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coronavirus

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Schools in the Omaha area are reporting new cases of the coronavirus, just days after opening classes to in-person attendance during a global pandemic. The Omaha World-Herald reports that officials disclosed two confirmed cases at Reagan Elementary School in the Millard Public Schools district. Ralston Public Schools also sent notice of a confirmed case in its Blumfield Elementary School. Officials in both districts said those infected and those who have been in contact with them have been told to self-quarantine, and that both schools are being deep-cleaned.

Douglas County Marathon To Proceed In Defiance Of Pandemic

Aug 13, 2020
WOWT

The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping marathoners from lacing up their shoes.  The Douglas County Health Department is allowing the 45th annual Omaha Marathon to proceed.  The race will take place September 20th, and runners will undergo temperature checks and be instructed to wear face coverings when they are not racing.  In addition, the event will include staggered starts, and in-person award ceremonies will be eliminated.

As parents nationwide prepare to help their children with more distance learning, a small but quickly growing number are deciding to take matters entirely into their own hands and begin homeschooling. Some are worried their districts are unable to offer a strong virtual learning program. For others who may have been considering homeschooling, concerns for their family’s health amid the coronavirus and the on-again, off-again planning for in-person instruction are leading them to part ways with school systems.

Consumer Reports

There are now more than 29-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there had been 29-thousand-30 cases and 351 coronavirus-related deaths reported statewide since the pandemic began.  More than 11-thousand-500 of those COVID-19 cases have been reported in Douglas County. A public facemask ordinance is now in effect in Omaha to combat the pandemic.  City Council members approved the measure during yesterday's meeting. The measure passed 7-0 after four hours of testimony from a divided public.

NPR

The emergence of COVID-19 this year has presented us all with a host of unique and profound challenges.  Its impact has even rippled out to the broadcast world, affecting production processes and the shows they create.

As you may already know, these concerns involving COVID-19 have led to the end, or imminent end, of programs like Live From Here, Only a Game, and our own Jazz Junction.  They’ve also played a role in the reduction of On Point from two hours to one.  Hopefully, this will be the extent of it.

Omaha Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Cheryl Logan, announced this afternoon that the start of school has been pushed back to August 18th and there will be no in-person classes.  For the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year the 100% Remote Learning Instructional Model will be used.  

The text of the full notice sent to staff and families is below, as well as a link to the OPS website with more information.

State health officials announced 332 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 27,821 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 340 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services reports 40 percent of hospital beds and 79 percent of ventilators are available. The Omaha City Council is expected to vote on a mask mandate on Tuesday. The council plans to propose an emergency ordinance to put the requirement in place, and needs six of the seven members to vote yes to immediately go into effect.

Omaha Catholic Schools is delaying the new school year for students on six of its campuses.  Holy Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Bernadette, Saints Peter and Paul, St. Thomas More and the Dual Language Academy will now start classes on August 31st.  The schools were originally set to welcome students back on August 20th, but officials delayed the starting date due to COVID-19 concerns. Omaha Public Schools want to purchase more than 20-thousand digital thermometers for student use. WOWT-TV6 reports the school wants to spend 95-thousand dollars of philanthropic money.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is surging past 27-thousand.  Officials confirmed 222 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 27-thousand-178.  Four more coronavirus deaths were reported yesterday, and the state has seen 332 deaths during the pandemic.

Iowa Gov's Pandemic Response Sinks Her Approval Rating

Aug 3, 2020

Doctors across Iowa are urging Governor Kim Reynolds to enact a statewide face mask mandate.  WHO-TV reports dozens of medical professionals gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Saturday and presented data they say proves masks can slow the spread of coronavirus.  Iowa is one of only three states in the country that don't have some sort of mask mandate.

State health officials announced 344 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 25,766 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 328 deaths. Thirty-seven percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. New unemployment claims decreased in Nebraska last week. The Department of Labor reported 3,544 initial claims, a decline of more than ten percent from the week before. However, officials announced 1,570 new pandemic unemployment assistance claims for the past week. This is an increase of four-point-nine percent.

Nebraska’s meatpacking plants won’t have to worry about any new state-mandated safety restrictions this year, despite outbreaks of the coronavirus among their workers. A Nebraska lawmaker who wanted to add more protections on Wednesday failed to secure sufficient support for the idea. Sen. Tony Vargas, of Omaha, fell two votes short of the 30 he needed to introduce a bill this session. Bills can only be introduced during the first 10 days of each session, unless a super-majority of lawmakers agrees to suspend the rule.

Billy McGuigan is taking the party outside! Experience Billy McGuigan’s Pop Rock Orchestra from the socially-distanced comfort of your own car. All your favorite rock ‘n’ roll mega hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s in a drive-in style concert—live from the OCP parking lot! Led by international touring artist Billy McGuigan and backed by the 9-piece Pop Rock Orchestra, these all-star musicians serve up fresh, original arrangements covering everything from The Beach Boys to Billy Joel.

Billy took some time out of his busy day to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the show and the thrill and reward of performing in front of a live audience. 

The show runs August 5th through the 23rd and ticket information is available at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/poprock/

There are now more than 25-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were 25-thousand-157 cases and 321 coronavirus-related deaths in the state.  Douglas County leads Nebraska with more than 98-hundred COVID-19 cases. Officials say dozens of inmates at the Douglas County Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus. A news release from the county says 36 of 41 inmates in a single housing unit at the jail recently tested positive for the virus.

This school supply drive, organized by community-minded local banks, is collecting items until July 31, 2020, for a dozen Omaha metro charities!

Marjorie Maas, Executive Director of SHARE Omaha, chats with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the drive and all the different ways everyone can participate to help students have the materials they need to start the most different school year on record on the right foot!

For information on how to be a part of this drive, one can go to www.shareomaha.org/supplies 

The full uninterrupted 30 minute interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

State health officials announced 332 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 23-thousand-818 confirmed cases of the virus in the state and 316 deaths. Thirty-four-percent of hospital beds and eighty-percent of ventilators are available. Officials in Omaha say a citywide mask mandate could go into effect next week. Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour said the area needs to get COVID-19 under control in order for schools to reopen.

The final installment of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

Part 4 of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

Part 3 of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

Hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are reported in Nebraska.  Officials confirmed 343 cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 23-thousand-190.  There have been 310 coronavirus deaths in Nebraska during the pandemic.  Douglas County leads the state with 89-hundred COVID-19 cases.

Nebraska lawmakers returned to their session with lingering concerns about the coronavirus and extra safety precautions that will likely remain in place until they adjourn for the year. The 60-day session resumed Monday with plexiglass barriers separating lawmakers in the legislative chamber, mandatory temperature checks to enter and tougher restrictions on who can access the room. Lawmakers took the unusual step of suspending their session on March 25 to try to keep the virus from spreading after they passed an emergency coronavirus funding bill.

Part 2 of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

**UPDATE:  The full 30 minute interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  The final installment of the interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  Part four of the interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  Part three of the interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  Part two of the interview is posted below.

Omaha Public Schools will resume in-person classes starting August 11th.  This school year will be like none in recent memory and there are many questions.  

Mike Hogan had the opportunity to sit down with the Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools, Dr. Cheryl Logan, to chat about why, how, and what to expect when in-person classes resume.  A segment of this five-part interview airs each day this week at 7:45 a.m. and 3:44 p.m. on 91.5 KIOS-FM, with each segment posted to this webpage daily.  On Friday, the unabridged interview will also be posted in its entirety.

Segment #1 is posted below.

New Covid-19 Information Website Launched

Jul 16, 2020

There is a new website for Nebraska coronavirus information. Governor Ricketts announced the Nebraska Coronavirus website will be updated regularly while the state continues dispersing state and federal coronavirus aid funds. The website is coronavirus-dot-Nebraska-dot-gov.

Grand Island Independent

Nebraska health statistics show more than 400 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus so far this week. The state's online virus tracker shows 174 cases were reported Sunday and another 227 cases were reported on Monday, bringing the state total to  nearly 20,400. Of the total, 16,025 have recovered from the virus. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, had reached 288 by the end of Monday.

State health officials announced 198 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 20,623 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 284 deaths. Hospital capacity is currently at 41 percent, and 78 percent of ventilators are available. Meanwhile, the number of people filing new unemployment claims in Nebraska surged last week to its highest level in nearly two months. The U.S. Department of Labor says 6,143 people filed initial claims for benefits during the week that ended July 4. That’s a roughly 46% increase over the 4,203 new claims from the prior week.

State Covid Total Exceeds 20,000; Testing Centers In Flux

Jul 7, 2020

There are now more than 20-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there had been 20-thousand-46 cases and 283 deaths reported statewide during the pandemic.  Douglas County leads the state with 75-hundred coronavirus cases. The Douglas County Health Department and the University of Nebraska Medical Center closed the COVID-19 testing site at 50th and G streets on July 4th due to a shortage of lab supplies.   Officials say the manufacturer is sending supplies to states where COVID-19 cases are surging. A new Test Iowa site is opening in Council Bluffs this week.

**UPDATE: The entire interview has been posted below.  It has been broken into three segments for ease of listening during your schedule.

A candid Mayor Stothert discusses the pandemic, the protests, the riots, and what she and her office are doing to drive change in Omaha.

Thursday, July 2nd at noon, from the studios at 33rd and Burt, a special, extended installment of “Live & Local.” 

Host Mike Hogan gets to sit down for an hour with the current and first woman mayor of the city of Omaha, Jean Stothert.   That will be broadcast live at noon and posted online after the broadcast.  You can listen at 91.5 FM or just click the “Play” button above.

Storm Chasers Cancel 2020 Season

Jul 1, 2020

The Omaha Storm Chasers will not be taking the field this year.  Minor League Baseball announced yesterday that it is canceling the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, Major League Baseball also announced that it would not provide its minor league affiliates with any players this year.  The Storm Chasers are still planning to stage its fireworks show at Werner Park on Friday.

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