Gov. Ricketts: UNL to house quarantined, recovering COVID-19 patients

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks during a news conference with State business and education leaders in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, March 13, 2020. Nebraska state officials have now confirmed 13 cases of the new coronavirus and developed a plan to order school closures for six to eight weeks if the outbreak worsens. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) – Governor Ricketts held his daily COVID-19 press conference Thursday confirming details surrounding Directed Health Measures (DHMs) and a new contract with the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

With new State DHMs issued for the North Central and West Central District Health Departments, 56 Nebraska counties are now following the guidelines outlined for them here.

During the conference, Ricketts announced Nebraska schools will remain closed to kids through May 31.

Along with the continuance of remote learning, spring extracurricular activities have been canceled. Ricketts urged all club sports activities to be canceled until May 31.

Ricketts also said the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) signed a contract to house COVID-19 patients who are unable to return home to quarantine or recover from the virus if they live with someone in an at-risk population.

Staffing for those facilities is being worked on, the governor said.

Ricketts said there is no timeline for when Nebraska could receive rapid tests for COVID-19.

The governor said the effects of social distancing can be seen as Nebraska cases remain on a slow rise despite a large increase in testing.

Below are updated numbers provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19 in the state.

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