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covid-19

State health officials reported one additional death from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 164 deaths from the virus in the state, and 13-thousand-261 confirmed cases. The Department of Health and Human Services says 41-percent of hospital beds and 79-percent of ventilators are available. Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced yesterday that she will allow some local restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas. Baird said she will take emergency action to give the restaurants the opportunity to increase their capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Nebraska’s tourism industry has lost millions of dollars in revenue to the coronavirus pandemic and will face major challenges as it tries to recover. Nebraska Tourism Commission Executive Director John Ricks says visitor spending was $152.6 million lower in March than it was at the same time last year. The tourism commission’s revenue from a state lodging tax dropped nearly 60% as well, indicating that hotels and motels were severely hit. Ricks says he’s hopeful that the governor’s recent moves to ease social-distancing restrictions on Monday will help.

Omaha-area hospitals are reporting another uptick in coronavirus patients, but local health officials are still managing the caseloads without any issues. Nebraska Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gary Anthone, says Douglas County’s hospitals are treating 135 patients, up from 122 last week. But Anthone says the increase hasn’t had much of an impact on the available bed space or ventilators within the hospitals. Among the coronavirus patients is Nebraska state Sen. Mike Moser, of Columbus, who is receiving care at Nebraska Medical Center. Gov.

Nebraska will use its $1.1 billion share of federal coronavirus money to help small businesses, local governments, nonprofits and other groups hard-hit by the pandemic. Gov. Pete Ricketts provided a first glimpse of the state’s plan, which focuses heavily on small businesses and unemployment insurance for laid-off workers. Nebraska will receive $1.25 billion under the federal CARES Act, the emergency law passed to help Americans with the pandemic.

Governor Urges Self Quarantine For Lake Goers

May 28, 2020

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Nebraska officials are reacting to large parties that took place at a Missouri lake.  Governor Pete Ricketts is urging Nebraska residents who visited the Lake of the Ozarks during the Memorial Day weekend to stay home if they experience COVID-19 symptoms.  Officials in Missouri and Kansas have already advised people who attended the parties to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.  

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha is set to reopen to the public.  The zoo will open as a one-way walking safari on June 1st with social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols in place.  Visitors will be asked to wear facemasks, and guests will be required to make reservations on the zoo website ahead of time. The Lincoln Children's Zoo is also reopening June 1st. The Zoo is kicking off its reopening with a Wildlife Walk paving a one-way path through the zoo with visits at many of its outdoor exhibits. Zoo officials said the indoor buildings will remain closed to visitors.

Nebraska is continuing to see an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.  State officials had reported 12-thousand-619 cases and 153 deaths as of yesterday.  There have been more than 33-hundred COVID-19 cases reported in Douglas County, while Dakota County has seen more than 16-hundred cases and Hall County has confirmed more than 14-hundred cases. A ninth COVID-19 related death is reported at the Life Care Center of Elkhorn.

Omaha Clinics Now Able To Test For Coronavirus Antibodies

May 26, 2020

Omaha health clinics can now test for coronavirus antibodies. Doctors at 88-Med in West Omaha told WOWT-TV6 that testing helps health care providers identify if someone was in contact with another person who had COVID-19. Doctors said the testing process takes 15-minutes at the most and results come back within a few days. Medical Directors at 88-Med say the benefit of antibody testing allows state health departments to make more well-informed decisions for the public.

The number of COVID-19 cases is continuing to increase in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were 12-thousand-134 cases and 150 deaths reported statewide.  Douglas County has seen the most cases in the state with more than three-thousand. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the cancellation of many Memorial Day events in Nebraska.  Annual ceremonies at Memorial Park and Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha have been cancelled.  Services at the Omaha National Cemetery have also been called off.  Offutt Air Force Base hosted an online service at 9:00 a.m.

Protections For Renters Will Not Be Extended Past June 1st

May 22, 2020
Knowles Law Firm

A state proclamation to protect renters from eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic is ending June 1st. Governor Ricketts yesterday said he is not extending the halt on evictions past May because he feels Nebraskans have received a sufficient budget of employment assistance, an extra 600-dollars a month to help people pay their rent. Legal Aid of Nebraska told WOWT that it would have made sense to halt evictions until the end of July when the federal suspension runs out.

Nebraska will let bars, zoos, movie theaters and swimming pools reopen and allow small concerts and auctions to resume on June 1 in all but four hard-hit counties. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he plans to further loosen social-distancing restrictions to strike a balance between public health and the need to move back toward normal life as people grow restless. His announcement came as the number of coronavirus deaths continues to rise. Businesses that do reopen will still face mandatory social distancing restrictions.

State health officials reported five additional deaths from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 143 deaths from the virus in the state, and 11-thousand-425 confirmed cases. The Department of Health and Human Services says 43-percent of hospital beds and 77-percent of ventilators are available. A sixth resident at the Life Care Center in Elkhorn is dead from COVID-19. The nursing home says 57 residents have been diagnosed with the virus out of 79 who have been tested.

Creighton University has furloughed 190 employees and made several other spending cuts because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Creighton officials said Wednesday they expect to have to cut at least $35 million from the university’s budget to offset declining revenue from tuition and fees. The university said it will suspend its contributions to employee retirement plans on July 1, and top executives will take a pay cut. Creighton said it also won’t pay merit raises this year and will cut discretionary spending.

Nebraska's governor says he's “very pleased” with a coronavirus testing program established by out-of-state contractors. Gov. Pete Ricketts' words of confidence in TestNebraska came Wednesday despite uncertainty that the program will meet a goal of 3,000 tests per day by the month’s end. Nebraska announced the $27 million, no-bid contract with Utah-based Nomi Health and other firms on April 21. The state's chief medical officer says Nebraska tested 1,197 people on Tuesday.

The coronavirus has hurt a vast majority of Nebraska’s businesses and about one in six of them are worried that it will force them to close their doors permanently. That's according to a report released Tuesday by the Nebraska Business Development Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The report highlights the sweeping damage caused by business closures and social-distancing measures to keep the virus from spreading. It says 87% of Nebraska businesses have been hurt because of the pandemic.

Our community will be giving midnight to midnight on May 20, 2020. How about you? Omaha Gives! has raised more than $49 million for local nonprofits since 2013 through more than 300,000 donations. Together, we care, we connect, we celebrate!

Ally Freeman, Director of Communications for the Omaha Community Foundation joins Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the big day of giving, how you can win $1,000 for your favorite charity, and the importance of helping during a time when everyone’s contribution is so important.

You can get to the KIOS Omaha Gives! page here: https://www.omahagives.org/kios/overview

Or you can peruse the entire Omaha Gives! site at https://www.omahagives.org/index.php

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is warning that the coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to state budget cuts and force lawmakers to water down two of his biggest priorities, including a property tax bill for farmers and homeowners and a new business incentive package. His comments came after lawmakers announced plans to resume their regular session on July 20. It’s not clear whether the property tax or business incentive measures had enough support to pass even before the pandemic.

Fox 42 News

The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in Nebraska.  Officials reported 10-thousand-348 cases and 123 deaths statewide as of last night.  Douglas County has seen the most cases in the state with more than 23-hundred.  Hall and Dakota counties have each reported more than 14-hundred coronavirus cases.

 

 In this edition of “a portrait of a pandemic” KIOS’s Joshua LaBure brings us a conversation with Eric Rede of United Food and Commercial Workers Union explaining what he hears from those actually working in the factories continuing to operate during the pandemic

Nebraska may not make its goal of conducting 3,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of May through the state’s TestNebraska program, but Gov. Pete Ricketts says he's confident testers will reach that pace “at some point” if residents continue to sign up. His comments came after state officials reported that the program produced 2,358 results last week _ well short of the 3,000 per day that was expected by the end of the month, when the ramp-up period is supposed to end.

State health officials reported six additional deaths from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 113 total deaths from the virus in the state, and nine-thousand-416 confirmed cases. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says 47-percent of hospital beds and 75-percent of ventilators are available. A nursing home in Elkhorn says two-thirds of its residents are COVID-19 positive. Officials with the Life Care Center of Elkhorn say 51 of 77 residents have tested positive for the virus, along with 17 staff members.

Whether or not you were able to listen to the two-part interview with Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan which aired on KIOS last Thursday, below is the full interview.  If your only have time for the two part version, you can listen to that here:  https://www.kios.org/post/superintendent-dr-cheryl-logan-discusses-ops-future-plans-during-live-local-2-part-interview

One topic of note that has happened since the interview was conducted is that the head of the Omaha Public School District has turned down a pay raise.  The Omaha Public Schools Board voted on May 13 to approve a contract extension for Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan through June 2023.  Logan declined a pay raise and her salary will remain at its current level.

Recycling Service Suspended In Omaha Due To Outbreak

May 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the city of Omaha's recycling operations.  Public Works officials announced yesterday that recycling collection is suspended today.  Recycling collection will resume tomorrow for residents who live in the city's Friday service area.

There are now more than nine-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were nine-thousand-75 cases and 107 deaths reported across the state during the pandemic.  Douglas County has seen 17-hundred-79 cases, while Hall and Dakota counties have each reported nearly 14-hundred coronavirus cases. Nebraska is working to distribute a drug approved to treat the coronavirus.  Governor Pete Ricketts says the state has been provided with 400 vials of Remdesivir.  The state's chief medical officer will determine how the drug will be distributed.

The New York Times

Nebraska’s primary voters mostly steered clear of polling sites Tuesday while shattering the state record for absentee voting with nearly 400,000 mail-in ballots in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Republican President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden sailed to easy victories in the election, the first in-person primary since a heavily criticized election in Wisconsin five weeks ago. So did Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, who faced a GOP primary challenge because of his previous criticism of Trump.

The number of coronavirus cases in Nebraska is continuing to increase. Through yesterday, there had been 86-hundred-92 cases and 103 deaths reported in Nebraska during the pandemic. Douglas County leads the state with 16-hundred-68 cases while Hall and Dakota counties have each reported more than 13-hundred cases.

The YMCA of Greater Omaha is reopening some facilities soon, starting with those in Iowa. Metro YMCA  said both the Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs, and the Mills County YMCA in Glenwood will open next Monday, and all Nebraska YMCA facilities including Armbrust, Southwest, Butler-Gast, Maple Street, Downtown, Sarpy, and Twin Rivers are tentatively scheduled to open June 1st. The Y said like most businesses, reopening will look differently than pre-coronavirus operations and members should expect to follow safety guidelines when they return.

Nebraska is holding the nation’s first in-person primary since a heavily criticized election in Wisconsin five weeks ago in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Election officials have repeatedly urged voters to cast early, mail-in ballots, but Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and Secretary of State Bob Evnen both pledged to forge ahead with an in-person primary even though many other states have rescheduled theirs or switched to all-mail voting.

Nebraska is continuing to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The total number of cases in Nebraska was 83-hundred-15 as of last night.  Ninety-eight COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Nebraska during the pandemic. Two more deaths have been confirmed in Douglas County. The Douglas County Health Department announced yesterday that a woman in her 50s and a man in his 80s died from the virus.  Twenty coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Douglas County, which also leads the state with more than 15-hundred cases.

Omaha Children's Museum

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This week we continue with our questions on dinosaurs as we discuss the mass dino extinction with Lizzie Planck from the Omaha Children’s Museum. Then St Patrick Reid, Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center explains vaccines and what that means for COVID-19.

 

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