Gov. Ricketts sends disaster declaration request to Trump

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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. (KCAU) – Following the announcement of 17 new COVID-19 cases in Nebraska, Governor Pete Ricketts held his daily press conference on the virus Monday.

During the conference, Ricketts said he signed a disaster declaration request that was sent to President Trump for approval. The governor said he anticipates a fast turnaround for the request which will make individual and public assistance available for Nebraska. Individual assistance from the federal government would include unemployment, legal and disaster counseling services. Public assistance under the declaration would provide hazard mitigation and debris disposal for medical supplies.

The Nebraska Department of Labor has eased up requirements for eligibility under their short term compensation program for those impacted by COVID-19. One of the six announced aid programs is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. To apply for short term compensation due click here.

New guidance for homeless shelters was also announced during the conference.

Guidance for individuals, schools, businesses, healthcare facilities, retirement communities and more can be found on the Nebraska DHHS website under the Take Action: Tools and Resources section.

Ricketts signed a proclamation during the conference declaring every Tuesday of April #TakeOutTuesday in Nebraska to support the struggling restaurant industry.

Currently, 18 Nebraska counties are under Directed Health Measures (DHMs). The state DHMs for Cass, Douglas, and Sarpy counties, are effective until April 30 unless renewed, extended, or terminated. The state DHMs for Lancaster, Dodge, Saunders, Washington, Hall, Hamilton, York, Seward, Butler, Polk, Merrick, Madison, Stanton, Cuming, and Burt counties, are effective until May 6.

Under the DHMs, gatherings of more than 10 people and elective surgeries are prohibited. Full details on the DHMS for each county can be found on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website under Directed Health Measures.

The DHHS also has a COVID-19 information line available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Call the information line at (402) 552-6645


With many Siouxland restaurants closed to dine-in customers, we know that it is our friends, family, and colleagues that are the ones being affected by these unprecedented times.

At KCAU 9, we know it is important to support our local businesses.

With that in mind, we’ve created a list of restaurants across Siouxland that are open and still serving food through either delivery or curbside pickup.


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