ricketts. Stay home, socially distance your work, shop alone and only shop once a week, help kids follow social distancing, help seniors stay at home by shopping for them and exercise daily at home or with an appropriately socially-distanced activity.

To contact Senator Albrecht, email jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov or call 402-471-2716.