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Official: Nebraska schools should be able to reopen on time

Florida’s Reopen Task Force has set a goal to open schools this Fall. (MGN)
Florida’s Reopen Task Force has set a goal to open schools this Fall. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: May. 8, 2020 at 10:42 AM CDT
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Nebraska schools that are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic should be able to reopen on schedule this fall, the state’s education commissioner said.

Commissioner Matt Blomstedt said during a Thursday news conference with Gov. Pete Ricketts that opening dates would depend on local health conditions.

“I do think that there will be areas of the state that will be able to keep pretty much their regular calendar intact, and I think that’s what folks are interested in,” Blomstedt said. “But we are also asking schools to be very thoughtful about digital and remote learning as we continue down that path.”

Nebraska had 7,190 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Friday morning. More than 40,000 people have been tested. Ninety people in Nebraska have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The shutdown caused by the virus is forcing Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium to furlough workers and eliminate positions after cutting its budget by 36%.

The zoo has been closed since March 16.

“Decisions affecting our staff are very difficult and not made lightly knowing their level of commitment,” Dennis Pate, president and CEO of the zoo, said in a statement.

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