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Gov. Ricketts gives COVID-19 update, recognizes military caregivers

Gov. Pete Ricketts gave an update Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on Nebraska's COVID-19 response and talks about the state's participation in the Hidden Heroes campaign.
Gov. Pete Ricketts gave an update Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on Nebraska's COVID-19 response and talks about the state's participation in the Hidden Heroes campaign.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 8:58 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:54 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Gov. Pete Ricketts and other Nebraska officials held a news conference Monday morning.

Ricketts confirmed the state has moved all public health districts into Phase 4 as of today. The next step, he said, would be to remove all health directives from the state, noting that he doesn’t know when that might occur.

The governor clarified that outdoor venues are able to go to 100%, which also includes stadiums — as long as there less than 500 people in attendance, he said.

Lancaster County has chosen to remain in Phase 3 until Sept. 30, he said. The county has a separate “carve out,” he said, noting that city officials did let him know ahead of time that they would not be moving into Phase 4 with the rest of the state. Ricketts said he disagrees with the decision, but that they’re allowed to do so.

The governor reminded Nebraskans to continue following COVID-19 guidelines, washing hands frequently, wearing face masks, and practicing social distancing, noting that the focus of these precautions is to contain the spread of the virus and to preserve hospital capacity.

He also said 341,000 people have signed up with Test Nebraska.

Hidden Heroes

As announced during Monday’s news conference, Nebraska is joining the Hidden Heroes campaign. The campaign, from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, highlights the work done by military caregivers and offers support as well. The campaign also seeks to “inspire individuals, businesses, and communities to take action in supporting military caregivers in their communities, and establish a national registry by encouraging military caregivers to register at HiddenHeroes.org to better connect them to helpful resources and support.”

John Hilgert, director of the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, and Andrea Dorsey talked about the designation during the news conference. Dorsey’s husband was in the Army and was hurt by an IED in Iraq, returning home with PTSD as well as physical ailments.

With today’s proclamation from the governor, Nebraska became the fourth state to participate in the Hidden Heroes program. Ricketts said he wants to make Nebraska the most military-friendly state.

Watch Monday’s news conference

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