Gov. Ricketts concerned coronavirus will flare again with protests

Nebraska News

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. (AP/KCAU) – Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska could see another flare-up of coronavirus cases because of the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, but he concluded that allowing protesters to peacefully vent was more important than concerns about the pandemic.

His comments came as new, lighter virus restrictions went into effect throughout most of the state.

The restrictions approved by Ricketts allow bars, zoos, swimming pools, and other public venues to reopen, with crowd limits based on a venue’s occupancy.

Protests in Omaha and Lincoln have each drawn more than 1,000 people, often clustered into large groups as they confront law enforcement officers.

Ricketts says officials decided that the protesters’ free-speech rights outweigh concerns about the pandemic.

Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference to provide an update on what the state is doing to get Nebraska growing as the fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues.  

Watch a replay of the live stream below.

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