‘Moving forward’: Gov. Ricketts withdrawing COVID-19 measures, federal unemployment programs

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) – Nebraska Governor Ricketts signed an executive order Monday morning that will terminate a number of other orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ricketts said the termination of seven executive orders over the pandemic is due to the very limited hospital capacity over COVID-19 cases, saying Monday morning there are only 73 hospitalizations or 2% of the state hospital capacity reserved for cases.

“For 15 months, Nebraskan’s sacrificed. When we asked them to do that, they did it. When we had our 21 days to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected, Nebraskans did that. When we asked them to wear masks, because recall we did not have a statewide mask mandate, they did that. So, by educating Nebraskans by the steps they could take, Nebraskans did what they always did, they take care of their neighbors. They step up and do the right thing. And so today, we are very excited to make announcements about moving forward,” Ricketts said.

The new executive order specifically rescinds executive orders 20-06, 20-09, 20-13, 20-14, 20-19, 20-21, 20-22 on June 1. The rescinded orders dealt with regulations over the Liquor Control Commission and alcohol take-out, examinations of financial institutions, unemployment eligibility, short-time compensation plans, motor-carrier regulations, and allowing flexibility to the Department of Labor to process unemployment claims.

Nebraska will be withdrawing from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.

Ricketts also said that Directed Health Measures regarding the pandemic will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

“Then we will be issuing a DHM today that will basically end our Directed Health Measures tonight. So the requirements to quarantine and isolate will no longer be in our Directed Health Measures, and that will end effective at 11:59 this evening.

Ricketts also announced that the state is withdrawing from the federal pandemic unemployment insurance plan, which will take effect June 19.

“We’re encouraging all Nebraskans to move forward together, all the organizations we have, to take that step moving forward. We are not going to require masks anywhere, and certainly, if someone wants to wear a mask they can, that is their personal choice. But I’m encouraging all organizations to set aside those pandemic rules and move forward together as a state.”

Ricketts said that 53% of Nebraskans eligible are fully vaccinated as he urged everyone else to get vaccinated.

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