Gov. Ricketts declares April Child Abuse Awareness Month

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks during a news conference in Lincoln, Neb., Monday, March 23, 2020, where he provided updates on Nebraska’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) – Governor Ricketts signed a declaration making April child abuse awareness month in Nebraska during his daily COVID-19 press conference Tuesday.

The Governor said since schools have been operating without students, the watchful eye is teachers against child abuse is lost.

Ricketts asks Nebraskans to be on the lookout for red-flags of abuse in their communities and report suspected abuse to 800-652-1999, the child abuse and neglect hotline.

Stephanie Beasley, Director of the Division of Children and Family Services in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, said stress and financial pressures brought on by COVID-19 could increase child abuse cases in Nebraska.

The Governor also said modifications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were made in an executive order.

The modifications extend the certification period and increase the maximum allotments that can be made through SNAP.

Nebraska health officials announced the state’s 10th coronavirus-related death Tuesday. Case numbers also rose by 35 for a total of 447 positive cases in the state.

A live story with all the COVID-19 updates for today in Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa can be found here.

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