A COVID-19 Town Hall with Governor Ricketts | Speaking of Nebraska | NET Nebraska

* >>> GOOD EVENING, I’M NET NEWS DIRECTOR, DENNIS KELLOGG THANKS FOR JOINING US ON ANOTHER SPECIAL EPISODE OF “SPEAKING OF NEBRASKA.” GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS IS BACK TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS AS PART OF THIS LIVE TOWN HALL ALONG WITH DR. MARK RUPP WHO’S THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER WELCOME TO YOU AND ALSO JOSIE RODRIGUEZ ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NEBRASKA OFFICE OF HEALTH DISPARITIES AND HEALTH EQUITY THANK YOU FOR MUCH FOR BEING HERE AS WELL YOU CAN JOIN US AS WELL JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL US AT 1-800-676-5446 OR YOU CAN CALL 402-472-1212 YOU CAN ALSO SEND US AN E-MAIL AT News@netnebraska.org GOVERNOR RICKETTS, YOU SAID YOUR PRIORITY GOAL IS TO NOT OVERWHELM THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN NEBRASKA AND POINT OUT 75% OF VENTILATORS IN THE STATE ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AS WELL AS 43% OF INTENSIVE CARE BEDS WE’VE GOTTEN LOTS OF QUESTIONS FROM NEBRASKANS WORRIED ABOUT OTHER METRICS LIKE THE RECENT RAPID INCREASE IN CASES IN LANCASTER COUNTY MARTHA FROM LINCOLN SENT US THIS QUESTION >> HI, MY NAME IS MARTHA AND I’M FROM LINCOLN I HEARD YOU SAY SEVERAL TIMES THAT YOUR RE-OPENING DECISIONS ARE BASED ON HOW THE HOSPITALS ARE MANAGING THE CRISIS AS FAR AS SUPPLIES, ICU, BEDS AND VENTILATORS HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF THE TIME LAG ASSOCIATED WITH THIS DISEASE SUCH AS SYMPTOMS SHOWING UP ON DAY SEVEN, POSSIBLY GOING TO THE HOSPITAL ON DAY 10, AND GOING ON A VENTILATOR ON DAY 14, THE CASES WE ARE SEEING NOW ARE ACTUALLY IN THE NUMBERS FROM THREE WEEKS AGO IT SEEMS PRUDENT THAT WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT THE ACTIVE INFECTIONS AS OUR DECISION MAKER, NOT THE STATUS OF THE HOSPITALS RIGHT NOW CAN YOU SPEAK TO THIS? >> SO, GOVERNOR, ANSWER MARTHA’S QUESTION >> SURE, ABSOLUTELY LET’S TAKE A STEP BACK TO A COUPLE MONTHS AGO WHEN THIS ALL STARTED WHAT WE WERE TOLD IS WE’VE GOT TO FLATTEN THE CURVE AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT IF YOU HAD A PEAK WHERE YOU HAD TOO MANY PEOPLE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL AT ONCE YOU WOULD OVERWHELM THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM SO YOU WANT TO FLATTEN THAT DOWN AND STRETCH IT OUT WHAT WE WERE TOLD WAS YOU CAN’T NECESSARILY CHANGE THE AREA UNDERNEATH THE CURVE, WHICH MEANS YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE GETTING INFECTED BECAUSE NOBODY’S GOT ANY IMMUNITY, BUT YOU CAN SLOW IT DOWN AND PRESERVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, THAT YOU DON’T OVERWHELM IT AND THAT’S WHAT WE’VE DONE WE’VE PUT IN A NUMBER OF RESTRICTIONS AND IT’S WORKED WE HAVE 75% OF THE VENTILATORS AVAILABLE, AND EVEN IN DISTRICTS LIKE THE CENTRAL DISTRICT WHERE GRAND ISLAND IS, WE HAVE 20-25 VENTILATORS AVAILABLE IN TWO RIVERS DISTRICT WHERE LEXINGTON IS, YOU’VE GOT 56-57 VENTILATORS ARE AVAILABLE IF YOU LOOK SPECIFICALLY IN LINCOLN WE’VE GOT 58 — 68 ARE AVAILABLE SOMETHING LIKE THAT OVER 80% ARE AVAILABLE HERE IN LEXINGTON AND SO THE QUESTION GETS TO OKAY, SO YOU’RE FOCUSED ON THAT AND THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO PRESERVE, THAT CAPACITY IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, BUT GETTING BACK TO LET’S TALK ABOUT CASES THE THING ABOUT CASES IS THAT VARIABLE KEEPS CHANGING, RIGHT? SO IT CHANGES BECAUSE WE’RE TESTING MORE PEOPLE SO AS WE TEST MORE PEOPLE, GUESS WHAT, WE’RE GOING TO GET MORE PEOPLE TEST POSITIVE, RIGHT? YOU CAN FLIP THAT AROUND AND STOP TESTING PEOPLE AND GET YOUR CASES DROP TO ZERO BUT NOBODY THINKS THAT’S A GOOD IDEA, RIGHT? WE DO LOOK AT CASES TESTING POSITIVE ON A PERCENT BASIS, THOUGH WHEN WE SEE AN AREA WHERE THE PERCENT POSITIVE GOES OVER 30%-40%, WE KNOW THAT THEN WE’RE PROBABLY GOING TO GET TO THE POINT ABOUT MORE PEOPLE COMING IN WITHIN A WEEK OR SO INTO THE HOSPITAL SYSTEM, AND THAT’S WHERE WE MOVE MORE RESOURCES THERE, LIKE WE DID IN LEXINGTON AND DAWSON COUNTY WHERE WE SAW THE CASES GET TO 30%-40%, WE PUT MORE CONTRACT TRACERS IN THERE WE PUT MORE TESTING RESOURCES IN THERE WE MOVED PEOPLE OUT OF THE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL TO PLACES LIKE GOOD SAMARITAN AND GREAT PLAINS IN NORTH PLATTE SO THAT WE COULD FREE UP SPACE THERE AS PEOPLE CAME INTO THE HOSPITAL AND NEEDED TO HAVE THAT VENTILATOR, WE MOVED THEM TO GOOD SAM AND KEARNEY OR GREAT PLAINS, NORTH PLATTE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM SO WE KEEP THAT SPACE AVAILABLE IN LEXINGTON, AND THAT WAS OUR STRATEGY THAT WORKED IT’S WHAT WE DID IN GRAND ISLAND IT’S WHAT WE’RE DOING IN OTHER PLACES AS WELL TO BE ABLE TO MANAGE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM BECAUSE CASES WILL ALWAYS GO UP AS LONG AS YOU’RE CONTINUING TO TEST, AND AS WE TEST MORE WE’LL GET THEM TO GO UP EVEN MORE, THE REAL THING WE GOT TO FOCUS ON IS WHAT WE’RE REALLY TRYING TO DO

IS WHICH IS MANAGE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TO PROVIDE THAT HOSPITAL BED, THAT VENTILATOR, THAT ICU BED TO ANYBODY WHO NEEDS IT IF YOU LOOK AT OUR CAPACITY HERE IN THE STATE WE HAVE LOTS OF CAPACITY FOR EXAMPLE, ONE OF THE ANALOGIES I USED IS WE CAN END ALMOST ALL INTERSTATE TRAFFIC DEATHS IF WE TOOK THE SPEED LIMIT DOWN TO 5 MILES AN HOUR RIGHT, BUT WE DON’T DO THAT BUT ESSENTIALLY THAT’S WHAT WE’VE DONE WITH OUR SOCIETY BY THE RESTRICTIONS WE PUT IN PLACE, AND IT WORKED WE TOTALLY PRESERVED THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM NOW WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO IS FIND WHAT IS THAT RIGHT SPEED LIMIT? WE’RE LOOSENING THINGS UP SLOWLY, A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO GO BACK TO A MORE NORMAL LIFE IF YOU SEE SOME OF THE THINGS LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS ON, WE’RE NOT CHANGING 10-PERSON THROUGH MAY, WE’RE STILL GOING TO LIMITING GROUPS TO TEN PEOPLE OR LESS, THOUGH WE’RE GOING TO MAKE SOME EXCEPTIONS FOR WORSHIP SERVICES WE’RE GOING TO ALLOW ELECTIVE SURGERIES WE’RE GOING TO ALLOW RESTAURANTS TO OPERATE AT 50% CAPACITY WE’RE GOING TO ALLOW THE VERY FEW BUSINESSES WE DID CLOSE SALONS, BARBERSHOPS TATTOO PARLORS AND MASSAGE THERAPY TO OPERATE BUT UNDER STRICT GUIDELINES OF WEARING MASKS FOR THE CLIENT AS WELL AS THE BUSINESS OWNER, SO SOME REAL RESTRICTIONS ON HOW THAT WORKS WE’RE GOING TO LET THAT RUN FOR A COUPLE WEEKS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POINT AGAIN THAT THERE WILL BE A LAG, WE UNDERSTAND THAT, AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE GOING TO WATCH THIS THING AND TAKE SMALL STEPS OVER TIME, AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS AND THEN MAKE MORE STEPS AS WE’RE COMFORTABLE THAT AGAIN, THE STEPS WE’RE TAKING ARE NOT GOING TO OVERWHELM THAT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM >> LET ME FOLLOW UP A LITTLE BIT ON THE TESTING YOU HAVE SAID THAT THE RECENT INCREASES IN THE NEW CASES CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO TESTING SINCE APRIL 30TH, COVID-19 CASES HAVE INCREASED 87%, WHILE THE NUMBER OF TESTS HAS ONLY INCREASED 63% SHOULD THAT FIGURE INTO YOUR DECISION WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING? >> SO JUST NOT THE ONLY EXPLANATION AS WE DO MORE TESTING WE’LL GET MORE CASES BUT THERE’S OTHER THINGS TOO WHO YOU’RE TESTING, RIGHT? LET’S GO BACK TO WE TEST IN HIGH-RISK AREAS FOR EXAMPLE, WE KNOW WE’VE HAD MORE CASES AROUND OUR FOOD-PROCESSING PLANTS WE’VE BEEN DOING MORE TESTING THERE WHERE WE’VE GOT HIGHER RISK CASES IF WE WANT TO GO OUT AND TAKE THAT NUMBER DOWN, WE COULD GO OUT AND TEST IN THE PANHANDLE WHERE THEY HARDLY HAVE ANY CASES AND THEN THE PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE TESTING POSITIVE WOULD DROP DRAMATICALLY, RIGHT, OR THE PERCENT OF CASES WOULD DROP DRAMATICALLY BECAUSE WE’RE TESTING PEOPLE WE KNOW AREN’T GOING TO HAVE IT WE ARE STILL FOCUSED ON AREAS WHERE WE HAVE HIGH RISK LIKE THE FOOD PROCESSORS AGAIN, THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE VARIABLES THAT YOU COULD CHANGE THE VARIABLE AND GET A DIFFERENT OUTCOME, BUT IT’S NOT THE RIGHT ANSWER WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS USE THOSE AS EARLY-WARNING INDICATORS TO WHERE WE WANT TO DEVOTE RESOURCES THE ULTIMATE GOAL WAS ALWAYS TO PRESERVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY AND MAYBE DR. RUPP CAN TALK ABOUT THIS A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE SHE’S THE EXPERT ON THIS, NOT ME, BUT WE’RE WORKING TO FIND A VACCINATION, BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHEN THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN OR IF THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN UNTIL YOU GET THAT VACCINATION YOU’RE GOING TO BE DOING SOME SORT OF SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO MANAGE THIS VIRUS BECAUSE AGAIN, NOBODY HAS ANY IMMUNITY TO IT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE TO DO SOCIAL DISTANCING, SO THE CHALLENGE IS NOW TO FIGURE OUT NOW THAT WE KNOW WE HAVEN’T OVERWHELMED THE SYSTEM, WHAT IS THAT RIGHT SPEED TO BE ABLE TO MANAGE THIS IN A WAY THAT LETS PEOPLE GO BACK TO A MORE NORMAL LIFE, BUT STILL MAKE SURE WE’RE MANAGING THE VIRUS UNTIL WE GET THAT VACCINATION >> DR. RUPP, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN ON THE CONVERSATION A LITTLE BIT AXIOS HAD A REPORT THIS WEEK BASED ON DATA FROM JOHNS HOPKINS THAT SHOWED A SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE OF NEW CASES COMPARED FROM ONE WEEK TO THE PREVIOUS WEEK USING THAT METRIC, THE REPORT SAID MINNESOTA, NEBRASKA AND PUERTO RICO HAD THE MOST WORRISOME TRENDS SO EVERYBODY HAS DIFFERENT METRICS AND DIFFERENT DATA BUT DOES THAT CONCERN YOU? >> I BELIEVE THERE IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN I THINK AS THE GOVERNOR HAS RELATED, PART OF THE INCREASE THAT WE’VE SEEN IN THE NUMBER OF CASES PER WEEK IS SIMPLY BECAUSE WE ARE TESTING MORE AND THAT’S GREAT WE’RE TESTING A BROADER SWATH OF THE POPULATION, AND WE DO HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF WHERE THE DISEASE IS AND WHAT COMMUNITIES IT’S AFFECTING AS IT WAS MENTIONED THE PERCENT OF POSITIVE CASES HAS ALSO GONE UP, AND CLEARLY WE HAVE POCKETS OF OUTBREAKS IN OUR MEAT PACKING PLANTS AND SOME OF OUR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES AND IN SOME OF OUR OTHER COMMUNITIES THIS IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN WE NEED TO WATCH IT VERY CAREFULLY AS HAS BEEN RELATED ONE OF THE CRITICAL FEATURES IS TO PRESERVE OUR ABILITY TO CARE FOR COMMUNITIES IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM CLEARLY AT MY INSTITUTION WE’VE TAKEN DRASTIC ACTIONS TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE SOME SURGE CAPACITY STOPPING ELECTIVE CASES STOPPING MANY OF THE PROCEDURES AND THE VISITS ARE LARGELY DONE BY TELEMEDICINE NOW SO WE HAVE CREATED SOME DEGREE OF CAPACITY, BUT IT’S DELICATE AND SO IT IS A FINE BALANCE I CAN APPRECIATE THERE ARE A VARIETY OF CONCERNS THAT NEED TO BE WEIGHED IN MAKING THIS DECISION, BUT AS THE GOVERNOR’S RELATED, NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE COMPLACENT NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO JUST TAKE OFF THE BRAKES AND GO BACK TO NORMAL IF WE DO THAT, THIS DISEASE WILL COME ROARING BACK THIS DISEASE DOESN’T CARE IF

WE’RE A RED STATE OR A BLUE STATE OR WHAT RELIGIOUS PERSUASION WE ARE IF WE COME TOGETHER AND WE DON’T DO SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WE’RE NOT WEARING MASKS AND WE’RE NOT DOING HAND HYGIENE, WE WILL SEE A SURGE AND IT COULD POTENTIALLY OVERWHELM OUR SYSTEM >> AND YOU BROUGHT UP ELECTIVE SURGERIES THE GOVERNOR HAS ALLOWED THOSE AGAIN IS UNMC DOING ELECTIVE SURGERIES? >> WELL, WE CAN ONLY PUT THESE OFF FOR SO LONG WHAT BECOMES WHAT WAS ELECTIVE NOW STARTS TO BECOME MORE URGENT CLEARLY WE DO NEED TO BE TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE, WE DO NEED TO BE STARTING TO LIBERALIZE AND BRING PEOPLE BACK IN AND TAKE CARE OF THEM WE’VE SEEN THE SAME THING WITH THE HOSPITAL CENSUS AND OUR EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS INITIALLY THINGS JUST PLUMMETED AND NOW THEY’RE STARTING TO COME BACK BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN ONLY STAY OUT OF THE MEDICAL SYSTEM FOR SO LONG I THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE BEEN AFRAID TO COME IN IN SOME INSTANCES MAYBE THEY HAVE NEGLECTED TO TAKE CARE OF SOME OF THESE CHRONIC PROBLEMS NOW THEY’RE BECOMING MORE URGENT WE’VE SEEN OUR CENSUS COME UP IN THE HOSPITAL WE’VE SEEN OUR ICU CAPACITY GO DOWN UNFORTUNATELY, SOME OF THESE THINGS ARE JUST WORKING AT THE WRONG TIME WE ARE SEEING AN UPSWING IN CASES RIGHT AT THE SAME TIME WHEN WE’VE PUSHED PEOPLE OFF AS LONG AS WE CAN SO IT’S A DELICATE BALANCE, AND WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL >> ALSO THE POINT ABOUT ELECTIVE SURGERIES IS WHEN WE ALLOWED HOSPITALS TO START MAKING THAT DECISION TO HAVE ELECTIVE SURGERIES OR NOT, THEY STILL HAD TO MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA THEY HAD TO HAVE 30% OF THEIR HOSPITAL BED SPACE AVAILABLE 30% OF THEIR ICU BED SPACE AVAILABLE, AND 30% OF THEIR VENTILATORS AVAILABLE, AND TWO WEEKS’ SUPPLY OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO GO FORWARD ON THAT TO DR. RUPP’S POINT, WE DIDN’T JUST TAKE THE GLOVES OFF, WE SAID, OKAY, WITHIN THESE CERTAIN GUIDELINES IF YOU STAY WITHIN THIS LANE, YOU CAN DO ELECTIVE SURGERIES I THINK DR. RUPP’S POINT ELECTIVE DOESN’T MEAN UNNECESSARY THESE ARE STILL — THEY WERE JUST PLANNED AND THAT’S WHY THEY WERE PUSHED OFF FOR A TIME BUT THEY ARE STILL NECESSARY SURGERIES TO HAVE FOR PEOPLE’S WELL BEING >> ADMINISTRATOR JOSIE RODRIGUEZ FROM THE OFFICE OF HEALTH DISPARITIES I WANT TO ASK YOU THIS QUESTION NEBRASKA’S ONE OF SEVEN STATES NOT RELEASING DATA ABOUT COVID-19 CASES BY RACE, AND ONE OF 12 STATES NOT RELEASING DATA ABOUT COVID-19 DEATHS BY RACE THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SAYS THAT DATA IS BEING LOOKED AT AND IT’S NOT BEING RELEASED RIGHT NOW BUT IT MAY BE RELEASED IN THE FUTURE WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE SEEING ABOUT HOW COVID-19 IS AFFECTING MINORITY COMMUNITIES IN OUR STATE? IS THERE A HEALTH DISPARITY AND IF SO, HOW WIDE IS THAT GAP? >> WE’RE DEFINITELY SEEING AS ALL OF US HAVE SEEN THE MINORITIES BEING AFFECTED UNFORTUNATELY THEY WORK IN MEAT PACKING THERE’S A LOT OF DISPARITY UNFORTUNATELY BETWEEN MINORITIES IN NEBRASKA AND ACROSS THE NATION BETWEEN MINORITIES AND NON-HISPANIC WHITE INDIVIDUALS AND OUR OFFICE DOES A LOT OF THAT WORK, BUT WE’RE REALLY SEEING THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY NOTICING THE DISPARITIES THAT EXIST NOW AMONG THAT POPULATION AND REALLY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE DISPARITIES AND WHY IT’S AFFECTING MINORITY POPULATIONS YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH THE THINGS THAT PLAY INTO OUR HEALTH THAT SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T THINK ABOUT, AND THOSE COULD BE INCOME, IT COULD BE HOUSING, IT COULD BE ANYTHING RELATED TO YOUR HEALTH THAT REALLY IMPACTS IT, AND WHEN WE LOOK AT THE AREAS BEING AFFECTED AND THE INDIVIDUALS A LOT OF THEM WORK IN SERVICE INDUSTRIES RIGHT, IN MEAT PACKING I THINK NOW IS A REALLY IMPORTANT TIME TO THINK ABOUT HOW OUR MINORITY POPULATIONS REALLY CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMY OF NEBRASKA IT’S IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT THAT AND THE WORK THAT THEY DO IF YOU LOOK AT OUR MINORITY POPULATIONS, ABOUT 20% OF NEBRASKA POPULATION, AND, YES THERE ARE SOME HIGH NUMBERS IN SOME COMMUNITIES, AND AT DHHS WE ARE TRYING TO GET THAT DATA SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE IT BY THE END OF THE MONTH, SO REALLY TRYING TO WORK WITH OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS A LOT OF THE WORK THAT WE DO IN OUR OFFICE IS ABOUT ILLUSTRATING DATA SO WE NEED THAT DATA TO ILLUSTRATE WHO’S BEING AFFECTED AND WE’RE REALLY WORKING AT THE STATE TO GET THAT >> I’D GIVE A SHOUT-OUT TO THE DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT THEY’VE DONE A REALLY EXCELLENT JOB IN GATHERING THE DATA OF WHICH SEGMENTS OF OUR SOCIETY ARE BEING HIT BY COVID-19 IN OUR COUNTY SO, FOR INSTANCE, WE HAVE ABOUT 15% OF THE CASES BEING DESCRIBED IN ASIANS ABOUT 15% IN BLACKS 40% IN HISPANICS AS YOU’VE RELATED MANY OF THESE FOLKS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE WORKING IN THE MEAT PACKING INDUSTRY AND INTERESTING ABOUT 25% OF CASES IN THE WHITE POPULATION >> YES >> SO AS YOU’VE MENTIONED, THIS REALLY DOES POINT OUT SOME DISPARITIES THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE IN SOCIETY, AND SOME OF THESE PEOPLE AREN’T ABLE TO WORK FROM HOME LIKE OTHERS ARE ABLE

TO THAT MAY HAVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY JOB OR HAVE A COMPUTER AT HOME OR THE ABILITY TO DO THAT THEY MAY BE PRESSURED TO WORK BECAUSE OF EMPLOYMENT POLICIES OR NOT BEING ABLE TO HAVE TIME OFF, AND THEY MAY FEEL COMPELLED TO COME INTO THE WORKPLACE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE A PAYCHECK THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE INVOLVED WITH THIS THAT I THINK REALLY DO DEMAND ATTENTION, AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT THESE >> ANOTHER THING I WOULD ADD IS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT MINORITY POPULATIONS, OFTEN TIMES THE MULTI GENERATIONAL HOMES, AND SOMETIMES THOSE HOMES ARE SMALL SO TO SOCIAL DISTANCE YOU NEED ROOMS WE RECOMMEND TO BE IN A SEPARATE ROOM WITH A BATHROOM A LOT OF TIMES THEY DON’T HAVE THAT WE REALLY NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT WAYS WE CAN ASSIST, AND I KNOW THE GOVERNOR’S TALKED ABOUT THE PROGRAM, NAP I BELIEVE IT’S CALLED, WHERE WE CAN OFFER HOUSING TO PEOPLE THAT MAY NEED THAT SO THEY ARE AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILY AND NOT BRINGING THAT BACK TO THEIR FAMILY THERE ARE A LOT OF DISPARITIES THAT EXIST, AND UNFORTUNATELY COVID IS REALLY BRINGING THOSE OUT, WHICH IS NOT GOOD BUT THEN AGAIN AS WE THINK ABOUT MOVING FORWARD IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO REALLY FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN IMPROVE THINGS >> ONE OF THE OTHER CHALLENGES TOO IS ENGLISH MAY NOT BE THE FIRST LANGUAGE IN THE HOUSE THAT’S WHY WE’RE DOING THINGS LIKE VIDEOS THAT ARE HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE RULES AROUND SOCIAL DISTANCING OR WHAT TO DO IF SOMEBODY’S DIAGNOSED WITH IT THAT ARE NOT ONLY IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH, BUT ALSO FRENCH, NEPALESE, SOMALI ARABIC, KAREN BECAUSE WE DO HAVE A VERY DIVERSE COMMUNITY ESPECIALLY IN DOUGLAS COUNTY ABLE TO COMMUNICATE AND BE ABLE TO SAY HEY, HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON >> AND ALSO TO PUT THAT INFORMATION AT A LOW LITERACY LEVEL BECAUSE SOMETIMES THE INFORMATION WE PUT OUT IS VERY HIGH SO WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE’RE SAYING >> THE OTHER THING I WOULD POINT OUT IN THIS REGARD IS THAT SOME OF THE RISK FACTORS TO PREDICT FOR WORSE OUTCOMES WITH COVID ARE REALLY WEIGHED AGAINST OUR MINORITY POPULATION WE KNOW SOMEBODY WHO HAS DIABETES OR OBESITY OR SMOKES CIGARETTES OR HAS SOME OF THE OTHER FACTORS THAT PREDICT FOR POOR OUTCOME ARE MORE HEAVILY SEEN IN SOME OF OUR MINORITY POPULATIONS AND THE REASONS FOR THAT CAN BE DISCUSSED AND DEBATED, BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THEY JUST HAVE A NUMBER OF THINGS STACKED AGAINST THEM THE COVID-19 IS REALLY EMPHASIZING THOSE THINGS >> THAT IS CORRECT ONE THING I WOULD ADD IS IN THE NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION AND AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULATIONS IT’S USUALLY TWO TIMES HIGHER TO HAVE DIABETES RATES HISPANIC IS ABOUT 1.5 SO, YES, EXACTLY AND THAT’S JUST DIABETES NOT OTHER CONDITIONS >> GOVERNOR, I WANT TO ASK YOU SOMETHING WE GOT A LOT OF QUESTIONS ON RE-OPENING THE STATE THIS WEEK SO SALLY IN CENTRAL NEBRASKA TALKS ABOUT WHY WHEN YOU OPEN THE STATE ARE YOU PUTTING SO MANY RESTRICTIONS ON PEOPLE? SHE GOES ON TO TELL THE STORY ABOUT HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WHO BROUGHT HER KIDS TO THE DENTIST TODAY AND THEY HAD TO SIT IN THE CAR WITH MASKS ON AND GO IN ONE BY ONE AND SHE SAID IT WAS TERRIFYING TO HAVE HER SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY HAVE TO GO INTO THE DENTIST IN OMAHA BY HIMSELF AND SO THE QUESTION COMES UP ARE YOU TAKING AWAY FREEDOMS AND PERSONAL RIGHTS AS AMERICAN CITIZENS THAT THEY HAVE? SHE SAYS PEOPLE ARE READY TO REVOLT RYAN IN LOUISVILLE HAD A VERY SIMILAR QUESTION ABOUT THOSE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS >> THIS GETS BACK THE ONE QUESTION SAYING YOU’RE OPENING UP TOO FAST YOU’RE NOT DOING IT FAST ENOUGH THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO IS REALLY TRYING TO FIND THAT BALANCE TO BE ABLE TO START LETTING PEOPLE LIVE A MORE NORMAL LIFE START LOOSENING UP SOME OF THESE RESTRICTIONS, BUT STILL NOT LET THAT VIRUS GET OUT OF CONTROL BECAUSE REMEMBER WE DON’T HAVE A VACCINE WE REALLY DON’T HAVE ANY GOOD VIRAL — THERE’S SOME ANTIVIRAL MEDICINES IN TESTING RIGHT NOW BUT WE DON’T REALLY HAVE A GOOD WAY TO TREAT THE VIRUS SO WHAT WE REALLY HAVE TO DO OUR BIG WEAPON IS GOING TO BE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING THAT’S WHY WE’RE GOING TO BE DOING THIS FOR A WHILE I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE THE PATIENCE OF NEBRASKANS LIKE SALLY WITH THE RESTRICTIONS WE’VE PUT IN PLACE THEY HAVE WORKED WE HAVE NOT COME CLOSE TO OVERWHELMING OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN PLACES WHERE WE’VE HAD HOT SPOTS WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE IT FOR EXAMPLE, IF SHE’S FROM CENTRAL NEBRASKA GRAND ISLAND IS ONE WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE THAT IN A WAY TO PROVIDE EVERYBODY THAT HOSPITAL BED AND THAT VENTILATOR WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS MAKE SURE WE CONTINUE TO DO THAT SO WE ARE TAKING THESE STEPS OF LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS A STEP BY STEP OVER TIME, SEEING WHAT HAPPENS, BUT WE ARE ABSOLUTELY CONCERNED WITH THE THINGS SALLY’S CONCERNED ABOUT WITH REGARD TO HOW’S IT IMPACTING PEOPLE’S LIVES THE RESTRICTIONS ON KIND OF THE THINGS THAT WE ALL USED TO TAKE FOR GRANTED ARE SUCH THAT, THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT WITH THE PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS A COUPLE MONTHS AGO AS WELL, IF YOU PUT THE RESTRICTIONS IN TOO EARLY THEN PEOPLE WILL START IGNORING THEM WHEN YOU NEED THEM TO CONTINUE TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO IS JUST FIND THAT BALANCE BETWEEN ALLOWING SOME OF THESE RESTRICTIONS TO LOOSEN UP SO PEOPLE CAN GO BACK TO A MORE NORMAL LIFE, VERSUS, BUT NOT LETTING THE VIRUS GET BACK IN WHERE IT WOULD OVERWHELM THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM >> QUESTION FROM OMAHA AND ALSO A QUESTION FROM TRENT BOTH HAVING TO DO WITH PEOPLE ARE WORKING AT HOME RIGHT NOW AND THEIR EMPLOYER WANTS THEM TO COME BACK TO THE OFFICE

DO THEY HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE OFFICE AND SHOULD WORKERS BE WORKING AT HOME RIGHT NOW IF POSSIBLE? >> WELL, CERTAINLY WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO WORK FROM HOME I THINK, TRENT, WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO IS HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR EMPLOYER I WOULD SAY SPECIFICALLY IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE WORKERS WHO’S AT RISK, BY AT RISK, THE SAME THING WE TALKED ABOUT WITH THE MINORITIES IF YOU HAVE UNDERLYING HEALTHCARE ISSUES, LIKE DIABETES OR RESPIRATORY DISEASE OR PULMONARY DISEASE, OR YOU’RE OLDER, THOSE ARE GOOD REASONS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR EMPLOYER ABOUT, HEY — LET ME CONTINUE TO WORK FROM HOME IT’S A GOOD IDEA I CONTINUE TO WORK FROM HOME I THINK THAT IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT GOING BACK INTO THE OFFICE, YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT CONVERSATION WITH YOUR EMPLOYER ABOUT WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO BE ABLE TO DO SOCIAL DISTANCING MAKE SURE YOU’VE GOT THAT 6-FOOT DISTANCE ARE PEOPLE WEARING MASKS WHEN THEY COME INTO THE OFFICE BECAUSE THAT’S A GREAT WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF ARE HAND SANITIZER STATIONS ALL OVER THE PLACE? ARE THEY DOING A GOOD JOB OF DISINFECTING HIGHLY TOUCHED SURFACES, THAT SORT OF THING? BUT IF EMPLOYERS ARE TAKING ALL THOSE STEPS, AND CERTAINLY THIS IS SOMETHING WE’VE HAD TO MANAGE AT THE STATE OF NEBRASKA YOU CAN DO THAT AND HAVE A SAFE WORKPLACE SO IT’S ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE TO HAVE A SAFE WORKPLACE BY PUTTING THESE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES IN PLACE AND HAVING EMPLOYERS TAKE THOSE GOOD COMMON STEP MEASURES WE JUST TALKED ABOUT >> GOVERNOR, ONE DECISION THAT APPLIES TO THE ENTIRE STATE RATHER THAN CERTAIN REGIONS IS THAT WORSHIP CENTERS ARE NOW EXEMPT FROM THE 10-PERSON LIMIT ON GATHERINGS WITH CERTAIN OTHER DISTANCING RESTRICTIONS STEVEN FROM ST. PAUL SENT US THIS QUESTION >> I’M PASTOR STEVEN NEIL FROM ST. PAUL, NEBRASKA WHY ARE YOU EXEMPTING RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS FROM MEASURES TO CLOSE DOWN WORSHIP SERVICES WHEN A MAJORITY OF OUR PARISHIONERS ARE TYPICALLY ELDERLY AND THUS MORE VULNERABLE? >> I WANT TO MENTION THAT JUDY FROM OMAHA HAD A SIMILAR QUESTION SHE TALKED ABOUT THE SINGING IN CHURCH AND HOW MAYBE THAT THE VIRUS IS GOING TO BE OUT IN THE AIR AND IT’S GOING TO HANG IN THE AIR AND PEOPLE COULD GET SICK THAT WAY SO WHY DON’T YOU ADDRESS THOSE QUESTIONS >> EXACTLY WHEN WE PUT OUT — LET ME JUST TAKE A STEP BACK, SO WHEN WE PUT THE 10-PERSON RULE IN PLACE MARCH 16TH, HOUSES OF WORSHIP WERE SUBJECT TO THAT JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE WE DECIDED TO REMOVE HOUSES OF WORSHIP FROM UNDERNEATH THAT 10-PERSON RULE AS PART OF THE TRADEOFF WE HAVE TO DO IT’S THIS BALANCING ACT WE TALKED ABOUT, AND PART OF THE REASON IS ACTUALLY THAT THESE HOUSES OF WORSHIP REACHED OUR MINORITY COMMUNITIES WHERE ENGLISH IS NOT THE FIRST LANGUAGE SO WE’RE REALLY COUNTING ON PASTORS OF THOSE CONGREGATIONS TO HELP REACH OUT TO THOSE COMMUNITIES AND TALK ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND DEMONSTRATE IT IN THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP SO THERE’S A COST-BENEFIT TRADEOFF THERE WHEN WE MADE THE DECISION THAT BENEFIT WAS GOING TO OUTWEIGH THE RISK WE WERE TAKING ON THAT AND THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WE DID IT HAVING SAID THAT THOUGH, WE PUT OUT GUIDANCE WITH REGARD TO THIS AS WE TALKED TO A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT FOLKS, DIFFERENT RELIGIONS, DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO ARE RUNNING DIFFERENT CONGREGATIONS, ABOUT WHAT SORTS OF GUIDELINES AND RESTRICTIONS WE WOULD PUT IN PLACE AS TO HOW YOU COULD ACTUALLY DO THIS FOR THE PASTOR THERE, I’D REFERENCE HIM TO OUR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WEBSITE, dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus AND LOOK FOR OUR GUIDANCE FOR HOUSES OF WORSHIP ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS WE TALK ABOUT IS, HEY, IF YOU’VE GOT PEOPLE AT RISK, PEOPLE ARE OLDER AND UNDERLYING DISEASES, IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A PASTOR TO MAKE SURE THEY DON’T COME RIGHT, TO REACH OUT TO YOUR CONGREGANTS, YOU KNOW THEM BETTER THAN WE DO TELL THEM THEY’RE AT RISK THEY SHOULD STAY AT HOME WE ARE ABSOLUTELY SAYING TO THOSE FOLKS WHO ARE GOING TO BE MORE VULNERABLE IN THAT CONGREGATION, DO NOT GO TO YOUR HOUSE OF WORSHIP STAY HOME BECAUSE YOU’RE PUTTING YOURSELF AT GREATER RISK BY GOING WE HAVE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS WITH REGARD TO THAT GUIDANCE AS WELL AS FAR AS FAMILIES CAN SIT TOGETHER WITHIN A HOUSEHOLD CAN SIT TOGETHER, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE SIX FEET APART FROM EVERYBODY ELSE THERE’S NO PASSING ANYTHING AMONG CONGREGANTS NO PASSING THE PLATE NO SHARING OF HYMNALS OR SACRED BOOKS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN, AND TAKE IT OUT WITH YOU, BUT YOU CAN’T SHARE THEM AROUND YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM IN THE PEWS THAT SORTS OF THING MAKING SURE EVERYTHING IS SANITIZED AND DISINFECTED BETWEEN SERVICES THE SAME SORT OF THINGS WE’RE ASKING EVERY ORGANIZATION TO DO WITH REGARD TO HAVING COMMONSENSE RULES ABOUT HOW YOU’RE GOING TO KEEP THE PEOPLE COMING THERE SAFE, AND UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS WE FEEL THAT WE CAN START ALLOWING SOME OF THESE, AGAIN, MORE NORMAL-TYPE SERVICES, DIFFERENT FROM BEFORE IT’S NOT GOING TO BE LIKE IT WAS BEFORE, BUT LOOSENING UP SOME RESTRICTIONS TO ALLOW FOR A MORE NORMAL WAY OF LIFE >> DR. RUPP, ABOUT WHAT SINGING? DOES THE VIRUS HANG IN THE AIR SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT IN THAT? >> I THINK WE SHOULD SOUND A CAUTIONARY NOTE ON THAT THERE WAS ACTUALLY A VERY WIDELY-PUBLICIZED CASE, I BELIEVE, IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, WHERE THEY HAD A CHOIR COME IN FOR CHOIR PRACTICE NOBODY WAS SYMPTOMATIC, AND A LARGE NUMBER OF THE CHOIR PARTICIPANTS BECAME ILL THERE WERE SOME DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT OUTBREAK I DO THINK THAT IS A PARTICULAR

ACTIVITY IN THE WORSHIP SERVICE THAT MAYBE SHOULD BE LOOKED AT MORE CAREFULLY I DON’T KNOW IF THERE’S SOME WAY OF DOING RECORDED SONGS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT THAT MIGHT MAKE THAT MORE SAFE >> BETH FROM OMAHA ASKED SHOULDN’T HEALTHCARE AND OTHER FRONTLINE WORKERS BE TESTED WEEKLY FOR COVID-19 WHEN THEY’RE EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS DAILY? MY SON IS A NURSE IN THE COVID UNIT AT AN OMAHA HOSPITAL AND HE HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED >> WE REALLY DON’T RECOMMEND TESTING IN THAT SITUATION AS LONG AS APPROPRIATE PPE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IS BEING PROVIDED TO HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AND THEY’RE DOING A GOOD JOB WITH USING THE PPE WASHING THEIR HANDS OR USING THE ALCOHOL GELS, REALLY CARE CAN BE DELIVERED IN A SAFE MANNER SO, FOR INSTANCE, WITHIN OUR ORGANIZATION WE HAVE A UNIVERSAL MASKING POLICY FOR ALL HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS WHETHER THEY’RE CARING FOR COVID PATIENTS OR NOT WE HAVE A UNIVERSAL MASKING POLICY FOR THE PATIENTS WE’VE DONE REALLY AGGRESSIVE WORK WITH TRYING TO PRESERVE OUR PPE SUPPLY LINE SO THE N95 RESPIRATORS, THE FACE SHIELDS THE GOGGLES, AND THE LIKE WE’VE HAD VERY FEW CASES OF TRANSMISSION TO HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS IN FACT, SINCE WE PUT OUR UNIVERSAL MASKING POLICY INTO PLACE, I’M AWARE OF ONLY ONE CASE THAT HAS BEEN LINKED TO A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, AND WE’RE NOT COMPLETELY SURE WHETHER THAT PERSON DEVELOPED A CASE FROM CARE OF PATIENTS SO, IT IS PRETTY EFFECTIVE WHEN WE PUT THESE MEASURES IN PLACE AND CARE CAN BE GIVEN IN A SAFE WAY THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE REVVED UP LAB CAPACITY AT OUR HOSPITALS AND WITHIN THE STATE IN GENERAL DRAMATICALLY OVER THE LAST MONTH OR TWO, WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CASES TO BE JUST TESTING PEOPLE WHO ARE ASYMPTOMATIC ACROSS THE BOARD SO, AGAIN, IF WE HAVE A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER THAT IS SICK, ABSOLUTELY THEY NEED TO BE TESTED THEY NEED TO BE QUARANTINED UNTIL WE KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THEM BUT IF WE WERE TO TRY TO TEST ALL OUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AS THE VIEWER RELATED ON A WEEKLY BASIS, WE WOULD BURN A HUGE AMOUNT OF OUR CAPACITY AND REALLY NOT HAVE MUCH TO SHOW FOR IT, I’M AFRAID >> ALSO ONE OF THE THINGS — THE OPTIONS WOULD BE WITH Testnebraska.com PEOPLE COULD SIGN UP WE ARE PRIORITIZING FIRST RESPONDERS, HEALTHCARE WORKERS FOOD-PROCESSING WORKERS TO BE ABLE TO GET THAT TEST AGAIN NOT SOMETHING WE’RE GOING TO DO ON A WEEKLY BASIS, BUT IF SOMEBODY DOES HAVE A CONCERN AND WOULD LIKE TO GET THAT TEST THEY CAN GO TO testnebraska.com THE ASSESSMENT TAKES LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES AND IF YOU FILL OUT THE, WHERE DO YOU WORK AND PUT ONE OF THOSE PROFESSIONS IN THERE YOU WILL — IT WILL PUT YOU TOWARD THE TOP OF THE LIST ALONG WITH PEOPLE WHO SYMPTOMATIC TO BE ABLE TO COME IN AND GET TESTED >> LORI FROM SYDNEY ASKED NATIONAL NEWS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE HAD STORIES REGARDING THE QUALITY OF COVID-19 TESTS PROVIDED BY CRUSH THE CURVE THE TESTS HAVE UNDER-IDENTIFIED THE NUMBER OF COVID POSITIVE CASES SINCE THIS ORGANIZATION IS PROVIDING SERVICES FOR TEST NEBRASKA, HOW IS THE STATE ENSURING THE ACCURACY AND RELIABILITY OF THE TESTING PROVIDED TO NEBRASKANS? >> SURE, WITH testnebraska.com AGAIN, WE WANT EVERYBODY TO SIGN UP, testnebraska.com, WE ARE ACTUALLY SETTING UP OUR OWN LAB HERE IN THE STATE OF NEBRASKA IN FACT IT’S ALREADY SET UP IT’S AT ST. ELIZABETH HOSPITAL THEY ARE RUNNING IT IT’S A CLIA-CERTIFIED LAB WE DID THE WHOLE CALIBRATION AND VALIDATION PROCESS IN THAT LAB TO MAKE SURE THAT THE SAMPLE THAT IS WE GOT, WE HAD SAMPLES KNEW TESTED POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, RAN THEM THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS, MADE SURE THEY ALL CAME OUT POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, WHATEVER THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE, SO WE TESTED OUR OWN PROCESS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE TESTING WE WERE DOING IN THIS LAB WAS GOING TO MATCH UP TO WHAT WE WERE DOING IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAB AND MATCH UP WHAT THEY’RE DOING AT UNMC SO THAT WE VERIFY THE TESTS WERE COMING OUT THE RIGHT WAY WE’RE VERY CONFIDENT THAT THE TESTING WE’RE DOING IS GOING TO BE IN LINE WITH THE SAME SORT OF ACCURACY WE’RE ALREADY DOING IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAB >> A COUPLE OF QUICK QUESTIONS ON TEST NEBRASKA JOANNE FROM LINCOLN, I RECENTLY USED THE TEST NEBRASKA SITE AND AM NOW RECEIVING A HIGHER AMOUNT OF SPAM E-MAIL THAN BEFORE, AND SOME OF THEM ARE USING MY NAME IS THIS SITE TRULY SECURE? IS MY DATA REALLY ENCRYPTED ENOUGH TO KEEP SAFE FROM HACKERS? >> YES, ABSOLUTELY THE DATA WE’RE RECEIVING THERE IS IN AN ENCRYPTED DATABASE WE’RE NOT SELLING IT TO ANYBODY EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR IN AGGREGATE WE’RE NOT TURNING IT OVER TO LAW ENFORCEMENT NOTHING LIKE THAT IT WILL ONLY BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF TESTING IT MAY JUST BE AN UNHAPPY COINCIDENCE SHE’S GETTING MORE SPAM AT THE SAME TIME SHE SIGNED UP FOR THIS IF SHE’S GOT SOMETHING ELSE SHE SHOULD CALL TO OUR ATTENTION I’D ASK HER TO REACH OUT TO OUR OFFICE, YOU CAN CALL OUR OFFICE AND GIVE US THE INFORMATION WE’LL BE HAPPY TO FOLLOW UP >> AND HAROLD FROM GRAND ISLAND ASKED, DO YOU HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO TEST THOSE IN RETIREMENT FACILITIES AND HIGH-RISK COMMUNITIES MORE FREQUENTLY? >> WE WILL BE DOING MORE TESTING OF THAT WAS WELL AS WE EXPAND OUR CAPACITY DR. RUPP KIND OF MENTIONED IF YOU JUST GO BACK A COUPLE WEEKS AGO WE WERE TESTING 600-800 TESTS A WEEK BACK NOW WE’RE UP TO 1500 TESTS A DAY IN FACT, OVER THE LAST SEVEN

DAYS WE’VE DONE 10,000 TESTS WE ARE RAMPING UP OUR CAPABILITY OUTSIDE OF THE testnebraska.com THE testnebraska.com WILL ADD ANOTHER 3,000 TESTS ON TOP OF IT SO WE ARE — BEFORE WHERE WE HAD TO BE VERY REACTIVE NOW WE CAN START THINKING MORE STRATEGICALLY WITH THE ADDITIONAL TESTING CAPACITY WE’VE GOT ABOUT HOW TO DEPLOY IT ACROSS THE STATE AND ALSO KEEPING IN MIND THAT WE HAVE VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES LIKE LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF IN THE PAST WHEN WE’VE HAD AN ISSUE WITH A LONG TERM CARE FACILITY, WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO GO IN AND MAKE SURE WE’VE TESTED ALL THE RESIDENTS AND ALL THE WORKERS THERE IF THE SITUATION REQUIRED IT >> AND ADMINISTRATOR RODRIGUEZ DO WE KNOW IF THESE MINORITY COMMUNITIES ARE PARTICIPATING IN TEST NEBRASKA OR GETTING TESTED IN ANY WAY? >> I’M PRETTY SURE THAT THEY ARE WE’VE BEEN WORKING WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENTS TO FIND INTERPRETERS FOR THOSE TEST SITES I KNOW THAT THEY ARE — WE’RE TRYING TO GET THE WORD OUT AS I SAID THROUGH OUR COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS AND SOME OF OUR PARTNERS OUT IN THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE THEY’RE THE ONES WHO KNOW THE COMMUNITY TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON YES, I DO BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE WE ARE ASSISTING WITH THAT >> WHAT’S THE MOST EFFECTIVE BY WAY TO GET THE WORD OUT TO THESE COMMUNITIES? IS IT CHURCHES? IS IT THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS THAT YOU MENTIONED IS IT MESSAGES THROUGH RADIO TELEVISION OR SOCIAL MEDIA? >> IT’S A LITTLE BIT OF ALL OF THAT IT DEPENDS ON THE POPULATION YOU’RE WORKING WITH WE HAVE A SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION IN NEBRASKA AND RADIO, SO A LOT OF HISPANICS LISTEN TO THAT, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER COMMUNITIES THAT USE FACEBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES TO GET THEIR INFORMATION SO, WE’RE REALLY, AS I SAID WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS ACROSS THE STATE TO BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT THE BEST WAY TO GET THAT OUT AS THE GOVERNOR SAID, WE’VE DONE VIDEOS AND A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO JUST TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE GETTING THE INFORMATION >> AND WE DO HAVE OUR Testnebraska.com IN SPANISH AS WELL IF YOU GO TO testnebraska.com/es YOU CAN GET THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE IN SPANISH, AGAIN, TRYING TO FACILITATE, MAKING IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO SIGN UP >> AND THE GOVERNOR’S PRESS CONFERENCE IS IN SPANISH AS WELL >> YOU’RE WATCHING A SPECIAL EPISODE OF “SPEAKING OF NEBRASKA,” FEATURING GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS AND DR. MARK RUPP THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER, AND ALSO JOSIE RODRIGUEZ, THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NEBRASKA OFFICE OF HEALTH DISPARITIES AND HEALTH EQUITY YOU CAN GIVE US A CALL 800-676-5446 OR 402-472-1212 YOU CAN ALSO SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA YOU CAN FIND US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AT NET NEWS NEBRASKA THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ON NEBRASKA BUSINESSES AND MORE THAN 110,000 NEBRASKANS HAVE FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS SINCE MID MARCH, BUT MATT FROM LINCOLN SENT US THIS QUESTION ABOUT ANOTHER ECONOMIC IMPACT THE PANDEMIC HAS HAD >> HI, I’M MATT FROM LINCOLN LIKE BUSINESSES, CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY ARE FACING GREAT ECONOMIC CHALLENGES DURING THIS PANDEMIC WHAT ASSISTANCE IS OUR STATE CONSIDERING THAT WOULD PROVIDE RELIEF AND STABILITY TO OUR CHARITIES WHO EMPLOY AND PROVIDE CRITICAL SERVICES TO OUR NEBRASKA COMMUNITIES? >> HOW ABOUT THOSE NON-PROFITS, GOVERNOR? >> SURE THERE’S A COUPLE THINGS THAT ARE OUT THERE ALREADY FOR NON-PROFITS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FIRST IS THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM THAT SMALL BUSINESSES ARE USING IN FACT, NEBRASKA WAS NUMBER ONE IN THE AMOUNT OF PAYROLL, OVER 80% OF OUR PAYROLL, BEING COVERED, AND SMALL BUSINESS PAYROLL BY THAT PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM, BUT THAT’S NOT JUST FOR SMALL BUSINESS NON-PROFITS CAN APPLY FOR THAT AS WELL THEY JUST RE-UPPED A NEW POOL OF MONEY FOR THIS SO YOU NEED TO MOVE QUICKLY TO TALK TO YOUR BANKER AND GET YOUR FINANCIALS PULLED TOGETHER AND BE ABLE TO APPLY YOUR BANKER IS WHO WILL APPLY FOR THAT THROUGH THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUT THAT’S ONE AVENUE THAT NON-PROFITS CAN LOOK FOR THE SECOND IS THAT UNDER THE PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE ACT THAT IF NON-PROFITS HAVE TO LAY OFF WORKERS, THOSE WORKERS HISTORICALLY WERE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO BE COVERED BY THE TRADITIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT PROGRAM BECAUSE MOST NON-PROFITS DID NOT PAY INTO IT, BUT UNDER THE PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM THEY WILL BE COVERED FOLKS WHO WORK AT NON-PROFITS AND GOT LAID OFF CAN LOOK FOR ASSISTANCE THERE FINALLY, WE HAVE THE CARES ACT MONEY THAT’S COMING TO THE STATE OF NEBRASKA WHILE WE’RE STILL REVIEWING WHAT THE GUIDANCE FROM TREASURY IS WITH REGARD TO HOW THAT MONEY CAN BE USED, WE’RE THINKING ABOUT VARIOUS GRANTS PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSES AND NON-PROFITS AND SO FORTH, AND HOW PEOPLE MIGHT APPLY AND THAT SORT OF THING ON TOP OF ALL THE OTHER NEEDS THAT WE’VE GOT FOR THAT CARES ACT MONEY BUT THAT MIGHT BE ANOTHER SOURCE DOWN THE ROAD I’D SAY JUST STAY TUNED AND SEE WHAT WE DO WHEN WE MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS WITH REGARD TO THAT >> GOVERNOR, THE OTHER THING DOESN’T REALLY HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE GOVERNMENT, BUT THIS PANDEMIC HAS ALSO BROUGHT OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE, AND I’M INCREDIBLY HEARTENED WHEN I SEE THE REPORTS OF JUST SPONTANEOUS

ACTS THAT PRIVATE CITIZENS TAKE TO HELP THEIR NEIGHBORS, TO HELP THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES IN THIS TIME OF NEED, AND THAT CAN’T BE EMPHASIZED TOO MUCH THIS IS A TIME FOR US TO BE COMPASSIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER AND HAVE EVERYBODY GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER >> GUILLERMO FROM GRAND ISLAND SAYS, I’M A NURSE AND MY FAMILY’S BEEN IMPACTED BY COVID IF THE GOVERNOR KNEW COVID WAS SPREADING EARLY ON, WHY ASK THE PACKING PLANTS TO RUN AT FULL STRENGTH? >> SO AGAIN, GETTING BACK TO WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE WITH REGARD TO THE VIRUS AS A VIRUS WE CAN’T STOP ALL WE CAN DO IS SLOW IT DOWN WE HAVE TAKEN THOSE STEPS TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT WITH REGARD TO THE FOOD PROCESSING AND MEAT-PROCESSING FACILITIES WE HAVE, FOR WEEKS NOW WE’VE HAD WEEKLY CALLS UNMC HAS ESTABLISHED THE BEST PRACTICES HANDBOOK IT’S CALLED THEIR “MEAT PROCESSERS COVID-19 PLAYBOOK” THAT WE HAVE PUBLISHED OUT THERE IT’S ON THE WEBSITE IT’S BEING DISTRIBUTED ACTUALLY IN OTHER STATES AS WELL, AND WE DO ON-SITE INSPECTIONS WITH THE EXPERTS FROM UNMC TO BE ABLE TO GO IN AND HELP THESE FACILITIES DO THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING PUTTING UP PLEXIGLAS BETWEEN WORKSTATIONS PLASTIC SEPARATIONS AND LUNCHROOMS SO PEOPLE CAN EAT SEPARATELY TAKING TEMPERATURES OF WORKERS COMING IN, ASKING THEM HOW THEY’RE FEELING MANY OF THEM ARE WORKING ON THINGS LIKE USING SHORT-TERM DISABILITY TO ALLOW WORKERS TO STAY HOME OR PAYING THEM TWO WEEKS WHEN THEY GET SICK SO, A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT THINGS THAT ARE ADDRESSING THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF WORKING IN THOSE FACILITIES WE ALSO GOT TO REMEMBER THAT THESE FACILITIES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR OVERALL FOOD SUPPLY, OUR FOOD CHAIN HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND AS THE PRESIDENT REALLY HIGHLIGHTED WHEN HE ISSUED HIS EXECUTIVE ORDER ABOUT KEEPING THESE OPEN, WE NEED TO WORK TO KEEP THESE OPEN WE’RE WORKING WITH THE FACILITIES TO BE ABLE HELP THEM DO A BETTER JOB WITH REGARD TO THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING ADDRESSING ALL THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THEIR OPERATION SO THEY CAN HELP SPREAD PEOPLE OUT PUT UP THOSE BARRIERS, ADDRESS THEIR AIR HANDLING SYSTEMS AND ALL THAT SORT OF THING, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO REMEMBER TO ADDRESS THAT THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY WITH THINGS WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE WITH REGARD TO REACHING OUT TO COMMUNITIES WHERE ENGLISH IS NOT THE FIRST LANGUAGE LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND HEALTH CLINICS AND THOSE LOCAL COMMUNITY LEADERS WITH HELP ON EDUCATION, CONTACT TESTING, TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING, ALL THOSE THINGS WE NEED TO DO IT’S A VERY DIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE IN ADMITTEDLY, BOTH AT THE WORKPLACE, BUT OFTENTIMES IN THE HOME AS WELL WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT GETTING MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS THAT ARE MAYBE MORE DENSELY POPULATED THAN SOME OF THE OTHER COMMUNITIES THAT WE HAVE HERE IN THE STATE ALL OF THIS HAS TO BE ADDRESSED ON A COMMUNITY-WIDE BASIS AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE DOING TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS IT THAT’S WHAT WE’VE DONE IN GRAND ISLAND THAT’S WHAT WE’VE DONE IN LEXINGTON AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE DOING IN THE OTHER COMMUNITIES AS WELL >>> CINDY FROM LINCOLN HAS A QUESTION, AND BASICALLY IS ASKING SINCE YOU SEE THE MEAT SUPPLY AS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE, WHY ISN’T PRIORITY TESTING AND QUARANTINE HOUSING BEING OFFERED TO OUR FOOD PROCESSING PLANT EMPLOYEES? WHY ARE THEY NOT OFFERED THE SAME STATUS AND PROTECTION AS OUR FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS? >> WELL ACTUALLY CINDY THEY ARE [ LAUGHTER ] AS I MENTIONED IN TESTNEBRASKA.COM WHEN WE’RE LOOKING AT PRIORITIES IT’S HEALTHCARE WORKERS, FIRST RESPONDERS AND FOOD PROCESSORS IF YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE CATEGORIES YOU’RE GOING TO BE BUMPED TO THE TOP OF THE LIST AS FAR AS GETTING TESTING ALSO, WHEN WE SEE A COMMUNITY WHERE WE SEE THAT PERCENT POSITIVE TESTING, WE MOVE IN WITH THOSE RESOURCES WHETHER IT’S TESTING RESOURCES, CONTACT TRACING, AND THEN JOSIE MENTIONED IT A LITTLE BIT EARLIER, BUT THROUGH OUR NEBRASKA ACCOMMODATION PROJECT WE DO HAVE ABILITY FOR THOSE FAMILIES IF THEY’RE HAVING DIFFICULTY TO FIND A PLACE TO QUARANTINE AND ISOLATE UNDERSTANDING THEY MAY HAVE DIFFICULTY DOING THAT WITHIN THEIR HOUSEHOLDS SO, FOR EXAMPLE, WE’VE GOT RELATIONSHIPS IN OMAHA, UNO AND WE’VE GOT PEOPLE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THAT RIGHT NOW WE’VE GOT ACTUALLY STARTING TODAY OR TOMORROW WE’RE GOING TO HAVE IT UP AND RUNNING AT UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA LINCOLN UNK, AND IN GRAND ISLAND SPECIFICALLY WE’RE WORKING WITH HOTELS AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE DORM ROOMS TO BE ABLE TO ESTABLISH THAT CAPABILITY THERE FOR FOOD PROCESSING FAMILIES AS WELL AND EITHER THE WORKER OR THE FAMILY TO BE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT SO SHE’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT’S PART OF OUR OVERALL PLAN FOR HOW WE ADDRESS IT TO MAKE SURE THOSE FAMILIES CAN QUARANTINE AND ISOLATE TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY DON’T GET INFECTED, AND DON’T SPREAD THE VIRUS >> ADMINISTRATOR RODRIGUEZ WHEN IT COMES TO THESE — THE MINORITY GROUPS, IS THERE ONE THAT’S BEING MORE AFFECTED THERE’S MORE HEALTH DISPARITIES THAN OTHERS? IS IT HISPANICS, NATIVE AMERICANS, AFRICAN-AMERICANS? >> YOU KNOW, AS WE HAVE SEEN WITH THE OMAHA DATA, AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE BEING AFFECTED BUT WE NEED THE DATA WE REALLY NEED THE DATA, AND IN MAY WE’LL KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE INFORMATION WHEN WE LOOK AT THE MEAT PACKING INDUSTRY, A LOT OF HISPANICS WORK IN THE MEAT PACKING INDUSTRY, SO WE’LL SEE WHEN WE GET THE DATA, BUT IT WILL PROBABLY BE LIKELY THAT HISPANICS ARE BEING HARDER HIT SO THAT’S WHERE WE’RE REALLY TRYING TO WORK WITH THOSE COMMUNITY LEADERS AGAIN TO GET THE WORD OUT, HOW THEY CAN BE PROTECTED WITH THE PRESS CONFERENCES IN SPANISH, I THINK THAT IS GREAT ANOTHER THING THAT I WOULD ADD IS DHHS IS ALSO WORKING WITH HEALTH DEPARTMENTS TO PROVIDE LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE FOR CONTACT TRACING WE’RE PROVIDING THAT IN LANGUAGES OF THE PATIENT THAT’S HELPFUL AS WELL >> I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE DATA FROM DOUGLAS COUNTY WHICH FROM DR. RUPP’S POINT, WHICH IS

DOING A GOOD JOB OF CATCHING THE RACE ETHNICITY OF THE PEOPLE IMPACTED CERTAINLY YOU CAN LOOK AT THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY AND SAY THEY ARE BEING DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED, IN DOUGLAS COUNTY WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE’RE DOING SO MUCH EFFORT AROUND THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY AND DO THAT OUTREACH AND HELP =FOLKS FROM THE SOCIAL DISTANCING EDUCATION TO THE QUARANTINE AND EVERYTHING ELSE >> I WOULD ALSO JUST ADD ONCE WE GET THAT DATA IT WILL BE IMPORTANT TO REALLY FIGURE OUT WHAT THOSE CHALLENGES ARE AND HOW WE CAN IMPROVE ON COLLECTING THAT DATA SO THAT WE CAN ALLOCATE RESOURCES AND REALLY GET THE EDUCATION AND INFORMATION TO THE PEOPLE THAT NEED IT >> YOU THINK THAT DATA WILL BE MADE PUBLIC BY THE END OF THE MONTH? >> BY THE END OF THE MONTH, YES WE ARE WORKING TO WORK ON THAT, YES >> I WAS JUST GOING TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS IS NOT A PECULIAR ISSUE TO DOUGLAS COUNTY OR TO NEBRASKA THIS IS REALLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND REALLY IN SOCIETIES ALL AROUND THE WORLD IN FACT THERE WAS A HEADLINE TODAY OUT OF THE NEW YORK TIMES THAT POINTED OUT THAT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM BLACKS ARE TWICE AS MORE LIKELY TO DIE THAN OTHER RACIAL GROUPS IF THEY GET COVID THESE DISPARITIES ARE SOMETHING THAT ARE GENERALIZED, THEY’RE PERVASIVE, AND SOMETHING THAT REALLY DEMAND OUR ATTENTION ACROSS THE COUNTRY >> GOVERNOR, A QUESTION FROM ANONYMOUS HOW DOES THE GOVERNOR JUSTIFY KEEPING COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS FROM MEAT PACKING FACILITIES PRIVATE? ALL THE NUMBERS FROM CARTER HOUSE IN BLAIR WERE MADE PUBLIC THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW THE DATA RELATED TO THEIR COMMUNITIES AND COUNTIES IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE HIDING SOMETHING >> SURE, THE DECISION WE MADE AT THE STATE IS TO DISPLAY AGGREGATE DATA IT’S THE SAME THING FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES AS WELL AT THE STATE, WE DON’T ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT SPECIFIC COMPANIES WHETHER IT’S LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES OR FOOD-PROCESSING FACILITIES, WE JUST PROVIDE AGGREGATE DATA WITH REGARD TO WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT NOW, WE’RE ASKED TO GIVE GUIDANCE TO LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS BECAUSE THEY CAN MAKE A DECISION ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT TO PROVIDE TO THEIR COMMUNITY WHAT WE RECOMMENDED IS THAT THEY VERIFY EMPLOYMENT AND WORK WITH THE COMPANY TO BE ABLE TO VERIFY THAT AND REALLY MAKE IT A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS AND HERE’S ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE DO THIS IS BECAUSE WHAT WE FOUND — LET’S TAKE A STEP BACK WHEN SOMEBODY GETS TESTED THE COMPANY DOESN’T KNOW IF THE PERSON TESTS POSITIVE BECAUSE THAT’S A HIPAA LAW WE DOING THE TESTING AS THE STATE OFTENTIMES EXCEPT IN THE CASES WHEN THE COMPANY’S ACTUALLY PAYING FOR THE TESTING BUT WE ARE THE ONES THAT GET THE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO WHO TESTS POSITIVE, BUT THE EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION’S NOT A PART OF THAT THAT’S GOT TO BE SELF-REPORTED HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND OUT PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS TELL YOU THE TRUTH SOMETIMES THEY’LL SAY THEY TEST POSITIVE AND SAY THEY’RE WORKING FOR A COMPANY AND THEY’RE NOT OR SOMETIMES THEY’RE WORKING FOR A COMPANY AND DON’T SAY THEY’RE WORKING FOR THAT COMPANY SINCE IT’S SELF-REPORTED DATA YOU DON’T ALWAYS GET ACCURATE DATA THAT’S WHY WE’VE ASKED LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS THAT IF THEY’RE GOING TO RELEASE THAT INFORMATION THEY REALLY WORK WITH THOSE FACILITY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE IT A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS AND VERIFY THE PERSON ACTUALLY WORKS THERE AND THEN OF COURSE, YOU NEED THE EMPLOYER’S COOPERATION TO DO THAT AT THE STATE LEVEL WHAT WE’RE DOING IS DOING IT IN AN AGGREGATE WHETHER IT’S FOOD PROCESSORS OR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT THAT’S A POLICY DECISION THAT WE MADE WITH REGARD TO THAT LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS CAN DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT BUT LIKE I SAID, WE RECOMMEND THEY ACTUALLY REALLY VERIFY PEOPLE’S EMPLOYMENT >> EVEN WITH THE STATE NUMBERS YOU’RE STILL RELYING ON SELF-REPORTED DATA, CORRECT? >> EVEN WITH THE STATE NUMBERS THOUGH WE’RE STILL RELYING ON SELF-REPORTED DATA WHICH IS WHY WE DON’T WANT TO TIE IT BACK TO A SPECIFIC COMPANY AT LEAST IF WE’RE DOING AN AGGREGATE IF THERE’S ERRORS IN THE INFORMATION, IT’S NOT TIED TO ONE COMPANY OR ANOTHER >> THIS IS WHY THE CONTACT TRACING IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THIS WHOLE PANDEMIC AND OUR APPROACH TO IT BECAUSE THROUGH THAT PROCESS YOU REALLY DO FIND OUT WHO THAT PERSON IS WHERE DO THEY WORK? WHO THEY HAD CONTACT WITH, TRY TO GET THOSE PEOPLE TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT’S GOING ON GO INTO QUARANTINE IF NECESSARY AND THAT’S REALLY A VITAL PART OF OUR APPROACH TO HOW WE FIGHT THIS PANDEMIC >> THAT’S OUR PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT PEOPLE, EITHER LOCALLY OR THE STATE WHEN WE SUPPLEMENT THOSE FOLKS WE’RE NOT SHARING THAT INFORMATION WITH THE COMPANY THAT’S SOMETHING WE DO TO BE ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE QUARANTINE AND ISOLATE, BUT THAT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT WE TURN OVER TO THE COMPANY >> YOU BRING UP CONTACT TRACERS AND I KNOW NATIONWIDE THEY’RE HAVING PROBLEMS FINDING ENOUGH PEOPLE TO DO THIS WHAT’S THE SITUATION IN NEBRASKA? >> SO GENERALLY, IF YOU LOOK AT — TYPICALLY WHAT’S HAPPENED IS LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING THE CONTACT TRACING GENERALLY THEY’VE GOT STAFFS OF MAYBE SIX OR SEVEN PEOPLE TO MAYBE AS MANY AS 15 WHAT I’VE REALLY GIVEN DIRECTION TO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES IS I WANT 1,000 CONTACT TRACERS AT THE STATE TO SUPPLEMENT THOSE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS SO WE DON’T SUBSUME THAT ROLE WE WORK FOR THEM WE ASSIST THEM WE PROVIDE EXTRA RESOURCES FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT, BUT I WANT 1,000 OF THOSE FOLKS >> ARE YOU GOING TO GET THEM? >> WHAT WE’VE DONE IS WE HAVE

10 TEAMS SIX ARE UP AND RUNNING THAT’S OVER 220 PEOPLE RIGHT NOW THROUGH THOSE SIX TEAMS THAT ARE SUPPLEMENTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS IN THE AREAS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, YOU KNOW, CENTRAL TWO RIVERS, DAKOTA, KIND OF THE PLACES WHERE WE HAVE HOT SPOTS AND THEN WE’VE GOT FOUR OTHER TEAMS BEING TRAINED THIS WEEK THEY’LL BE READY TO GO NEXT WEEK TO BE ABLE TO ALSO HELP SUPPLEMENT THAT THAT WILL BRING US UP OVER 300 AND THEN WE’VE GOT SOME MEDIUM-TERM PLANS TO WORK WITH SOME — THOSE ARE ALL STATE TEAMMATES ALL PEOPLE WE’RE PULLING FROM OTHER JOBS, TRAINING THEM ON THIS, REDIRECTING THOSE RESOURCES TO FOCUS ON THIS THAT WILL GET US ABOUT A THIRD OF THE WAY THERE, A LITTLE BIT MORE, AND THEN WE’RE GOING TO USE PRIVATE COMPANIES IN THE SHORT TERM TO BE ABLE TO FILL IN SOME MORE OF THAT, AND THEN WE’LL GO OUT FOR LONGER-TERM CONTRACTS TO GET UP TO A THOUSAND SO, WE’VE GOT KIND OF A SHORT-TERM, MID-TERM, AND LONG-TERM PLAN WITH REGARD TO HO WE’RE GOING TO GET TO THOSE 1000 PEOPLE >> MOLLY FROM LINCOLN ASKS THE GOVERNOR STATED IN PRESS CONFERENCES THAT NO ONE CAN BE TURNED AWAY FOR TESTING TREATMENT, OR EVEN HOSPITALIZATION DUE TO INABILITY TO PAY HOW IS TESTING AND TREATMENT BEING PAID FOR IN THESE CASES AND WILL PEOPLE BE ABLE TO GET TREATMENT BUT ULTIMATELY FACE A LARGER BILL LATER? >> ONE OF THE THINGS WE WANT TO EMPHASIZE TO ANYBODY GOING TO Testnebraska.com OR ANYTHING ELSE IS THE TEST IS ABSOLUTELY FREE IN THE CASE OF testnebraska.com WE’RE PAYING FOR IT WHEN SOMEBODY SENDS SOMEBODY TO A TEST TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAB THE STATE’S PAYING FOR IT IF IT’S MAYBE SOMEBODY WHO’S ON MEDICAID OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND GO THROUGH A PROVIDER, THEN MEDICAID’S PAYING FOR IT IF THEY’RE A MEDICAID PATIENT THERE’S A VARIETY OF WAYS THAT TEST IS GETTING PAID FOR, BUT NOBODY IS GOING TO PAY FOR — I SHOULD ALSO MENTION EVEN THE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE COMPANIES THE INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE SAID THEY’RE NOT GOING TO CHARGE ANYTHING FOR THIS TEST EITHER AND THEN EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE INSURANCE AND YOU NEED THAT HEALTHCARE, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS MADE IT AVAILABLE SO THAT HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS CAN GET REIMBURSED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS WELL WE ACTUALLY PUBLISHED A PRESS RELEASE ON THIS THAT’S GOT THE INFORMATION ON WHERE PROVIDERS CAN GO TO SIGN UP AND GET REIMBURSED FOR THE CASE THEY’RE PROVIDING IF YOU GO GET CARE, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO END UP WITH A BIG BILL >> A SPECIFIC QUESTION FROM DAVE IN FREMONT HE’S A FIRST RESPONDER AND WANTS TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INFORMATION DISCLOSURE HE SAYS FIRST RESPONDERS ARE WEARING PPE ON ALL EMERGENCY CALLS THE EXECUTIVE ORDER SHOULD ALLOW US TO TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS BY WEARING MORE EXTENSIVE PPE WHEN WE RESPOND TO A KNOWN COVID POSITIVE CASE AT A PARTICULAR ADDRESS IN HIS JURISDICTION, THEY WILL NOT RELEASE COVID-POSITIVE INFORMATION TO OUR DISPATCHERS IF HEARD THIS MAY BE AN ISSUE IN OTHER JURISDICTIo y WHAT WOULD YOUR RECOMMENDATION BE TO HELP NEBRASKA FIRST RESPONDERS IF YOUR EXECUTIVE ORDER IS NOT ADHERED TO? >> WITH REGARD TO THAT THE EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT I DID WAIVED STATUTES THAT’S ALL I CAN DO IS WAIVE STATUTES I CAN’T CREATE NEW STATUTES AND SO I WAIVED THE STATUTE THAT BARRED THE SHARING OF THAT INFORMATION HOWEVER, IT IS STILL UP TO LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS TO WORK WITH LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS OR LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH REGARD TO IF AND HOW THEY WOULD SHARE THAT INFORMATION SO THAT REALLY IS A CONVERSATION THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE IN YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY WITH YOUR PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO DETERMINE IF THEY’RE GOING TO RELEASE THAT HOW ARE THEY GOING TO RELEASE THAT? WHAT SAFEGUARDS ARE YOU GOING TO PUT ON THAT HIPPA-TYPE INFORMATION, YOU KNOW THIS IS PUBLIC HEALTH KIND OF INFORMATION THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS MAY BE RELUCTANT TO RELEASE IT I WAIVED THE STATUTE THAT PREVENTED THEM FROM DOING IT IT REALLY IS A LOCAL ISSUE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THAT DETERMINATION >> DR. MARLIN IN KEARNEY ASKED AFTER NEBRASKANS WITH COVID-19 HAVE RECOVERED, SHOULD THEY BE TESTED AGAIN? >> GENERALLY NOT UNLESS THERE’S A MEDICAL REASON TO REPEAT THAT TEST, IT WOULD BE ILL ADVISED TO DO SO, SO IF SOMEBODY IS CLINICALLY RECOVERED, DOING WELL, THERE REALLY WOULD BE NO CLINICAL INDICATION TO REPEAT THAT TEST >> ADMINISTRATOR RODRIGUEZ, WHAT ABOUT DISPARITY WHEN IT COMES TO MENTAL HEALTH? IS THAT WORSE OR BETTER THAN WE SEE WITH THE PHYSICAL HEALTH DISPARITIES IN THE STATE? >> UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE A LOT OF LIMITED ACCESS FOR MENTAL HEALTH ACROSS THE STATE PERIOD BUT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT MINORITY POPULATIONS IT’S EVEN WORSE A LOT OF THEM AS THE GOVERNOR SAID ENGLISH IS THE SECOND LANGUAGE IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH SESSION WHEN YOU DON’T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE SO, YES, THERE IS A HUGE NEED FOR THAT, AND THERE WAS EVEN BEFORE THIS AND NOW IT’S EVEN MORE >> GOVERNOR, A COUPLE QUESTIONS ON EDUCATION MIA IN LINCOLN SAYS SHE’S A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT IN LINCOLN AND FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO LEARN IN THE ONLINE ENVIRONMENT AND SHE LEARNS BEST IN SCHOOL I WORRY ABOUT BEING VERY LOST IF WE CAN’T RETURN TO SCHOOL THIS FALL WHAT’S BEING DONE TO MAKE SURE STUDENTS DON’T FALL IN A HOLE AND CAN’T CLIMB OUT? ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THIS LOSS IN EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS IN NEBRASKA? WE ALSO GOT ANOTHER QUESTION ASKING ABOUT IF SCHOOLS PLAN TO OPEN BACK UP FACE TO FACE IN THE FALL WILL THERE BE A DHM ACROSS THE BOARD FOR ALL WHO MAKES THAT DECISION? WHEN CAN WE EXPECT THE PLAN? >> THOSE ARE GREAT QUESTIONS SO STARTING WITH MIA’S QUESTION

WITH REGARD TO THE LOSS OF EDUCATION OR DOING THIS DISTANCE LEARNING ABSOLUTELY IS A HUGE CONCERN SO WE’VE BEEN WORKING WITH MATT BLOOMSTEDT WHO’S THE COMMISSIONER FOR EDUCATION HE REPORTS TO THE PUBLICLY-ELECTED STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IT’S NOT ACTUALLY A BODY OF GOVERNMENT THAT REPORTS TO ME WE HAVE A GREAT WORKING RELATIONSHIP AND ACTUALLY WE HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY TALKING ABOUT HIS PLAN TO LAUNCH NEBRASKA WHICH IS TALKING ABOUT THE SUMMER PROGRAMMING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE KIDS CAN GET EDUCATION AT SUMMER SCHOOL AND SO FORTH THAT’S REALLY PART OF WHAT WE’RE GOING TO USE TO LEARN HOW WE’RE GOING TO OPEN UP IN THE FALL I THINK IT’S ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT WE GET THE KIDS BACK IN THE CLASSROOMS IN THE FALL WE DO HAVE TO MAKE SURE THOUGH — IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME AGAIN, WE’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE A VACCINE BY THE FALL OR IT SEEMS REALLY, REALLY UNLIKELY MAYBE EARLY NEXT YEAR WE GET A BEST-CASE SCENARIO FROM WHAT I’VE HEARD, AND DR. RUPP CAN COMMENT ON THIS, BUT WE GOT TO GET THE KIDS BACK IN THE CLASSROOM, AND SO IT MEANS IT’S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT WAS BEFORE I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH MIA THAT WE WANT TO GET THE KIDS BACK IN THE CLASSROOM TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE PROGRESSING WITH THEIR EDUCATION IT IS A BIG CONCERN COMMISSIONER BLOOMSTEDT TALKED ABOUT HIS LAUNCH NEBRASKA PROGRAM KIND OF THE START OF THAT IS OUT THERE ON THE WEBSITE HE’S WORKING ON HIS PLAN WITH THE SUPERINTENDENTS ABOUT HOW THAT AND WHAT THAT’S GOING TO LOOK LIKE I KNOW ALSO FOR EXAMPLE, IN OPS DR. CHERYL LOGAN IS VERY FOCUSED ON HELPING OUT WITH THE DISTANCE LEARNING IN THE MEANTIME WORKING ON GETTING DEVICES TO YOUNG PEOPLE, AND MAKING SURE THEY HAVE THE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY THEY’RE WORKING ON THEIR PLANS I DON’T HAVE A DEADLINE OR TIMELINE TO GIVE YOU RIGHT NOW ABOUT WHEN THAT IS GOING TO BE COMING OUT I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE A WORK IN PROGRESS ESPECIALLY SINCE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE MORE DATA AS SCHOOL DISTRICTS LIKE IN SOUTH KOREA OR SWEDEN ARE OPENING UP WE’LL GET SOME MORE IDEAS FOR EXAMPLE, THERE’S DATA OUT THERE THAT SHOWS MAYBE YOUNGER KIDS DON’T TRANSMIT THE DISEASE AS MUCH AS MAYBE WE THOUGHT THEY DID SO MAYBE THAT WILL CHANGE HOW WE THINK ABOUT AT LEAST THAT K-6 KIND OF GRADES, BUT IT’S REALLY TOO EARLY RIGHT NOW TO KNOW AND WE’RE GOING TO NEED SOME TIME TO PUT TOGETHER THESE PLANS THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT COMMISSIONER BLOOMSTEDT’S WORKING ON >> IF I CAN INTERJECT SOMETHING HERE WE’VE MENTIONED A COUPLE TIMES THINGS AREN’T GOING TO BE THE SAME YOU’VE ALSO MENTIONED THE PLAYBOOK FOR THE MEAT PACKING INDUSTRY IN MY BUSINESS OF INFECTION PREVENTION IN THE HOSPITAL, ALL OF THESE THINGS HAVE SIMILARITIES THAT I THINK THE VIEWERS SHOULD KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT IS THAT WE FOLLOW INITIALLY ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS SO HOW DO YOU PUT RULES INTO PLACE THAT SEPARATE KIDS? MAYBE THEY COME IN, IN SHIFTS SOME COME IN THE MORNING SOME COME IN THE AFTERNOON HOW DO YOU DO THE DISTANCE LEARNING MORE EFFICIENTLY SO ADMINISTRATIVELY WE’RE SEPARATING PEOPLE AND TRYING TO PREVENT TRANSMISSION? AND THEN THERE’S ENGINEERING CONTROLS HOW DO WE BUILD THOSE PHYSICAL BARRIERS BETWEEN PEOPLE? WE MENTIONED THE PLEXIGLAS BARRIERS IN THE MEAT PACKING PLANTS MAYBE THERE’S SIMILAR THINGS WE COULD DO IN SCHOOLS WITH REGARD TO SPATIAL DISTANCING THROUGH ENGINEERING METHODS TO SEPARATE KIDS IN THE LUNCHROOM FOR INSTANCE OR IN OTHER SITUATIONS FINALLY, THERE’S THE PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, SO MAYBE THAT WOULD BE MASKS MAYBE WE’LL SEE KIDS IN SCHOOLS WEARING MASKS AND HAVING HAND HYGIENE STATIONS THOSE ARE THE SORTS OF THINGS THAT THE BUSINESSES CAN BE DOING RIGHT NOW NOT JUST THE MEAT PACKING PLANTS, NOT JUST THE SCHOOLS, BUT ACROSS THE BOARD >> DR. RUPP AS OUR TIME WINDS DOWN, I ALSO WANT TO ASK YOU UNMC HAS BEEN INVOLVED ORIGINALLY WITH THE TESTING OF REMDESIVIR, AND THAT’S A DRUG THAT COULD SHOW PROMISE FOR TREATMENT ANY OTHER TESTING GOING ON AT UNMC IN THIS REGARD? AND IF NOT ARE YOU FOLLOWING OTHER TESTS YOU SEE THAT SHOW PROMISE? >> ABSOLUTELY WE’RE SO PROUD OF THE ROLE WE WERE ABLE TO PLAY IN THIS PIVOTAL TRIAL THAT WAS ANNOUNCED THIS PAST WEEK WITH REMDESIVIR WITH SOME VERY, VERY ENCOURAGING INFORMATION THAT CAME OUT WITH THAT OVER 1,000 PATIENTS VERY RIGOROUSLY CONTROLLED RANDOMIZED TRIAL LED BY DR. ANDRE KALIL AT OUR INSTITUTION REALLY GOOD DATA THAT CAME OUT OF THAT SHOWING THAT WE COULD DECREASE THE MORTALITY IN SICK PATIENTS WITH LOWER RESPIRATORY TRACT ILLNESSES FROM 12% TO 8% AND DECREASE BY A THIRD THE TIME IT TAKES FOR PEOPLE TO RECOVER BECAUSE THE FIRST PART OF THE STUDY IS DONE, WE’RE NOW ENTERING INTO THE SECOND PORTION OF THE STUDY WHERE REMDESIVIR BECOMES THE STANDARD OF CARE AND NOW WE COMPARE THAT TO ANOTHER MODALITY OF INTERVENTION THIS IS A TREMENDOUS WAY TO MOVE FORWARD JUST AS QUICKLY AS WE POSSIBLY CAN >> THIS IS KIND OF THE LIGHTNING ROUND HERE, BUT REAL QUICKLY ADMINISTRATIVE RODRIGUEZ, WE TALKED ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS THAT MIGHT REACH MINORITY GROUPS AND THE ETHNIC GROUPS WHAT’S THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO SEE US DO BETTER IN THAT? >> I THINK THE DATA THE DATA’S GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT ONCE WE GET THAT DATA IT’S GOING TO TELL US A LOT OF THINGS UNFORTUNATELY AS DR. RUPP SAID THERE ARE SYSTEMATIC DISPARITIES THAT ALREADY EXIST SYSTEMATIC THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE PAST THAT CAUSED THESE DISPARITIES, BUT IF WE CAN GET THE DATA AND TARGET OUR EDUCATION AND RESOURCES TO THE POPULATION THAT NEED IT, THEN I THINK THAT WOULD BE REALLY GOOD >> AND, AGAIN, QUICKLY HERE, BUT I’M GOING TO — DOUG WANTS TO KNOW, ARE WE GOING TO SEE SWIMMING POOLS OPEN THIS SUMMER? JACKSON AND BRANDY BOTH WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SPORTS HEY, I PLAY BASEBALL

WE’RE 6 FEET APART WHY CAN’T WE GET OUT THERE AND DO THAT? >> NO ORGANIZED TEAM SPORTS IN MAY WE ARE WORKING ON WITH COMMUNITIES AND GROUPS WITH REGARD TO WHAT JUNE MIGHT LOOK LIKE WITH REGARD TO PRACTICES AND GAMES AND WE’RE ALSO GOING TO BE COMING OUT WITH GUIDELINES ON SWIMMING POOLS STAY TUNED ON BOTH OF THOSE AND I FINISHED THAT A LOT FASTER THAN YOU THOUGHT >> YOU DID [ LAUGHTER ] >> DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT WE’RE DOING? WHERE WE’RE GOING? WHERE WE’RE HEADED? >> I’M VERY PLEASED WITH THE PROGRESS WE’VE MADE WE PRESERVED THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WE HAVE SO MANY MORE RESOURCES WITH REGARD TO TESTING, CONTACT TRACING, QUARANTINING PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO DO PPE WE’RE IN MUCH BETTER SHAPE THAN WE WERE JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO ON THIS I’M FEELING VERY GOOD ABOUT THE PROGRESS WE’VE MADE >> ALL RIGHT, THANKS, GOVERNOR THAT’S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE FOR TONIGHT THANKS TO BOTH GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS AND TO DR. MARK RUPP AND ALSO TO ADMINISTRATOR RODRIGUEZ WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND THANKS TO THE NET CREW WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES TO BRING THIS PROGRAM TO YOU YOU CAN WATCH TONIGHT’S PROGRAM ONLINE AT Netnebraska.org/coronavirus YOU CAN ALSO SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS FOR NEXT WEEK’S LIVE TOWN HALL WITH GOVERNOR RICKETTS IT’LL BE ANOTHER SPECIAL EDITION, THEY’RE ALL SPECIAL AT THIS POINT OF “SPEAKING OF NEBRASKA.” THAT’S COMING UP NEXT THURSDAY AT 8:30 CENTRAL ON NET AND NET RADIO IT’S ALSO STREAMING ONLINE, AND DON’T FORGET THE GOVERNOR’S PRESS CONFERENCES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH WE ARE CARRYING THOSE AND STREAMING THOSE AS WELL UNTIL NEXT WEEK, I’M NET NEWS DIRECTOR, DENNIS KELLOGG THANKS FOR WATCHING * CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY CAPTION SOLUTIONS, LLC WWW.CAPTIONSOLUTIONS.COM