LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) – Gov. Ricketts held a back-to-school press conference on Monday at 10 a.m.
Gov. Ricketts was joined by representatives from Nebraska’s state colleges and private institutions of higher learning.
Some of these representatives include Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System Paul Turman, Executive Director of the Council of Independent Nebraska Colleges Foundation Treva Haugaard, and college and university presidents.
Turman spoke about the steps that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff.
“In June, the state’s colleges notified our students that we would be proceeding with in-person delivery for the fall 2020 academic year. Within that, we worked to compress our academic calendar, much like a lot of other institutions around the country. Try to limit the amount of contact days and interaction that our students and faculty would have, being able to start a week earlier,” said Turman.
He also noted social distancing and mask requirements as guidelines for the colleges. Attendance is also expected this year to help with contact tracing.
Ricketts continued the press conference by speaking about Nebraska being put in the coronavirus red zone.
“Nebraska was put by the White House and the CDC in their red zone, and part of that was driven by us having – according to them – a 10% positivity rate, which we haven’t had. So, we’re like, what’s going on here? How did we end up on this list? So, we dug into the data, and what we found out, is the White House is using bad data,” said Ricketts.
Ricketts explained the White House could be counting multiple tests on the same person towards the positivity rate, while Nebraska does not record multiple outcomes of a test.
“The White House putting us on that list, in my opinion, was a mistake, and I don’t believe his advisers are serving him, the president, well if they’re giving him bad data about what’s going on here, and don’t take the time to actually get the right data from the states,” said Ricketts.