Nebraska - COVID-19 Covered

Nebraska

Total Cases: 26,956 (August 4)
Tests Administered: 281,106 (August 2)
Fatalities: 328 (August 4)
Testing:
  • A list of Nebraska’s testing locations and schedules can be found here.  

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Retailers like pharmacies, grocery stores, and home improvement stores are not expected follow The White House guidelines to limit their establishments to 10 people or less because, “generally, customers of these businesses are not in close proximity to one another,” per the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. (March 16)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • The state’s unemployment program is focusing again on reemployment strategies. Those people wishing to continue to receive unemployment benefits, including the $600 federal supplement available through July 25, must search for work, a requirement that had been waived in the state since March 15. (July 7) 
  • Governor Ricketts announced in a recent press conference that local governments will not receive disbursements of $100 million in federal COVID-19 money allocated to the state if their “customers” are required to wear masks. (June 18) 
  • Nebraska released official reopening guidelines for select businesses and sectors. Details can be found here.  
  • Governor Ricketts and State Economic Developer John Goins announced that the state will be launching a task force to provide guidance on best practices for businesses that are ready to re-open. (April 29)  

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • On August 7, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be issuing emergency supplemental allotments to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who receive benefits for the month of July. (July 29) 
  • Governor Ricketts has outlined his plan for distributing $1 billion in emergency aid provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help struggling Nebraskans. (July 9) 
  • Nebraska is putting part of the funding from the CARES Act to a Stabilization Fund for licensed child care providers who have stayed open during the pandemic and to an Incentive to Reopen Child Care Program Fund for child care providers that have closed. (July 8) 
  • The Nebraska Department of Revenue announced that the economic impact of COVID 19 had forced the state to raise its gas taxes. Beginning on July 1, the state will raise the tax rate to 33.2 cents per gallon, up 3.9 cents.  The rate increase will last until December 31, 2020. (June 24) 
  • Governor Ricketts issued executive order 20-26 extending unemployment claims by those laid off by no fault of their own due to COVID 19. As part of this executive order, the Nebraska Department of Labor will only adjudicate the last separation from employment which resulted in the claimant’s unemployment. (June 2) 
  • Governor Ricketts announced that Nebraska would use $1.1 billion in funding received from the federal CARES Act to help small businesses, local governments, nonprofits, and other groups hard-hit by the pandemic. (May 28) 
  • Governor Ricketts issued an executive order (EO 20-17) that waived personal property tax penalties and interest until December 31. (April 9) 
  • The Governor’s wife announced the Nebraska Impact COVID-19 Relief Fund, which aims to help individual communities meet their local needs, through financial assistance for rent, mortgage, and utility payments; provisions for food pantries; or supplies for students from low-income families now studying from home. (April 2 
  • Nebraska is rolling out unemployment programs incorporated in the CARES Act, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Short Time Compensation Programs. (March 30 
  • Governor Ricketts signed Nebraska’s COVID-19 Relief Package. (March 25 
  • Governor Ricketts issued an executive order to prevent evictions of Nebraskans significantly impacted by the coronavirus who are unable to pay rent. (March 25) 
  • Governor Ricketts said Nebraska will follow the federal guidelines of extending the tax deadline to July 15. (March 23) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Ricketts issued an executive order to expand childcare access by activating nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and schools. (March 26)  
  • Governor Ricketts announced eligibility of Nebraska businesses to apply for SBA disaster loans. (March 25 
  • Governor Ricketts announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a statewide economic injury declaration for Nebraska, qualifying small businesses throughout the state to apply for SBA disaster assistance loans. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer low-interest rates and long-term repayment options, and specific terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. (March 20) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • The Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department jurisdiction will be the third local health department to move to Phase 4 of the Directed Health Measures (DHMs). The health department covers nine counties: Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins, and Red Willow. The new DHM will start on August 1. (July 28) 
  • The Loup Basin Health Department jurisdiction, which includes the Counties of Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Howard, Loup, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler, is preparing to move into Phase 4 or reopening. (July 17) 
  • Governor Pete Ricketts announced the executive order placed March 19 for DMV renewals has been pushed back another two months. Nebraskans now have until August 31 to renew driver’s licenses, car titles, and car registrations. (July 2) 
  • The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission announced that almost two dozen state park service centers will open for information and permit sales on July 1. (June 27)  
  • Governor Ricketts announced that the state would enter Phase Three of its reopening on June 22, allowing food to be consumed at bars and non-family members to attend sporting events, among other changes. (June 15) 
  • Governor Ricketts announced that the limited attendance of public gatherings will be increased from 10 to 25 on June 1. (May 22) 
  • Governor Ricketts announced that the state would begin relaxing business restrictions on May 4. These loosened restrictions include the resumption of religious services, weddings, and funerals, with restrictions. (May 1) 
  • Governor Ricketts issued Executive Order 20-24 extending public meeting restrictions until June 30, 2020. (May 20 

SCHOOL PLANNING:

K-12:

  • Catholic schools in the Omaha metro area plan to reopen their doors to all students this fall. (July 2) 
  • Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt announced that the state’s public schools “should be able” to open in time for the coming school year. (May 8) 

State Higher Education:

  • Governor Ricketts and the University of Nebraska President Ted Carter announced students will be welcomed back to campuses next month to start the fall semester. (July 22) 
  • A list of Nebraska universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The University of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Global Center for Health Security have developed a recovery guide and checklist to help college leaders consider if they are ready to resume classes. (May 9)  

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