Nebraska jobless claims soar with rise in virus numbers

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Nurses in protective gear handle a collected test for the Covid-19 virus at a coronavirus drive-through location at Bryant Health’s LifePointe campus in Lincoln, Neb., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Testing was by appointment only. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials say Nebraska’s initial claims for unemployment skyrocketed with the rest of the nation’s last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The filings rose to nearly 16,000 from a little less than 800 the week before. The dire financial news comes as two more cases were confirmed in Nebraska, bringing the state total to 68.

The announcement Wednesday night follows the Legislature’s approval of an $83.6 million emergency relief package to help public health officials respond to the virus.

The bill will provide money for medical and cleaning supplies, tests, and overtime for state health care workers. 

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