The latest updates on Covid-19 in Nebraska


—  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is temporarily stopping evictions for residents whose job status has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  The governor signed an executive order yesterday that covers any rent nonpayment that took place on or after March 13th.  The order will cover tenants who can prove to their landlords that they have suffered a substantial loss of income or have missed work to care for a relative or child because their school or daycare was impacted by the coronavirus.  The order calls on landlords to defer eviction notices for residents impacted by the pandemic until May 31st, but only for nonpayment of rent.

—  Six new coronavirus cases are confirmed in Nebraska.  The new cases were confirmed yesterday in Douglas, Saunders, Dodge and Washington counties.  In addition, state officials confirmed the first instances of community spread of the virus in Saunders County and in Lincoln.  There have been 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nebraska including 40 in Douglas County.

—  Millions of dollars worth of emergency funding is approved for Nebraska’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.  Governor Pete Ricketts signed a bill yesterday that allocates 83-million-dollars in emergency funding.  The money will be used to buy personal protective gear and other supplies for health departments, to maintain staffing at health care facilities and to facilitate COVID-19 testing.

—  The Nebraska panhandle has yet to see its first confirmed COVID-19 case.  Scotts Bluff County Public Health officials say 54 people have been tested in the panhandle’s 11 counties since March 2nd, but none of the tests have been positive so far.  The results of six coronavirus tests are expected to be revealed today.

—  Governor Pete Ricketts is saying local restrictions on residents in seven Nebraska counties will remain in effect beyond Easter.  The “Omaha World-Herald” reports that Ricketts says the spread of COVID-19 will be the determining factor on when officials in Douglas, Lancaster and five other counties can ease restrictions.  Ricketts stressed that residents should not expect to be in church on Easter, despite President Trump’s expressed hope to have the country open and churches packed by the holiday.

—  Community spread of the coronavirus is prompting state-imposed health measures in three additional Nebraska counties.  The new measures for Lancaster, Dodge and Saunders counties including a ten-person limit on crowd sizes, the closing of bars, in-house dining at restaurants and the postponement of elective surgeries will remain in effect until at least May 7th.  Similar measures have already been enacted in Douglas, Sarpy, Cass and Washington counties.

—  A drive-up testing site for COVID-19 is open in Omaha.  The appointment-only site is located at Crossroads Urgent Care near 72nd and Dodge streets.  Officials say the clinic has tested three people for the coronavirus since it opened on Tuesday.  Test results will be available after three or four days.

—  Nebraska Medicine is asking for donations of personal protective equipment to protect medical workers from the spread of coronavirus.  The hospital posted to Facebook requesting new, unopened, manufactured N-95 or surgical procedure masks and unopened, manufactured hand sanitizing liquid.  The hospital says they are unable to accept opened manufactured products, sewn masks or 3-D printed masks at this time.  The hospital is requesting items to be delivered to 4230 Leavenworth Street on the north side of the building from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

—  The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Nebraska’s state parks.  The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is temporarily closing cabin rentals and lodging facilities at state parks.  The closures will remain in effect until the end of April, but officials say the closures could last longer if the pandemic doesn’t improve.

— The coronavirus pandemic is stressful for everyone.  U-N-M-C Addiction Division Director Dr. Kenneth Zoucha [[zoo-kah]] says the events we’re experiencing right now can be difficult for people and it’s important to stay mentally healthy.  Dr. Zoucha advises avoiding sugary or fatty foods, getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night, and enjoying pleasurable activities like reading, exercising, and listening to music.  Dr. Zoucha also advises keeping up with daily routines as much as possible.