Gov. Ricketts Highlights New Test Nebraska Hotline, Proclaims “Skilled Nursing Care Week” in Nebraska

Gov. Ricketts (podium), President & CEO of the Nebraska Health Care Association Heath Boddy (standing, far left), and First Lady Susanne Shore (standing, second from left) at Thursday’s press briefing.

LINCOLN – Thursday, at his afternoon press conference, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that a dedicated hotline has been set up to answer questions about the Test Nebraska initiative.  The number is 402-207-9377.  Previously, the State’s general coronavirus hotline had been fielding calls related to Test Nebraska.

 

The Governor also thanked nurses and caregivers for their work to serve Nebraskans during the pandemic.  He proclaimed May 10-16, 2020 as Skilled Nursing Care Week in Nebraska in recognition of their ongoing efforts.  Heath Boddy, President & CEO of the Nebraska Health Care Association joined Gov. Ricketts at this afternoon’s briefing.  He underscored the heroic work being done at skilled nursing and long-term care facilities across the state.

 

Additionally, First Lady Susanne Shore took part in today’s press event.  She highlighted Nebraska Impact’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, overviewed its work to meet the needs of communities affected by the virus, and invited Nebraskans to join the relief efforts.

 

Gov. Ricketts: Test Nebraska

  • We continue to encourage people to take the TestNebraska.com assessment.
  • Testing sites are operating in Lincoln and Omaha today.
    • On Thursday, Test Nebraska will be in Norfolk.
    • On Friday, mobile testing teams will be in Lexington.
    • More sites will be announced in the near future.
  • Customer support for Test Nebraska.
    • We are excited to announce today that a call center will be providing support for Test Nebraska.
    • To date, our general coronavirus hotline has assisted with questions regarding Test Nebraska.
    • Going forward, a call center with experience supporting this system will be available to help our residents.
    • The number for the new Test Nebraska call center is 402-207-9377.

 

First Lady Shore: Nebraska Impact’s COVID-19 Relief Fund

  • We have worked in close collaboration with the Bring Up Nebraska Community Collaborative, which is a program of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, to identify areas of need across the state.
  • The majority of our funds, around $250,000, have gone to provide emergency food assistance in virus hotspots, including Colfax, Dakota, Dawson, Hall, Madison, and Platte counties.
  • We have also worked with school administrators in Platte and Colfax counties to provide refurbished laptops and tablets to low-income students, as well as to youth who have aged out of the foster care system.
  • We will continue to do everything we can to help our non-profit partners across the state meet the needs of our citizens.
  • Today, I have two requests.
    • First, if you are able, please consider making a financial contribution to Nebraska Impact, the Food Bank of the Heartland, the Food Bank of Lincoln, or your local food pantry or non-profit.
    • Second, please consider donating masks.
      • I have heard from multiple sources this week, including food banks, that there are a lot of people who don’t have access to masks.  This puts them at greater risk when they have to go out in public, such as to pick up food for their families.
      • Providing these masks to people in some of our hardest-hit communities is one way we can help keep Nebraskans safe.
      • Today, I’m asking all of the wonderful, talented seamstresses—both expert and novice—to sew and donate cloth facemasks to those in need.
      • Information on how to donate masks, along with a tutorial on how to make facemasks, is available at www.neimpact.org/masks.
  • I appreciate everyone’s strength, sense of community, and resilience.  We will get through this difficult time by working together and lifting up those in need.

 

Gov. Ricketts: Skilled Nursing Care Week

  • This week is Skilled Nursing Care Week.  Facilities across the state are doing an excellent job of delivering care to our most vulnerable at an incredibly difficult time.
  • We want to remind people not to visit skilled nursing or long-term care facilities at this time.  We need to protect people from the virus.
  • I also want to thank all of our nurses who are making sacrifices and putting their health on the line at this time.
  • To recognize their work, I’m declaring this week as Skilled Nursing Week in Nebraska.

 

Heath Boddy: Skilled Nursing Care Week

  • Our long-term care providers continue to be in a war against this virus.
  • They’re providing high-quality care while also helping our elderly residents connect with their family members in new, physically distanced ways so that they can stay engaged.
  • Courageous caregivers get up each morning to serve well, care well, and keep people as safe as they can be.
  • As Nebraskans, I encourage you to rally around the skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities in your area.
  • Find ways to show support of the elderly residents who cannot physically be close to their loved ones right now.  And give encouragement to the team members who bring their passion and dedication to the job each day to serve some of our most vulnerable residents.
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