Nebraska Gov. Ricketts orders schools to remain closed to kids

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks at a press briefing in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Nebraska approved an $83.6 million emergency relief package Wednesday to help public health officials respond to new coronavirus as the number of cases continued to rise and Gov. Pete Ricketts expanded the list of counties where restaurants and bars will be forced to close their dining areas. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Governor Pete Ricketts has ordered Nebraska schools to remain closed to students through May 31 as officials reported that the state’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to five.

Students have been taking their lessons at home via online classes since schools began closing last month.

Gov. Pete Ricketts’ order Wednesday ensures the children won’t be returning to the close quarters of their classrooms.

Health officials report that the latest COVID-19 fatality was a Madison County woman in her 70s who had underlying health conditions.

The state’s total number of confirmed cases has risen to 214. Nearly 3,600 people have tested negative.

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