Gov. Ricketts to end coronavirus State of Emergency, Test Nebraska program

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 9:44 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 12:22 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. - Governor Pete Ricketts told Nebraskans it’s time to get back to normal after more than a year of being in a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

He announced Monday, he’ll allow the state of emergency he declared March 13, 2020 to expire June 30. All but three executive orders will also expire June 30. One of the executive orders being extended has to do with telehealth, it is being extended until August 27 because new legislation will take over August 28. The other two have to do with the operation of the Department of Labor, they’ll be extended until the legislature can address them next session.

Ricketts said this is possible because hospitalizations across the state are now down to only 27, less than one percent of all hospitalizations in the state.

The Test Nebraska contract will also end July 31. The last day to get tested will be July 18.

Ricketts said with these orders expiring, it’s not a sign that COVID-19 is over, but a sign that Nebraskans should no longer be afraid.

“We have to get back to a normal life, we have to keep the risk in balance,” Ricketts said.

He said in Nebraska, if you’re between 10 and 19 years old, someone is 26 times more likely to die in a car accident than to die of COVID-19.

“Keep that in perspective. We’re not going to ask them to not ride in cars. The risk for COVID-19 is now low,” Ricketts said.

He also encouraged Nebraskans to continue to get vaccinated and be mindful about the spread of COVID-19 and any illness.

“That’s why you should get the vaccines,” Ricketts said. “Vaccines work and it’s also a good idea to make sure you’re coughing into your elbow, wash your hands, stay home when you’re sick.”

Ricketts also set his expectation for the next school year for public K-12 and universities in the state.

“Kids will be in classrooms in the fall. There will be no masks or vaccines required,” he said.

He also said Nebraska ranked sixth in the country for having kids in the classrooms, the third best for people surviving COVID-19 and had the average lowest unemployment rate.

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