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

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

* 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 DURING THIS LIVE TOWN HALL ALONG WITH DR. JEFFREY GOLD, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER AND NEBRASKA COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION AND A MEMBER OF THE NET COMMISSION, MATT BLOMSTEDT, WELCOME AS WELL YOU CAN JOIN THE CONVERSATION TONIGHT AND WE HOPE YOU DO CALL US AT 800-676-5446 OR 402-472-1212 TO ASK YOUR QUESTION YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL US AT NET — AT NET NEBRASKA, EXCUSE ME, [email protected] GOVERNOR, WELCOME BACK IT’S BEEN A FEW MONTHS A LOT HAS HAPPENED BUT IT’S GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK IN THE STUDIO >> YEAH, THANK YOU VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOU HAVING ME BACK ON >> ABSOLUTELY BEFORE WE DIVE INTO THE QUESTIONS, THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED TO US FOR TONIGHT’S DISCUSSION, LET’S GET STARTED A LITTLE BIT WITH THE STATUS OF COVID-19 IN NEBRASKA ALTHOUGH NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS STARTED DECLINING AFTER A PEAK IN EARLY MAY THE VIRUS IS ONCE AGAIN SPREADING AT AN INCREASING RATE THIS WEEK, THE STATE SET A RECORD FOR THE SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE IN DAILY NEW CASES AND THAT NUMBER HAS CONTINUED TO GROW SO GOVERNOR RICKETS YOU EMPHASIZED FROM THE BEGINNING THAT YOUR PRIORITY IS PRESERVING HOSPITAL CAPACITY IN THE STATE ACTIVE COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE ALSO ON THE RISE TODAY, 227 NEBRASKANS ARE IN THE HOSPITAL, LIKE NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS, ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS WENT DOWN FOR SEVERAL WEEKS BEFORE INCREASING AGAIN SO DO YOU THINK MOVING THE STATE INTO THE FINAL PHASE OF REOPENING WHICH YOU DID LAST MONTH WAS THE RIGHT CHOICE GIVEN THAT WE’VE SEEN SOME INCREASE IN THE COUPLE OF WEEKS SINCE THAT HAPPENED? >> YEAH, ABSOLUTELY WE ARE IN A VERY DIFFERENT POSITION TODAY THAN WE WERE, SAY, BACK IN MAY ON A LOT OF DIFFERENT FRONTS JUST FIRST OF ALL, JUST TAKE THE TREATMENTS I MEAN, WITH DRUGS LIKE REMDESIVIR AND DEXAMETHASONE, WE KNOW HOW TO TREAT COVID BETTER, AND JUST ONE OF THE EXAMPLES IF YOU LOOK AT HOW MANY HOSPITALIZATIONS WE HAVE RIGHT NOW WITH THE 227 YOU TALKED ABOUT, WE HAVE ABOUT HALF AS MANY PEOPLE ON VENTILATORS, SO STATEWIDE IT’S LIKE 29 PEOPLE ON VENTILATORS WHICH IS A SMALL PERCENTAGE COMPARED TO WHERE IT WAS IN MAY AND THAT JUST DEMONSTRATES THAT OUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS HAVE GOTTEN A LOT BETTER WITH REGARD TO TREATING PATIENTS USING OXYGEN, REALLY TRYING TO KEEP THEM OFF THE VENTILATORS, WHICH ONCE YOU PUT SOMEBODY ON A VENTILATOR, THAT MEANS THEY’RE PROBABLY GOING TO STAY THERE FOR A WHILE WE ALSO HAVE MUCH MORE ROBUST TESTING GOING ON RIGHT NOW, SO FOR EXAMPLE IF YOU LOOK AT THE LAST FEW DAYS OF TEST REPORTS BACK, YOU’LL SEE THAT THE TEST REPORTS FOR TODAY WERE LIKE OVER 9,000 YESTERDAY WAS OVER 6,000 THE DAY BEFORE THAT OVER 7,000 IF YOU GO BACK AND LOOK AT MAY THE NUMBERS WERE MUCH, MUCH SMALLER WE’RE DOING A LOT MORE TESTING WHICH OBVIOUSLY HELPS US FIND MORE CASES SO WE CAN THEN ASK THOSE PEOPLE TO ISOLATE AND STAY OUT OF THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY WE ALSO HAVE MUCH MORE ROBUST CONTACT TRACING TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT WE’RE STAFFING UP OUR FOLKS TO HAVE A THOUSAND DIFFERENT FOLK — THAT THOUSAND MORE — REALLY AT THAT LEVEL NOW, REALLY THERE WHERE WE HAVE THOSE FOLKS WE’RE NOT EVEN USING THEM ALL BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T HAVE THAT KIND OF DEMAND YET BUT THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS HAVE ALSO HIRED UP, SO WE GOT ROBUST CONTACT TRACING WE GOT LOTS OF LEVELS OF HIGH LEVELS OF PPE, ABOUT THE ONLY THING WE DON’T REALLY HAVE BIG SUPPLIES OF IS THE N95 MASKS WHICH IS WHAT THE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS PREFER TO USE BUT, WE GOT LOTS OF KN95 MASKS THAT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE FDA AND THE CDC AND SO FORTH WE’VE GOT OUR ACCOMMODATION PROGRAM FOR EXAMPLE, FOR TEACHERS TO BE ABLE TO ALLOW THEM TO GO SOMEPLACE AND BE ABLE TO QUARANTINE OR KEEP AWAY FROM PEOPLE SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO RISK EITHER BRINGING THE VIRUS HOME OR GETTING IT AT HOME AND SO FORTH SO, JUST A LOT OF DIFFERENT RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE IN MAY SO, WE’RE CONTINUING TO MONITOR THE SITUATION WE CONTINUE — DR. ANTHONE, OUR CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER IS ON THE PHONE, YOU KNOW, WEEKLY IF NOT DAILY WITH THE CMOS AND CEOS OF THESE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS WE’RE WORKING WITH THOSE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS WITH REGARD TO ADDITIONAL PLANS FOR HOW WE CAN MAKE SURE WE CAN HANDLE THE INCREASED TRAFFIC AND THE OTHER THING I’LL JUST WRAP UP WITH TO SAY IS, IF YOU LOOK AT THE OVERALL PERCENTAGE OF COVID CASES IN THE HOSPITAL, IT’S STILL VERY SMALL SO FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU LOOK AT OMAHA AREA, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT LESS THAN 5% OF THE HOSPITAL BEDS ARE BEING USED BY COVID PATIENTS A LITTLE OVER 10% OF THE ICU BEDS AND ABOUT 3.5% OF THE VENTILATORS IF YOU LOOK AT LINCOLN, FOR EXAMPLE, THE NUMBERS ARE PRETTY SIMILAR IT’S ACTUALLY MORE AS A PERCENTAGE OF HOSPITAL BEDS, IT’S ABOUT 16 ALMOST 17% OF THE HOSPITAL BEDS IN LINCOLN IT’S 60 CASES BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ICU BEDS,

AGAIN, IT’S ABOUT 11.7% IF YOU LOOK AT THE VENTILATORS BEING USED, IT’S LIKE 4% SO AGAIN, WHEN WE SEE SOME OF THE HOSPITALIZATION UTILIZATION, IT’S NOT JUST COVID PATIENTS USING IN FACT THE VAST MAJORITY ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT COVID PATIENTS >> WHEN YOU LOOK AT BED CAPACITY, THOUGH, IT HAS BEEN FAIRLY STABLE, BETWEEN 25-35%, BUT THEN YOU MENTIONED OMAHA, YOU MENTIONED SOME OF THE SPECIFIC AREAS, OMAHA 14% OF BEDS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE SHOULD SOME OF THOSE AREAS WITH THE LOWER HOSPITAL CAPACITY LIKE DOUGLAS COUNTY MAYBE REINSTATE STRICTER REGULATIONS? >> IT’S CERTAINLY ONE OF THE THINGS WE’RE LOOKING AT AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE TALKED TO THE HOSPITAL CMO AND CEOS ABOUT OBVIOUSLY, WE’RE GOING TO KEEP ALL THE OPTIONS ON THE TABLE I THINK IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS, YOU KNOW, THEY’LL RUN AT 90% CAPACITY, RIGHT? SO THAT’S A NORMAL HOSPITAL OPERATING AND IT WOULDN’T BE UNUSUAL — AGAIN, AT NORMAL TIMES FOR HOSPITALS BECAUSE MAYBE A ER DOCK WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO DIVERT PEOPLE FROM ONE HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL SO THERE IS — THESE — THEY GOT ALL SORTS OF PROTOCOLS IN PLACE TO DO THAT ALREADY FROM NORMAL OPERATIONS SO WE CERTAINLY WANT TO KEEP THAT IN MIND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN HANDLE AND ACCOMMODATE ANY NEW PEOPLE COMING IN, AND WE’VE DONE THAT VERY SUCCESSFULLY THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC TO BE ABLE TO OFFER THAT HOSPITAL BED, THAT ICU BED, THAT VENTILATOR TO ANYBODY WHO NEEDS IT WHEN THEY NEED IT THAT’S WHY DR. ANTHONE IS ON THE PHONE WITH THE FOLKS EVERY DAY TALKING THROUGH TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE COMFORTABLE WITH REGARD TO WHERE THEY ARE, WITH REGARD TO HOSPITAL CENSUS, AND LOOKING TO SEE IF WE NEED TO MAKE ANY CHANGES AND WHAT SORTS OF OTHER THINGS THE STATE COULD DO TO HELP FACILITATE, FOR EXAMPLE STAFFING, TO BE ABLE TO HELP THEM OUT AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY’VE GOT APPROPRIATE STAFFING >> DR. JEFFREY GOLD, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER, WELCOME TONIGHT >> THANK YOU >> SO FAR, 493 NEBRASKANS HAVE DIED OF COVID-19 THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION SAID THIS WEEK THAT NUMBER WILL LIKELY CLIMB TO AROUND 561 DEATHS BY OCTOBER 24TH AND THE INSTITUTE OF HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION ESTIMATES UNIVERSAL MASKING IN NEBRASKA COULD SAVE UP TO 480 LIVES BY DECEMBER 1ST SO, HOW MUCH EMPHASIS DO YOU PUT ON WEARING A MASK AND HOW WELL DO YOU THINK NEBRASKANS ARE DOING WHEN IT COMES TO WEARING MASKS? >> SO I HAVE MY MASK WITH ME ALL THE TIME, AND I WEAR IT BECAUSE I KNOW THE SCIENCE SHOWS THAT IT NOT ONLY PROTECTS ME BUT IT PROTECTS OTHERS, AS WELL AND WE TRY VERY HARD TO SET THE RIGHT EXAMPLE FOR FOLKS I THINK FROM A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE, THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT MASKING REDUCES THE SPREAD OF NOT JUST CORONAVIRUS, BUT THE FLU, OR — ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT SPREAD THROUGH RESPIRATORY DROPLETS I THINK THAT IS A GIVEN MY EXPERIENCE, PARTICULARLY, YOU KNOW, SINCE WE’VE REOPENED THE UNIVERSITY, AND WALKING THROUGH CAMPUS, RES HALLS, DINING FACILITIES, ET CETERA, IS THAT THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY, I MEAN, IT’S A RARE EXCEPTION FOR ME TO SEE SOMEBODY WHO IS NOT WEARING A MASK WE’RE ALL MORE THAN SIX FEET APART TONIGHT, AND I FEEL COMFORTABLE ABOUT BEING HERE WITH YOU, OTHERWISE I WOULD BE WEARING MY MASK TONIGHT BUT, I THINK THAT NEBRASKANS GENERALLY ARE DOING A PRETTY DARN GOOD JOB OF IT NOW, YOU KNOW, WE ALL KNOW THAT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THAT WE’VE SEEN EVERYTHING FROM WEDDINGS TO OTHER GROUP GATHERINGS WHERE THERE WAS SOME SUPER SPREADER INDIVIDUAL THAT CAUSED A GOOD DEAL OF MISERY IN THAT COMMUNITY, AND ONE SORT OF SPREAD TO ANOTHER AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, IN ONE OF OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES, IT HAS AN IMPACT, RIGHT? IT FILLS HOSPITAL BEDS, CAUSES TRANSFERS, AND CONCERNS TO THE COMMUNITY I THINK OVERALL, THE STATE IS DOING PRETTY DARN WELL COULD WE DO BETTER? YOU BETCHA AND THAT’S WHY, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE ALL NEED TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE >> ONE OF THE QUESTIONS WE GOT CAME FROM THE COMMUNITY OF BLAIR AND THIS PERSON SAID, “WHY AREN’T WE RECOGNIZING THAT ONLY THE CHRONICALLY ILL AND ELDERLY CITIZENS NEED TO BE WEARING A MASK AND RESTRICTING THEIR TIME IN STORES, CHURCHES, AND AROUND OTHERS?” I’M GUESSING YOU WOULD SAY THAT’S NOT TRUE >> WELL, I THINK THE ELDERLY AND MORE VULNERABLE ABSOLUTELY NEED TO WEAR A MASK AND RESTRICT THEIR TIME WITH OTHERS BUT IF WE WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND NOT CARRY INFECTION FROM THE COMMUNITY TO THEM, THEN WE DO, ALSO AND I THINK THAT’S THE MESSAGE THERE IS THIS TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CONFUSION AS TO WHETHER YOUNG PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, CAN K-12 SCHOOLS AND I KNOW WE’RE GOING TO UNPACK THAT IN A MINUTE, AND IN THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL, REALLY GET SICK FROM COVID AND WITH THE OBSERVATION IS ALTHOUGH SOME OF THEM GET REALLY SICK AND HOSPITALIZED AND TRAGICALLY WILL ACTUALLY DIE FROM IT, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY WILL HAVE MINIMAL SYMPTOMS OR NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL WE’VE SEEN THAT IN THE UNIVERSITY EXTENSIVELY BUT, WE ALSO KNOW THEY DO CARRY VERY HIGH VIRUS LOADS WHEN THEY’RE SICK AND CAPABLE OF TRANSMITTING IT VERY RAPIDLY TO THEIR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS, WHO ARE GOING TO BE MORE VULNERABLE THAT IS THE CONCERN ABOUT ALL OF THIS >> COMMISSIONER MATT BLOMSTEDT, WANT TO BRING YOU IN ON THE CONVERSATION, AS WELL EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE

STATE DEVELOPED ITS OWN PLAN TO RETURN TO SCHOOL THIS FALL FOLLOWING GUIDELINES FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS DATA FROM YOUR OFFICE SHOWS A 72% INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES HOMESCHOOLING THIS YEAR AND MANY DISTRICTS ARE OFFERING FULL VIRTUAL OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS SO, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY NEBRASKA YOUTH ARE LEARNING AT HOME THIS YEAR VERSUS HOW MANY ARE LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM AND WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF VIRTUAL VERSUS IN-PERSON EDUCATION? >> AS FAR AS NUMBERS RIGHT NOW, AND WE’RE ACTUALLY SOON TO SEE OMAHA PUBLIC SCHOOLS RE-ENTER INTO THE SECOND QUARTER, THAT YOU’LL SEE THEIR STUDENTS BACK INTO IN-PERSON LEARNING EXPERIENCE WE HAVE SCHOOLS LIKE LINCOLN AND OMAHA THAT HAVE LAID OUT PLANS THAT WILL BE KIND OF 50% OF THEIR STUDENTS, BECAUSE THEY’RE WORRIED ABOUT HOW THE SOCIAL DISTANCING MIGHT WORK IN THEIR PARTICULAR SCHOOLS, BUT WHEN WE LOOK ACROSS THE STATE, AND I CAN ONLY HAVE AN ESTIMATE, BUT ABOUT 90% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE RECEIVING SOME TYPE OF IN-PERSON EXPERIENCE AND FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF SCHOOLS OUTSIDE OF THE METRO AREA, THEY’RE REALLY IN-SCHOOL BUT SCHOOL — CERTAIN SCHOOLS HAVE OFFERED SOME TYPE OF REMOTE OPTION IT’S BEEN — I THINK PARENTS REALLY WANTED THAT, ESPECIALLY WITH THE UNCERTAINTIES WHEN WE ENTERED INTO THE SUMMERTIME AND FOLKS WEREN’T SURE HOW THAT WOULD WORK I THINK AS IT’S GONE ON, FOLKS HAVE BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE IN THAT IN-PERSON SETTING THEY’VE SEEN THAT SCHOOLS ARE DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB OF HOW UNDERSTANDING HOW TO WEAR MASKS, HOW TO KEEP THE STUDENTS SAFE AND WE’VE NOT REALLY SEEN VERY MUCH TRANSMISSION AT ALL WITHIN SCHOOL SETTINGS WE’RE LEARNING JUST LIKE WE TRY TO DO THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS THE OTHER PART OF LEARNING THOUGH IS REMOTE LEARNING, AND THAT’S BEEN A CHALLENGE WE’VE HAD TEACHERS — I HAVE A TEACHER ADVISORY GROUP, AND IT’S BEEN REALLY HARD FOR TEACHERS TO TEACH IN BOTH SETTINGS WHAT I’VE HEARD FROM THESE TEACHERS THAT HAVE BEEN ADVISING ME, WE COULD REALLY USE SOME MORE ADDITIONAL TIME TO IMPROVE THE REMOTE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES, TO PUT US IN A BETTER POSITION TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND SO ACTUALLY THIS WEEK, I’VE ANNOUNCED AND WILL BE ANNOUNCING, KIND OF ALLOWING SOME FLEXIBILITY SO TEACHERS CAN HAVE SOME PREP TIME ACROSS THE STATE, AND SUPERINTENDENTS HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR THAT PARTICULAR TIME, TOO, TO REALLY DOUBLE DOWN ON OUR EFFORTS TO IMPROVE THAT REMOTE LEARNING OVERALL AND I THINK THAT IS GOOD WE ALSO HAVE LEARNED THAT ENGAGING WITH PARENTS IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT WHEN YOU’RE IN A REMOTE ENVIRONMENT I’VE HEARD FROM TEACHERS AND SOME SOMEWHAT FUNNY STORIES THAT THE PARENT WILL COME IN AND TALK TO THEIR CHILD AND SAY, “WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING?” AND THE CHILD WAVES THEM AWAY, RIGHT? SO I MEAN, IT’S BEEN A — AN INTERESTING LEARNING EXPERIENCE, BUT WE’LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT, CONTINUE TO GIVE PEOPLE TIME TO IMPROVE THAT PRACTICE AND WE’RE LOOKING AT IT, TOO WHAT OTHER THINGS COULD WE SCALE UP, DIGITAL RESOURCES THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO DO? THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL IN THINKING ABOUT HOW WE MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE TO DO REMOTE LEARNING AS NECESSARY AND WE’LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT WORK >> DO YOU THINK, THOUGH, THERE’S GOING TO BE A GAP BETWEEN THE LEARNING EDGE FROM THOSE WHO ARE IN-PERSON VERSUS THOSE WHO ARE REMOTE? AND AS FAR AS MEASURING THAT GAP, KATIE FROM LINCOLN ASKED, “WHAT WILL STATE TESTING LOOK LIKE CONSIDERING THE DIVERSE SCHOOLING MODELS WITHIN NEBRASKA SCHOOLS THIS YEAR?” >> YEAH, WE’VE DONE A FEW THINGS AND I DO THINK THERE COULD BE A GAP IT’S — WE CAN’T EXPECT THAT TEACHERS ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO TURN THAT CORNER RIGHT WAY, HAVE THE LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE AN IN-CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE, BUT WE’VE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED SOME STUDENTS THAT ARE ACTUALLY DOING BETTER SEEING THAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT BE HELPFUL FOR THEM EVEN STUDENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, WITH AUTISM THAT MIGHT HAVE SOME OTHER STRUGGLES HAVE ACTUALLY DONE WELL IN SOME OF THE ENVIRONMENTS SO WE’RE LEARNING IT’S NOT PERFECT FOR EVERYONE NECESSARILY AS WE HAVE THAT GAP AND WE’RE TRYING TO SET UP A PRETTY UNIQUE STRUCTURE IN NEBRASKA TO HAVE WHAT WE DO THREE-YEAR ASSESSMENT INSTEAD OF JUST ONE SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT, AND WE’RE ACTUALLY TAKING THIS OPPORTUNITY, I’VE ASKED SCHOOLS TO BE INNOVATIVE AND WE’RE BEING INNOVATIVE, THINKING ABOUT THAT ASSESSMENT WE HAVE FOR GRADES THREE THROUGH EIGHT, SHAPING THAT SO WE CAN DO A LITTLE BIT MORE KIND OF UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE IMPACTS ARE IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT AND HOPEFULLY BE ABLE TO LEARN FROM THAT AND IMPROVE >> WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO TALK ABOUT EDUCATION, BUT LET’S SWITCH GEARS A LITTLE BIT GOVERNOR, NEBRASKA — >> WE CAN KEEP TALKING ABOUT EDUCATION >> I KNOW, IT PUTS YOU ON THE SPOT IN NEBRASKA, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN AUGUST WAS 4% LOWEST IN NATION BUT SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN LAST SPRING, WE’VE HAD SUSTAINED HIGHER LEVELS OF UNEMPLOYMENT THAN NORMAL THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER ABOUT 134,000 NEBRASKANS HAVE BEEN PAID UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DURING THE PANDEMIC SO, WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF SO MANY NEBRASKANS OUT OF WORK FOR SIX MONTHS OR MORE? WHAT’S THAT GOING TO HAVE ON THE STATE’S ECONOMY LONG TERM? >> WELL, CERTAINLY THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE WANT TO GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AGAIN OBVIOUSLY WE WANT TO DO IT SO THEY CAN STAY HEALTHY WHILE DOING IT, SO WE WANT COMPANIES TO USE THEIR GOOD JUDGMENT WITH REGARD TO THE PLANS, MAKE SURE THEY ALLOW FOR PEOPLE TO WORK REMOTELY WHERE IT’S APPROPRIATE AND SO FORTH AND WE DO — I THINK WE HAVE STRUCK THAT BALANCE HERE IN THE STATE THAT HAS LED US TO THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SOME OF THE PROGRAMS WE ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE, THOUGH THROUGH FOR EXAMPLE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS WE HAVE JOB COACHES FOR

ALL THE FOLKS IN THE STATE YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO BE UNEMPLOYED TO BE ABLE TO GET ACCESS TO IT AND THEY CAN HELP YOU WITH ALL SORTS OF THINGS, SUCH AS PUTTING TOGETHER A RESUME, HOW DO YOU LOOK FOR THAT NEXT BEST JOB, TIPS ON WHERE TO LOOK FOR THAT NEXT BEST JOB AND SO WITH THOSE JOB COACHES WE HAVE AND THOSE RESOURCES, WE CAN REALLY HELP PEOPLE WHO MAYBE HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED FOR A WHILE AND THEY’RE STARTING TO GET A LITTLE RUSTY ON HOW TO LOOK FOR A JOB, WE CAN HELP THEM THAT WAY ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS WE’RE DOING WITH THE CARES ACT MONEY IS WE SET ASIDE $16 MILLION FOR OUR COMMUNITY COLLEGES TO HELP PEOPLE WHO MAYBE WANT TO UPGRADE THEIR JOB SKILLS, MAYBE GET A NEW CERTIFICATE TO BE ABLE TO GET THAT BETTER JOB, SO THAT THEY CAN TAKE THAT STEP, GO BACK TO SCHOOL, AND GO LOOK FOR THAT NEXT BEST JOB AND HAVE THE SKILLS TO BE ABLE TO DO IT SO WE GOT RESOURCES OUT THERE FOR PEOPLE WHO MAYBE HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED AND WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE AND WE’LL CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR INNOVATIVE WAYS TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT AND LEVERAGE THE RESOURCES WE HAVE AT THE STATE TO BE ABLE TO HELP FOLKS GET THAT NEXT BEST JOB >> AND SO WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESSES, YOU’VE LIFTED NEARLY ALL OF THE RESTRICTIONS ON THE BUSINESSES BETWEEN — BETWEEN 2000-3000 NEW NEBRASKANS HAVE FILED JOBLESS CLAIMS EACH WEEK FOR THE PAST TWO MONTHS MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE STRUGGLING, HAVING PROBLEMS PAYING THE RENT OR BUYING FOOD, WHICH LEADS US TO THE QUESTIONS WE RECEIVED ABOUT THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BRIAN IN LINCOLN ASKS, “IF YOU KNOW THAT NEBRASKANS ARE SUFFERING FROM HUNGER DUE TO COVID-19, WHY WON’T YOU ACCEPT THE SNAP BENEFITS THAT ALL 49 OTHER STATES HAVE ACCEPTED?” CLARE IN OMAHA, SARAH IN BELLEVUE ASKED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME QUESTION WHAT’S THE DOWNSIDE TO ACCEPTING THIS TEMPORARY EXPANSION OF THE FEDERAL PROGRAM SINCE IT WOULDN’T COST THE STATE MONEY? >> SO WHAT WE’RE DOING, SO REMEMBER, THAT MONEY IS STILL OUR MONEY, RIGHT? THAT MONEY DOESN’T COME FROM NOWHERE IT HAS TO COME FROM PEOPLE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES WHO ARE EARNING IT OR WE HAVE TO GO OUT AND BORROW IT FROM PLACES LIKE CHINA, RIGHT? THAT MONEY ISN’T FREE, RIGHT? THOSE ARE STILL RESOURCES THAT HAVE TO BE TAKEN FROM THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA TO PAY THOSE IF YOU LOOK AT NEBRASKA, BEING THE LEAST ECONOMICALLY IMPACTED STATE IN THE COUNTRY, HAVING THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE COUNTRY, AND IF YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE SNAP DATA, IT SHOWS THAT WE ARE AT A LEVEL OF SNAP RECIPIENTS WHERE WE WERE PRE-PANDEMIC IF YOU GO BACK AND LOOK AT, SAY, FEBRUARY, WE HAD ABOUT 70,000 FAMILIES THAT WERE ON THAT SNAP PROGRAM AND ABOUT 153,000 — WELL, IT WAS ACTUALLY 151,000 PEOPLE IF YOU GO LOOK AT THE PEAK WHEN WE HIT IN MAY, WE HAD ABOUT 70,000 FAMILIES AND ABOUT 100 — 78,000 FAMILIES, AND ABOUT 170,000 PEOPLE AND THEN IF YOU LOOK AT WHERE WE WERE IN AUGUST, THAT NUMBER WAS BACK DOWN TO 71,000 FAMILIES AND ABOUT 151,000 PEOPLE IN FACT, THAT’S A LOWER NUMBER THAN WHERE WE WERE IN SEPTEMBER OF ’19 IF YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT AUGUST ’20 TO SEPTEMBER OF ’19 WE ACTUALLY HAVE FEWER PEOPLE ON SNAP RIGHT NOW THAN WE DID THEN THAT REALLY GIVES YOU AN INDICATION THAT PEOPLE ARE GETTING BACK TO WORK THE THING ABOUT THE EMERGENCY SNAP BENEFITS THAT THEY’RE REFERRING TO IS THAT’S A MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT WAS A TEMPORARY EMERGENCY MEASURE ABOUT 40% OF THE FAMILIES ON SNAP ALREADY GET THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT BECAUSE OF INCOME IT’S BASED ON INCOME IF YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE FAMILIES THAT BASED ON YOUR INCOME WOULD STILL GET THAT MAXIMUM BENEFIT, YOU’RE STILL GOING TO GET THAT MAXIMUM BENEFIT AND THEN THERE IS OTHER PROGRAMS WHICH WE ARE STILL ACCEPTING LIKE THE EMERGENCY EBT PROGRAM, THE ADDITIONAL STUFF FOR THE WIC PROGRAM, YOU KNOW, WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN WE TOOK THE ADDITIONAL MONEY FROM THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE THAT PAID OUT THROUGH AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER SO THERE WERE OTHER PROGRAMS THAT PEOPLE DO HAVE ACCESS TO AND THE IDEA AGAIN IS THAT YOU WANT TO STEP PEOPLE DOWN OFF OF THOSE MAXIMUM BENEFITS AS WE RETURN TO MORE NORMAL SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THAT CLIFF EFFECT SO THAT’S REALLY KIND OF THE STRATEGY BEHIND WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING IS REALLY KIND OF STEPPING THIS DOWN, GETTING PEOPLE BACK TO NORMAL, GETTING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK, AND, AGAIN, THE DATA SHOWS IF YOU LOOK AT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON SNAP THAT WE’RE ACTUALLY BACK TO NORMAL LEVEL OF SNAP PERCIPIENTS >> DR. GOLD, I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU THIS QUESTION HANK FROM MCCOOL JUNCTION CALLS IN TONIGHT AND HE SAYS, “ACCORDING TO THE CDC WEBSITE, ONLY 6% OF COVID DEATHS ARE DUE ONLY TO COVID, WITH THE OTHER 94% HAVING SOME SORT OF UNDERLYING CONDITION SUCH AS CANCER, DIABETES WHY DON’T MEDICAL EXPERTS USE THE 6% FIGURE WHEN REFERRING TO TOTAL DEATHS FROM COVID?” >> SURE SO BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE IS A LOT OF DEBATE THAT GOES ON AS TO HOW TO CLASSIFY SOMEBODY AS HAVING ACTUALLY DIED FROM COVID OR WITH COVID AND THAT’S REALLY THE QUESTION SO IF OTHERWISE ASYMPTOMATIC PERSON HAPPENS TO HAVE A DIAGNOSIS OF COVID THAT THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT AND THEY TRAGICALLY GET INTO A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT AND PASS AWAY, THAT GETS INTO EXACTLY THAT KIND OF CONSIDERATION BUT TO BE SPECIFIC TO YOUR QUESTION, THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE WITH HEART DISEASE, DIABETES, HYPERTENSION, CANCER, WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BEING TREATED FOR THEIR DISEASE, WHO HAVE A PRETTY DECENT PROGNOSIS THAT IS TO SAY, THEY’RE NOT PRE-MORBID THEY’RE NOT HOSPITALIZED,

THEY’RE NOT IN HOSPICE CARE OR LONG-TERM CARE THEY LEAD A FULL LIFE AND THEN THEY GET COVID AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY’RE EITHER HOSPITALIZED OR PLACED ON A VENTILATOR, AS THE GOVERNOR WAS TALKING ABOUT, AND THEY TRAGICALLY PASS AWAY AND SO, THOSE CONSIDERATIONS ADD UP TO A DIAGNOSIS OF DYING FROM COVID AND BECAUSE THAT REALLY CHANGED THEIR PROGNOSIS THAT IS IN THE IDEAL WORLD UNFORTUNATELY, WITH OVER 200, 000 DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES, EVERY STATE, EVERY HOSPITAL, THE CODING THAT GOES ON WITH THE LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICTS, I BELIEVE CREATES A WHOLE LOT OF UNCERTAINTY SOME WOULD SAY WE’RE MARKEDLY UNDER-CLASSIFYING DEATHS DUE TO COVID SOME WOULD SAY THAT WE’RE MARKEDLY OVERCLASSIFYING DEATHS DUE TO COVID SOME WOULD SAY WE’RE MARKEDLY OVERCLASSIFYING DEATHS AS THIS QUESTIONER POINTS OUT TO ME, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THE CONSISTENCY BECAUSE IF WE’RE USING THE NUMBER OF DEATHS PER MILLION PER WEEK IN THE UNITED STATES IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND THE STATE OF NEBRASKA, AS A METRIC, WE WOULD LIKE TO COMPARE WEEK TO WEEK, MONTH TO MONTH, YOU KNOW, AND SEE WHETHER WE’RE MAKING PROGRESS OR NOT MAKING PROGRESS WE’D LIKE TO KNOW WHETHER WE’RE SEEING A CHANGE IN AGE DEMOGRAPHICS, GENDER, RACE OR ETHNICITY WE’D LIKE TO SEE THE BALANCE BETWEEN RURAL AND URBAN DEATH, AS WELL AS, OF COURSE, NEW CASES AND TEST POSITIVITY AND SO IF WE HAVE A CONSISTENT WAY OF CLASSIFYING THE DEATH, THAT GIVES US ANOTHER STATISTICAL TOOL TO EMPOWER US TO BETTER — TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF DEATH, REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF HOSPITALIZATION FROM COVID >> ALL RIGHT COMMISSIONER BLOMSTEDT, OUR NEXT QUESTION IS FOR YOU IT’S A VIDEO QUESTION SUBMITTED BY JENNY IN HASTINGS >> HI MY NAME IS JENNY I’M FROM HASTINGS, NEBRASKA MY QUESTION TONIGHT IS WHY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS NOT TAKEN A BIGGER ROLE IN DEVELOPING PROTOCOLS FOR THE AREA SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO E LEARNING NOW, HASTINGS PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAS DONE A PHENOMENAL JOB BUT I KNOW THERE ARE OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE THAT HAVE TAKEN EVEN PUNITIVE MEASURES TOWARDS THEIR FAMILIES THAT HAVE CHOSEN E LEARNING AS THEIR DELIVERY EDUCATION FOR THEIR CHILDREN THANK YOU >> COMMISSIONER BLOMSTEDT >> YEAH, AND SO, I MEAN, FIRST OF ALL, WE ACTUALLY PUT OUT GUIDANCE STARTING CLEAR BACK IN APRIL WE JUST STARTED THAT IN MAY, SOMETHING WE CALL LAUNCH NEBRASKA OR LAUNCHNE.COM FOLKS CAN SEE THE TYPES OF GUIDANCE THAT THE DEPARTMENT PUT OUT WE ACTUALLY DID TRAININGS RIGHT OUT OF THE BAT KNOWING THAT THERE WOULD BE A NEED TO MOVE TO REMOTE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND PUT OUT DIFFERENT RESOURCES BUT WE ALSO TRIED TO STRIKE A BALANCE ON WHAT THE LOCAL SCHOOLS’ ABILITIES WERE, REALLY HAVING THEM BUILD THEIR OWN PARTICULAR PLANS I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE PUNITIVE THINGS, I WOULD BE GLAD TO HEAR MORE IF SOMEBODY E-MAILED ME ON THAT PARTICULAR FRONT BUT WE REALLY TRIED TO WORK WITH SCHOOLS WE’LL BE ACTUALLY OFFERING ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE AND KIND OF REFRAMING SOME OF THAT LIKE THE REMOTE LEARNING, ENSURING THAT STUDENTS ARE HAVING GOOD EXPERIENCES WE HEARD CONCERNS AROUND STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND MAKING SURE THAT THEIR IEPS ARE BEING MET AND WE CONTINUE TO OFFER THAT GUIDANCE ALL THE TIME TO OUR SCHOOLS AND SO, IF THERE ARE FOLKS THAT HAVE SOME TYPE OF CHALLENGE, THEY CERTAINLY ARE WELCOME TO E-MAIL ME I TAKE THOSE E-MAILS QUITE OFTEN AND WE TAKE THAT VERY SERIOUSLY AND TRY TO FOLLOW WORK WITH FOLKS ON THE SOLUTIONS I WOULD SAY OVERALL THERE ARE VERY GOOD EXAMPLES, AS YOU MENTIONED, HASTINGS, WE HAVE MANY OTHER SCHOOLS THAT ARE DOING REALLY GOOD THINGS AND WE’LL SEE PEOPLE LEARN AND IMPROVE AND THAT’S OUR HOPE SO IT’S — IT IS ALSO HELPFUL TO KNOW PLACES THAT MAY BE STRUGGLING WE ASK THEM TO REACH OUT TO US AND WE CAN PROVIDE THAT ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE >> ANOTHER INTERESTING QUESTION CAME IN FROM LINCOLN, AS WELL, TALKING ABOUT WHAT HABITS OR ROUTINES ARE SCHOOLS CURRENTLY DOING DUE TO COVID YOU THINK THEY’LL CONTINUE DOING AFTER COVID? >> YEAH, I ACTUALLY THINK SOME OF THE HABITS AND THINGS AND SOME OF THE INNOVATIONS THAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO MOVE A BIT MORE TOWARDS PERSONALIZED LEARNING I’VE BELIEVED THAT FOR A LONG TIME WE’VE WORKED ON DIGITAL RESOURCES AND MOVING DOWN THAT PARTICULAR PATH BUT WE SEE SCHOOLS THAT ARE EVEN IF THEY’RE STRUGGLING RIGHT NOW THAT MEANS THEY’RE STILL LEARNING AND GIVING US A CHANCE TO REALLY SHAPE THAT I THINK THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WE CAN SCALE UP AS A STATE I REALLY DO THINK THAT DIGITAL RESOURCES ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS WE CAN SCALE UP WE’RE USING DATA AND LIKE I MENTIONED, EVEN WITH ASSESSMENT, WE’LL BE DO THINGS DIFFERENT AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC, AND WE ACTUALLY CAN TAKE THOSE STEPS FORWARD IN THIS MOMENT IN TIME WHERE OTHERS MAYBE WOULD SAY, “WELL, WE DON’T WANT THAT CHANGE.” AND FOLKS ARE ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR THAT TYPE OF INNOVATION AND CHANGE RIGHT NOW >> GOVERNOR, WE HAVE A QUESTION CALLED INTO US FROM CONNIE WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET INTO LONG-TERM FACILITIES TO SEE OUR LOVED ONES? 7TH OF OCTOBER WILL BE SEVEN MONTHS SINCE I’VE SEEN MY SPOUSE SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT WINDOW VISITS AND FACE TIME IT’S NOT THE SAME IT FEELS LIKE I’M PAYING TO HAVE MY SPOUSE IN PRISON WHEN HE HAS NO RIGHTS AND FAMILIES HAVE NO RIGHTS EITHER WHY DO FACILITIES FOLLOW DIFFERENT CMS GUIDELINES AND DIFFERENT LOCAL INDICATORS? >> SO CONNIE FIRST OF ALL, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU’RE

COMING FROM, BECAUSE I GET FAMILIES WANT TO SEE LOVED ONES AND LOVED ONES WANT TO HAVE FAMILIES VISIT THE THING ABOUT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES IS THAT WHEN YOU’VE GOT THAT CONJUGATE LIVING, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE LIVING TOGETHER LIKE THAT, AND PEOPLE WHO ARE OLDER WITH THOSE POTENTIALLY UNDERLYING HEALTHCARE CONDITIONS, THAT IS GOING TO BE MOST VULNERABLE FOR EXAMPLE, YOU CAN LOOK AT STATES LIKE NEW JERSEY WHERE THEY HAD OVER 6,600 PEOPLE DIE IN THEIR LONG-TERM FACILITIES, AND HERE IN NEBRASKA, TRAGICALLY, WE’VE HAD ABOUT 199 PEOPLE DIE AND, OF COURSE, ALL THOSE FAMILIES GRIEVE THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE AND WE’RE TRYING TO PREVENT THAT NUMBER OF OURS FROM GROWING LIKE IT HAPPENED WHEN IT IMPACTED NEW JERSEY BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE EARLY ON AND AGAIN HAD LESS ABILITY TO COPE WITH IT SO, WE HAVE PUT PROTOCOLS IN PLACE TO ALLOW LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES TO ALLOW VISITORS YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE TO BE IN PHASE THREE OF OUR GUIDELINES THAT WE PUT OUT AND THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO HAVE FACILITIES TO ALLOW VISITORS TO COME IN NOW, IF THEY HAVE A RESIDENT OR A STAFF MEMBER TEST POSITIVE, THEY HAVE TO GO BACK TO SQUARE ONE AND START OVER AGAIN WITH REGARD TO ALLOWING VISITORS IN BUT WE DO ALLOW THAT ABILITY SO, YOU KNOW, I WOULD SUGGEST TO CONNIE MAYBE REACH OUT TO THE MANAGEMENT OF YOUR SPECIFIC FACILITY AND FIND OUT WHERE THEY ARE BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IS POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO GO VISIT, BUT AGAIN, THEY’VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE DOING THE PROPER TESTING AND THEY HAVEN’T HAD ANYBODY TEST POSITIVE AND SO FORTH TO BE ABLE TO ALLOW THOSE VISITS AND AGAIN, WE JUST WANT TO BE SUPER CAREFUL WITH THIS POPULATION BECAUSE WE KNOW THEY ARE SO VULNERABLE AND THAT IT CAN BE DEVASTATING IF THE VIRUS GETS LOOSE IN ONE OF THOSE FACILITIES SO WE ARE TAKING EXTRA PRECAUTIONS AND WE KNOW IT’S TOUGH ON THE FAMILIES TRUST ME, WE HEAR ABOUT THIS EVERY DAY AND WE’RE JUST DOING THE BEST WE CAN I KNOW THOSE FACILITIES ARE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN TO TRY AND REALLY BALANCE OFF NOT JUST PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS BUT ALL THE OTHER SORT OF HEALTH NEEDS THAT GO ALONG WITH THE RESIDENTS IN FACT, THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, BACK IN JULY WE ASKED ALL THE LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES TO GIVE US THEIR PLAN FOR NOT ONLY HOW THEIR GOING TO MANAGE COVID BUT ALSO MENTAL HEALTH AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT GO ALONG WITH THE WELL-BEING OF THE RESIDENTS >> AND DR. GOLD I WANT TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON THIS, AS WELL BECAUSE THE POPULATION OF THESE LONG-TERM FACILITIES, JUST A SMALL PART OF THE OVERALL U.S POPULATION, BUT THEY’RE ACCOUNTING FOR OVER 40% OF THE DEATHS FROM COVID AND UNMC HAS BEEN VERY INVOLVED IN WORKING WITH NURSING HOMES ACROSS THE STATE WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE IN TRYING TO BALANCE THE SAFETY ISSUES BUT ALSO WE KNOW ABOUT THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF ISOLATION, AS WELL HOW DO YOU BALANCE THAT? >> THERE IS NO QUESTION, AND THE MED CENTER IS REALLY PROUD TO NOT ONLY DO SITE VISITS TO LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES BUT TO FOOD PROCESSING PLANTS, YOU KNOW, AS COMMISSIONER BLOMSTEDT SAID, WHERE THE MED CENTER HAS REACHED OUT TO COUNTLESS SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE THAT HAVE ASKED FOR GUIDANCE OUR ADVICE IS TO TAKE A BALANCED APPROACH AS BEST AS POSSIBLE WE’VE LEARNED FROM OUR GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRIST, THE MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS THAT DEAL WITH INDIVIDUALS IN THESE FACILITIES THAT HAVING A STRUCTURED DAY WITH ACTIVITY, MAKING SURE WE USE ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY AS BEST AS POSSIBLE, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I’VE SEEN THAT TO BE REALLY EFFECTIVE IS SOMETIMES YOU CAN VISIT OUTDOORS AND BECAUSE WHEN YOU’RE IN THE FRESH AIR, AND IT’S EASIER, TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS, AND SO THAT’S A PRELIMINARY STEP THAT IS BEING USED WIDELY ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND IT SEEMS TO BE SAFE AND SO I — YOU KNOW I SEE THIS AS A SET OF STAGED STEPS MOVING FORWARD BUT THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT THE BALANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH, AND THAT’S TRUE IN THE K-12 SCHOOLS AS MUCH AS IT IS FRANKLY, IN OUR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES AND IN OUR NURSING HOMES IT’S CERTAINLY TRUE IN THE HEALTHCARE BUSINESS THAT WE’RE IN I MEAN, WE HAVE A LOT OF BURNT OUT PEOPLE THAT ARE WORKING HARD, LONG HOURS, AND THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR MORE THAN HALF A YEAR NOW AND SO, WE GOT TO STAY FOCUSED ON THE LONG-TERM GOALS HERE WE’VE OBVIOUSLY GOT TO GET A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE VACCINE AVAILABLE AND THEN GET IT DEPLOYED AND THEN GET OUR LIFE BACK TO NORMAL >> IF I COULD JUMP ON THAT A LITTLE BIT, TOO BECAUSE ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS I THINK HAS BEEN HELPFUL FOR US IN NEBRASKA IS THAT FOUR YEARS AGO THE STATE GOT A GRANT FROM CDC AND WE WORKED WITH UNMC TO CREATE THE ICAP PROGRAM, THE INFECTION CONTROL AND ASSESSMENT AND PROMOTION PROGRAM, BASICALLY LONG BEFORE THE PANDEMIC TO HAVE FOLKS FROM THE UNMC PUT TOGETHER A PROGRAM TO TEACH LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES HOW TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF INFECTIONS AND I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS REALLY BEEN HELPFUL HERE AND, OF COURSE, UNMC CONTINUES TO DO THAT AS DR GOLD WAS TALKING ABOUT WITH ON-SITE VISITS TO DO MORE TRAINING, WEBINARS, ALL THAT SORT OF THING HAS BEEN REALLY HELPFUL I THINK FOR US TO BE ABLE TO HELP MAKE SURE THE STAFFS ARE APPROPRIATELY TRAINED, TO BE ABLE TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF INFECTIONS IN THOSE FACILITIES >> AND GUIDES — YOU KNOW, WE’VE ISSUED GUIDEBOOKS FOR EVERYTHING FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD TO K-12, TO UNIVERSITIES, TO MEAT PROCESSING, THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, ON AND ON AND SO IT’S BEEN A REAL PLEASURE AND REAL HONOR TO BE ABLE TO HELP AND THAT IS TRANSLATED INTO SOME

OF THE LOWEST MORTALITY RATES, FRANKLY, IN THE COUNTRY, HERE IN NEBRASKA WE’RE VERY PROUD OF THAT >> WE WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY YOU’RE WATCHING A SPECIAL EPISODE OF “SPEAKING OF NEBRASKA” WITH GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS AND DR. JEFFREY GOLD OF UNMC AT NEBRASKA AND COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION MATT BLOMSTEDT GIVE US A CALL THE NUMBER IS 800-676-5446 OR YOU CAN ALSO CALL 402-472-1212 WITH YOUR QUESTION YOU CAN ALSO SEND US AN E-MAIL [email protected] YOU CAN SEND YOUR QUESTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, AS WELL, FIND US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AT NET NEWS NEBRASKA MORE THAN 460,000 PEOPLE IN NEBRASKA HAVE TESTED — HAVE BEEN TESTED, I SHOULD SAY, MANY THROUGH THE STATE’S TEST NEBRASKA INITIATIVE THE $27 MILLION CONTRACT WITH SEVERAL PRIVATE COMPANIES WAS THE STATE’S EFFORT TO QUICKLY SCALE UP COVID-19 TESTING DANA IN SEWARD SENT US A QUESTION ABOUT TEST NEBRASKA >> GOVERNOR RICKETTS, I’M DANA FROM SEWARD YOU TOUT TEST NEBRASKA IS THE BEST WAY TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, SLOW THE SPREAD, AND GET TEST RESULTS MY SON HAS BEEN WAITING OVER A WEEK NOW FOR HIS RESULTS AND THEY HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN PROCESSED THEY’RE STILL SITTING IN A LAB HE’S MISSED AP CLASSES, HE’S MISSED TWO CROSS-COUNTRY MEETS HE’S A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL AND WE’RE STILL WAITING FOR TEST NEBRASKA TO DO ITS JOB THIS IS A FAILED PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP WHERE THE PUBLIC HAS THROWN MONEY, THAT’S US, WE’RE THE PUBLIC, WE PAY THE BILLS, TO A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION THAT IS NOT DOING ITS JOB GOVERNOR RICKETTS, HOW WILL YOU FIX THIS AND LET US KNOW THAT THIS IS ACTUALLY IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF OUR STATE AND ITS RESIDENTS? THANK YOU >> GOVERNOR, WE SHOULD POINT OUT THAT THE AVERAGE TURNAROUND TIME FOR TEST NEBRASKA RESULTS OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS IS ABOUT 3 1/2 DAYS IS THAT GOOD ENOUGH? >> WELL, CERTAINLY WE WANT IT TO BE FASTER AND DANA HAS A GREAT POINT WE UNDERSTAND HOW FRUSTRATING IT IS WHEN YOU’RE WAITING FOR THOSE TEST RESULTS BACK THAT WE REALLY WANT TO TURN AROUND IN 72 HOURS OR LESS AND HE’S WAITING FOR OVER A WEEK I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND HIS FRUSTRATION AND WE HAVE BEEN WORKING TO BE ABLE TO REDUCE THAT TURNAROUND TIME IN FACT, YESTERDAY I THINK WE HAD A TURNAROUND TIME LESS THAN HOURS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING IS WE’VE BEEN ADDING ADDITIONAL STAFF, WE’VE BEEN BUYING ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT, WE’VE ACTUALLY BEEN GOING OUT AND STARTING TO HIRE STAFF OVER AND ABOVE WHAT WE NEED TO RUN THE LAB 24 HOURS IN CASE WE HAVE SOMEBODY COME DOWN SICK THEY CAN’T MAKE IT IN FOR WHATEVER REASON, SO THAT WE NEVER RUN SHORT OF THOSE STAFFING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE WE CAN KEEP PROCESSING IT THROUGH THERE IS OTHER THINGS WITH WE KNOW WE CAN DO BETTER WE DO A LOT OF TESTING FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES WHEN THEY COME UP WITH A TEST POSITIVE AND SO WE MAY GET A BIG SLUG OF TESTS COMING ALL AT ONCE WHICH CAN POTENTIALLY SLOW DOWN THE LAB SO WE’RE WORKING TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT BETTER PROCESSES FOR THAT, AS WELL DANA IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, IT SHOULDN’T TAKE A WEEK TO BE ABLE TO GET THOSE RESULTS BACK WE WANT TO TURN THEM AROUND WITHIN THAT THREE DAYTIME FRAME IN FACT, WE WANT TO TURN IT AROUND FASTER THAN THAT IF YOU LOOK AT THE OVERALL TIMEFRAME FOR TEST NEBRASKA FROM THE START OF IT, THE TURNAROUND TIME IS ABOUT LITTLE OVER 2 1/2 DAYS TO BE ABLE TO GET THAT DONE SO, WE ABSOLUTELY HEAR WHAT DANA IS SAYING WE’RE WORKING TO GET THAT TURN AROUND SO WE CAN DO A BETTER JOB OF GETTING THAT TURNED AROUND, BUT I WOULD ALSO POINT OUT THAT IF IT WASN’T FOR TEST NEBRASKA, WE WOULD BE DOING HALF NUMBER OF TESTS WE’RE DOING TODAY TEST NEBRASKA HAS ALLOWED US TO REALLY DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF TESTING THAT WE’RE DOING TODAY AND GET TO THE POINT WHERE WE’RE DOING SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF TESTING THAT THE FOLKS AT — PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS AND UNMC TOLD US WE NEEDED TO BE DOING BACK WHEN THE PANDEMIC STARTED, THEY SAID NEED TO BE ABOUT 3,000 TESTS PER DAY, AND SO WE ARE NOW REGULARLY EXCEEDING THAT NUMBER OF TESTS PER DAY, EVEN WITH JUST TEST NEBRASKA THE FINAL POINT I’LL MAKE IS OTHER LABS HAVE HAD THE SAME SORT OF ISSUES, RIGHT? SO WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL LABS, WE HAD SOME COMMERCIAL LABS WHO HAD TESTS THAT WERE TAKEN 18 DAYS TO GET TURNED AROUND AND THAT IS CLEARLY — AT THAT POINT THE TEST IS USELESS SO WE REACHED OUT TO THOSE LABS TO ASK THEM TO IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCE AND THEY HAVE WE JUST HAD THE ISSUE WITH UNMC, AND NPHL, OUR NEBRASKA PUBLIC HEALTH LAB THIS WEEK, WASN’T TEST-RELATED, IT WAS TECHNOLOGY-RELATED, BUT THOSE KIND OF THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN AND WE JUST GOT TO WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THIS AGAIN, THIS IS NEW FOR EVERYBODY SO WHEN WE FIND A PROBLEM WE GOT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT DO WE DO TO FIX THE PROBLEM AND MITIGATE THAT SO THAT IT DOESN’T BECOME THAT KIND OF RISK IN THE FUTURE >> SPEAKING OF TESTING, PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO DISTRIBUTE MILLIONS OF RAPID CORONAVIRUS TESTS TO STATES THIS WEEK HE WANTS THE GOVERNORS TO USE THEM TO REOPEN K-12 SCHOOLS COMPLETELY DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TESTS NEBRASKA IS GOING TO GET? AND AS THE GOVERNOR, HOW YOU GOING TO USE THE TESTS? ARE THEY GOING TO GO TO SCHOOLS? >> WE’RE LOOKING AT THAT RIGHT NOW WE EXPECT THAT WE’LL GET ABOUT 580,000 OF THOSE TESTS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR AND TO PUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE IF YOU LOOK AT HOW MANY TESTS — YOU MENTIONED 400 SOME THOUSAND NEBRASKANS BEEN TESTED IF YOU LOOK AT OVERALL TESTS

IT’S MORE LIKE 625,000-630,000 TESTS WE’VE DONE SO IF YOU PUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE OF OVER SIX MONTHS WE’VE DONE OVER 600,000 TESTS AND NOW WE’RE GOING TO GET ALMOST ANOTHER 600,000 TESTS IN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS, YOU SEE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT MORE TESTING CAPACITY BECAUSE OF THESE ABBOTT BY NEXT NOW TESTS THAT WE’RE GOING TO GET ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THEY’RE NOT AS ACCURATE SO THEY’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE SAME ACCURACY AS THE POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION MACHINES THAT WE’RE DOING RIGHT NOW, SAY THROUGH TEST NEBRASKA THOSE ARE KIND OF THE GOLD STANDARD OF HOW YOU DO THIS CORONAVIRUS TESTING BUT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A USE FOR US AND WE ARE THINKING RIGHT NOW GIVEN THE LIMITATIONS OF THE TEST FROM THE STANDPOINT OF NOT QUITE AS ACCURATE BUT THEY’RE A LOT FASTER, YOU CAN GET THE RESULTS BACK IN 15 MINUTES, SO HOW DO WE BEST LEVERAGE THAT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE USING IT IN A WAY THAT IS GOING TO ALLOW US TO CATCH WHETHER MAYBE IT SPREADS TO THE VIRUS AND SO FORTH? WE’RE THINKING ABOUT THOSE EXACT SCENARIOS RIGHT NOW AND I WOULD SAY JUST STAY TUNED BECAUSE WE’RE NOT READY TO ANNOUNCE HOW WE’RE GOING TO DEPLOY THEM YET BUT WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ABLE TO LEVERAGE THOSE, TO BE ABLE TO DO, AGAIN, MORE AROUND TRYING TO CATCH THE VIRUS AND NIP THOSE SPREADING EVENTS IN THE BUD SO THEY DON’T GET OUT OF CONTROL >> NOT COMMITTING TO SENDING THEM TO SCHOOLS JUST YET >> IT’S ONE OF THE OPTIONS WE’RE LOOKING AT TO TRY AND FIGURE OUT WHAT’S GOING TO BE THE BEST OPTION >> OKAY DR. GOLD, TALK ABOUT THE ACCURACY THAT THE GOVERNOR TOUCHED ON OF THESE RAPID TESTS WE’RE HEARING ABOUT IT FROM THESE TESTS FROM THE PRESIDENT WE ARE ALSO HEARING ABOUT IT WHEN IT COMES TO BIG TEN FOOTBALL AND FOOTBALL TEAMS USING THOSE ARE THEY ACCURATE? ARE THEY THE ANSWER? >> SO, THEY’RE DIFFERENT TYPES OF POINT OF CARE TESTS SO THE POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION, OR THE PCR TEST THAT THE GOVERNOR JUST RELATED TO IS THE STANDARD IT’S GOT HIGH 90% SPECIFICITY AND SENSITIVITY IT IS THE BASIC TEST THAT WE USE THAT’S THE NASAL SWAB THAT EVERYBODY SEES PICTURES OF BUT WE’VE PROBABLY READ ABOUT BOTH SALIVA TESTS AND WHAT WE NOW CALL THESE ANTIGEN TESTS THE SALIVA TESTS WHICH HAVE BEEN POPULARIZED BY THE NBA AND ARE QUITE SUCCESSFUL THERE ARE SCREENING TESTS THEY’RE A BUILT-IN COLLABORATION WITH YALE UNIVERSITY INITIALLY AND I’M PROUD TO SAY THAT THE MED CENTER IS ALSO WORKING ON A NEW VARIETY OF THAT THAT HOPEFULLY WILL ROLL OUT IN THE NOT SO DISTANT FUTURE, AS WELL BECAUSE IT’S A LOT EASIER TO COLLECT SALIVA, BUT THAT IS ALSO A POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION TEST, HIGH VOLUME THROUGH PUT, DONE IN LABORATORY IT’S NOT REALLY A POINT OF CARE TEST THE ANTIGEN TESTS, HOWEVER, THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT THEY ARE NOT POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION TESTS AND THEY ARE VERY MUCH LIKE AN EARLY HOME PREGNANCY TEST OR STREPTEX OR SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES WHERE YOU’LL DO A LITTLE BIT OF NASAL SWAB, YOU’LL DROP IT IN SOME FLUID AND THEN YOU’LL PUT IT ON A CARD, AND THEN IT WILL EITHER TURN RED, YOU’VE GOT ANTIGENS OR YOU DON’T SO FROM A SPECIFICITY POINT OF VIEW, THAT IS TO SAY, IS IT THE ACCURATE COVID-19 VIRUS CAUSING AGENT SARS-COV-2 IS THE NAME OF THE VIRUS, IT’S PRETTY ACCURATE BUT FROM A SENSITIVITY PERSPECTIVE IT’S GOING TO MISS ABOUT, OH, DEPENDING ON THE TEST, ANYWHERE BETWEEN 15-25% OF THE PATIENTS WHO ACTUALLY CARRY SOME LEVELS OF VIRUS BUT THE QUESTION IS, IS THAT FOR INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE CARRYING REALLY LOW LEVELS OF VIRUS, ARE THEY ACTUALLY CONTAGIOUS? I MEAN, IT MAY BE YOU NEED A CERTAIN LEVEL IN ORDER TO REALLY SPREAD THE VIRUS TO OTHER PEOPLE SO I THINK AS THE GOVERNOR SAID, THE TWO TESTS ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE, THE PCR AND THE RAPID POINT OF CARE ANTIGEN TEST SO I SEE THE ANTIGEN TEST MORE LIKE A SCREENING TEST, HIGH VOLUME, HIGH THROUGH PUT, THINK ATHLETICS, THINK WEDDINGS, THINK CHURCH CEREMONIES AND THINGS ALONG THOSE LINES WHEREAS ANYBODY THAT TESTS POSITIVE WOULD HAVE TO BE VALIDATED WITH A PCR TEST, JUST TO BE VERY, VERY SURE THAT ONE IT’S SARS-COV-2 AND SECONDLY, THAT YOU CAN MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS FOR RAPID SCREENING, IT’S GOING TO BE VERY, VERY HARD TO USE TRADITIONAL PCR TESTS AND FRANKLY, THE VOLUME WOULD BECOME ALMOST UNDOABLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY SO I SEE THIS AS A BLEND OF THE TWO AND, OF COURSE, THE ANTIGEN TESTS COST A FRACTION OF WHAT THE PCR TEST COSTS AND COST EFFICIENCY IS GOING TO BE REALLY IMPORTANT IF WE’RE GOING TO GET THIS OUT TO THE POINT THAT PEOPLE ARE SELF TESTING IN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES AND OTHER PLACES >> COMMISSIONER BLOMSTEDT, I WANT TO GO BACK TO A TOPIC THAT YOU ALREADY TOUCHED ON EARLY IN THE PROGRAM BUT MAYBE WE CAN TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT IT WE’VE RECEIVED QUESTIONS FROM SEVERAL TEACHERS CONCERNED ABOUT THE WORKLOAD THAT THE SCHOOL — NOW THAT THE SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION HERE IS A VIDEO QUESTION FROM JOANNE >> MY NAME IS JOANNE CATLETT I AM FROM LINCOLN, NEBRASKA HERE IS MY QUESTION TEACHERS NEED ACCREDITATION HOURS TO BE MODIFIED DURING THIS PANDEMIC TEACHERS NEED TIME TO PLAN, GRADE, PREP FOR ALL LEARNERS IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM

TWO JOBS WRAPPED INTO ONE WILL YOU BE ABLE TO HELP SUPPORT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF TEACHERS BY ALLOWING THEM TO BE PREPARED TO PROVIDE THE BEST EDUCATION THEY CAN FOR FOUR DAYS OF THE WEEK? AND GIVE THEM ONE DAY TO DO THE NECESSARY WORK TO BE PREPARED TO PROVIDE THE BEST EDUCATION THE NEXT FOUR DAYS OF SCHOOL? TEACHERS CANNOT PROVIDE THE BEST EDUCATION WITHOUT TIME TO PREPARE WE ARE DROWNING OUR HEALTH WILL BEGIN TO DETERIORATE BEFORE LONG >> SO, WE’VE GOT SEVERAL QUESTIONS KATHY IN OMAHA, ELIZABETH IN LINCOLN BOTH ASKED ABOUT THE SAME QUESTION I THINK THERE IS A COUPLE QUESTIONS HERE ONE IS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A FOUR-DAY WEEK FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING AND THE OTHER ONE IS JUST ABOUT THE OVERALL STRESS THAT TEACHERS ARE UNDER AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO HELP THEM? >> YEAH, AND AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, AS I’VE TALKED TO THE TEACHERS IN THIS ADVISORY GROUP THAT I’VE HAD, I CAN SEE THE STRESS IT WAS LIKE, EARLY ON AND I COULD TELL THAT WAS REALLY A CHALLENGE AND I HAVE A SUPERINTENDENTS ADVISORY GROUP AS WELL THAT INCLUDES LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLS FROM ALL OVER THE STATE AND WE’VE HAD THE DIALOGUE GOING HOW CAN WE HELP BALANCE THE WORKLOAD THAT TEACHERS ARE EXPERIENCING AND SO WE’VE NOT TALKED ABOUT ONE DAY A WEEK OR GOING TO A FOUR-DAY SCHOOL WEEK, BUT ACTUALLY WHAT I’VE BEEN PROPOSING IS ACTUALLY A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF INSTRUCTIONAL HOURS THAT HAVE TO BE OFFERED BECAUSE WE’RE RECOGNIZING THAT STRESS I’D PREFER HIGH QUALITY INSTRUCTION THAT TEACHERS AREN’T OVERWHELMED, THAT STUDENTS AREN’T OVERWHELMED, THAT WE CAN BALANCE THOSE THINGS OUT SO REALLY, AS WE ENTER THE SECOND QUARTER, AND IT’S AMAZING WE’RE IN — COMPLETING OUR FIRST QUARTER OF SCHOOL, AS WE ENTER THAT SECOND QUARTER, I WANT TO SEE MORE FLEXIBILITY FOR TEACHERS TO BE ABLE TO BALANCE THAT WORKLOAD I ALSO THINK SCHOOLS WILL GET BETTER AT REMOTE LEARNING WE HAVE SOME SCHOOLS THAT ACTUALLY HAVE DEDICATED REMOTE LEARNING TEACHERS, SO THEY’RE NOT HAVING TO DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME AND I THINK FINDING SOME WAYS TO DO THAT WILL BE IMPORTANT I KNOW SCHOOLS HAVE ACTUALLY REALLY WANTED TO GET THEIR STUDENTS IN SCHOOL, BECAUSE THAT HELPS TO BALANCE SOME OF THAT, AS WELL I KNOW IN MANY PLACES WHERE THEY’VE — THEY’RE TRYING TO DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME THAT IS A REAL CHALLENGE FOR TEACHERS ACTUALLY, HERE’S THE STRESS, AT LEAST WHAT I’VE HEARD FROM TEACHERS THEIR STRESS IS YES, CERTAINLY ABOUT THEM, BUT ALSO ABOUT THEIR CONCERN OF REACHING EACH ONE OF THOSE LEARNERS AND SO I THINK AGAIN, FINDING TIME TO DO THAT, THAT IS ONE THING AND I’LL BE ISSUING COMMISSIONER’S GUIDANCE THAT ACTUALLY ALLOWS SCHOOLS TO USE INSTRUCTIONAL HOURS DIFFERENTLY TO PROVIDE SOME OF THAT — SOME OF THAT TIME WE’LL BE OFFERING FLEXIBILITIES AND CONTINUE TO DO THAT AND THEN CONTINUING TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE ON THAT REMOTE LEARNING TO HELP BALANCE THOSE TEACHER’S BURDENS THEY MAY HAVE IN THE CLASSROOM >> IF YOU REDUCE THE INSTRUCTION HOURS, DOES THAT MEAN THE SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO STAY OPEN LONGER? >> NO, ACTUALLY WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WHOLE YEAR, ODDLY ENOUGH NEBRASKA HAS A LAW ON THE BOOKS THAT ACTUALLY GOES BACK TO 1918 THAT ALLOWS FOR FLEXIBILITY AROUND PANDEMICS OF ALL THINGS AND EPIDEMICS WE HAVE BEEN USING THAT FOR FLEXIBILITY, TALKING TO OUR SCHOOLS WE WANT THEM IN SCHOOL WE WANT THEM IN SCHOOL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BUT WE KNOW THAT THERE’S GOING TO BE THESE TYPES OF DISRUPTIONS I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE DO THE BEST THAT WE CAN IN THESE MOMENTS IN TIME, AND PART OF THAT IS TAKING A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO REGROUP, UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING TO WORK BEST, AND MOVE US FORWARD AS A STATE BUT ALSO AT AN INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL LEVEL AND IT BOTHERS ME THAT TEACHERS ARE SO STRESSED AND SO I WANT TO KEEP THAT MESSAGE OUT THERE WE’RE LOOKING FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS, AND I KNOW SCHOOL LEADERS AND SCHOOL BOARDS ACROSS THE STATE ARE DOING THE SAME >> GOT A QUESTION FROM ANN IN LINCOLN SHE’S UPSET ABOUT THE 3-2 PLAN IN LINCOLN WITH THE HIGH SCHOOL KIDS GOING BACK TO OVERCROWDED SCHOOLS SHE SAID, “AS LINCOLN’S COVID NUMBERS ARE RISING, THE STATE’S COVID NUMBERS ARE RISING, AS WELL LINCOLN’S ICUS ARE CLOSER TO GETTING TO CAPACITY.” SHE ASKED, “GOVERNOR RICKETTS, ARE YOU PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE DISTRICTS TO OPEN UP NO MATTER WHAT OR THREATENING TO PULL ANY KIND OF FUNDING OR RESOURCES?” >> NO, AS WE’VE TALKED ABOUT, WE’VE REALLY LET THE SCHOOLS DETERMINE HOW THEY WANT TO GO ABOUT DOING THE EDUCATION PROGRAM YOU KNOW, MR. BLOMSTEDT ACTUALLY DOESN’T REPORT TO ME HE REPORTS TO HIS OWN ELECTED STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND SO WE HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING WITH REGARD TO PUTTING PRESSURE ON SCHOOLS TO REOPEN AND FRANKLY, WE’VE HAD A GREAT WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH REGARD TO HOW WE GO ABOUT APPROACHING THIS WE’VE HAD A LOT OF COMMUNICATION ABOUT WHAT THE BEST THING IS AND FRANKLY, THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS WE’RE ALL LEARNING AS YOU MENTIONED COMMISSIONER, WE’RE LEARNING OUR WAY THROUGH THIS AT THE SAME TIME THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE ONE RIGHT ANSWER FOR EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT O.P.S. IS JUST NOW STARTING TO MAKE THE PREPARATION TO HAVE KIDS IN THE CLASSROOM I KNOW DR. LOPEZ IS DOING THE BEST JOB SHE CAN SHE KNOWS THAT KIDS ARE GOING TO LEARN BEST IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT SHE’S ALSO GOT TO MAKE SURE SHE IS BALANCING ALL THAT OFF, AS WELL I THINK EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS TO MAKE THAT DECISION I KNOW THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE CREATED THOSE INDIVIDUALIZED PLANS THAT MAKE SENSE FOR THEIR PARTICULAR SCHOOL DISTRICT >> CAN I ADD JUST QUICKLY, AND I REALLY HAVE APPRECIATED THE

WORKING RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAD THERE HAS NOT BEEN PRESSURE IT’S ACTUALLY BEEN ABOUT THE LOCAL SCHOOLS FIGURING THIS OUT HERE IS THE REALITY NO ONE HAD EXPERIENCED THIS BEFORE WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW SAFE THESE ENVIRONMENTS COULD BE OUR DATA IS ACTUALLY STARTING TO SHOW THAT WITH ALL THE OTHER PROPER PRECAUTIONS, MASKS, SOCIAL DISTANCING, THOUGHTFULNESS ABOUT HOW STUDENTS MOVE WITHIN CLASSROOMS, HOW THEY’RE POSITIONED, THINGS THAT WE’RE DOING IN CAFETERIAS AND LUNCHROOMS, SOME OF THAT BASED ON HELP FROM UNMC AND PROVIDING GUIDANCE ON THOSE FRONTS, HAS COME TOGETHER INTO A PRETTY WORKABLE SOLUTION AND SO, AS SCHOOLS DO COME BACK TO FULLER OR MORE FULL CAPACITY, WE ACTUALLY HAVE A PRETTY GOOD GRASP OF WHAT PROTOCOLS ARE NECESSARY TO KEEP THEM SAFE AND WE KEEP WATCHING THAT DATA, TOO IF WE SEE SOMETHING IS NOT WORKING WE’LL MAKE CHANGES BUT RIGHT NOW, WE’RE SEEING REALLY GOOD SUCCESS ACROSS THE STATE >> I WAS GOING TO SAY YOU PUT OUT A REPORT ON THIS SO TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS >> SO I JUST WANT TO UNDERSCORE WHAT THE COMMISSIONER SAID, IS THAT EVEN WHEN WE SEE CASES IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE TRANSITION WHEN YOU DO CONTACT TRACING IS FROM THE COMMUNITY IT IS NOT SPREAD IN THE CLASSROOMS, AND THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL IT’S NOT SPREAD IN THE TEACHING LABS IT’S NOT SPREAD IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS OR THE DORMS IT IS FROM COMMUNITY SPREAD, AND SO THE MESSAGE THAT WE TRY TO SEND TO THE KIDS IS THAT IT’S NOT JUST WHEN YOU’RE ON CAMPUS OR IN SCHOOL THAT YOU HAVE TO BE SAFE, BUT IT’S WHEN YOU’RE HOME, WHEN YOU’RE HAVING SOCIAL GATHERINGS ON THE WEEKENDS, ET CETERA AND WE CONTINUE TO STUDY THIS AND I WOULD ALSO ADD, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE METRICS WE LOOK AT VERY CAREFULLY IS THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES PER DAY, PER MILLION POPULATION IT’S JUST A WAY OF LOOKING ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND SORT OF STANDARDIZED WAY THERE ARE PARTS OF NEBRASKA — THE U.S. AVERAGE AS OF THIS MORNING IS ABOUT 150-155 CASES PER MILLION PER DAY WE HAVE PARTS OF NEBRASKA THAT ARE 35 CASES PER MILLION PER DAY WE HAVE PARTS OF NEBRASKA THAT ARE 300 CASES PER MILLION PER DAY THE DECISIONS AS TO THE SAFETY OF THE SCHOOLS, YOU KNOW, GOING TO CHURCH, SOCIAL EVENTS, ET CETERA, HAVE TO BE WEIGHED AGAINST WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND THAT’S CRITICALLY IMPORTANT AND THAT’S WHY GIVING THE SCHOOL SYSTEMS AND THE LOCAL DISTRICTS THE CAPABILITY TO ADJUST REAL TIME AS TO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO, I THINK IS A VERY — YOU WANT TO GIVE THEM THE TOOLS, BUT YOU WANT TO GIVE THEM THE FLEXIBILITY TO DO IT THEIR WAY, AS WELL >> DR. GOLD, AL FROM LINCOLN SAYS, “NOW THAT HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE UP SHARPLY, IS IT TIME TO PUT A HOLD ON ELECTIVE SURGERIES AGAIN?” >> JUST TO UNDERSCORE WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID THERE IS PLENTY OF HOSPITAL BED INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AND VENTILATOR CAPACITY IN THE STATE OF NEBRASKA THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT WE ALL TRACK THIS LITERALLY ON A DAILY BASIS AS THE GOVERNOR KNOWS >> YES, I DO >> BUT WE — AND WE LOOK AT IT AGAIN NOT JUST STATEWIDE, AND NOT JUST INTO THE LOCAL HEALTHCARE COLLABORATIVE DISTRICTS, WE LOOK AT EVERY SINGLE COUNTY AND EVERY SINGLE PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT EVERY SINGLE DAY AND GIVE THEM THE DATA THAT THEY ARE PROBABLY WELL AWARE OF I CAN’T — AS I SIT HERE I CAN’T TELL YOU WE’LL NOT REACH THE TIME THAT IN ONE PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT OR IN ONE HOSPITAL SYSTEM THAT WILL BE THE CASE, BUT RIGHT NOW, THERE IS PLENTY OF CAPACITY ACROSS THE STATE AND YOU KNOW, TO THE QUESTIONERS POINT, IT IS UP THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT IT’S UP BUT WE’RE GOING TO SEE THAT PARTICULARLY AS WE GET INTO FLU SEASON AND, BY THE WAY, EVERYBODY OUGHT TO GET THEIR FLU VACCINE, IF I DON’T GET A CHANCE TO SAY THAT AGAIN, BUT PLEASE DO AS WE GET IN THE FALL SEASON, IT STARTS TO GET COLDER, PEOPLE ARE CONCENTRATING MORE INDOORS, YOU KNOW, WE GOT TO BE EXTRA VIGILANT ABOUT IT AND I THINK WE ARE GOING TO SEE AN UPTICK AND WE’RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT AND MONITOR THE DATA CAREFULLY AND MAKE REAL TIME DECISIONS AND I KNOW WE TALK A LOT, AND WE ARE MAKING REAL TIME DECISIONS >> GOVERNOR RICKETTS, MAGGIE FROM LINCOLN CALLS IN AND SAYS, “WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS DURING THIS PANDEMIC AND ECONOMIC CRISIS? LITTLE HAS BEEN DONE SO FAR EVERYONE IS STILL HURTING IMMENSELY.” >> AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES AROUND SAY HOSPITALITY OR BARS AND RESTAURANTS, WE KNOW THERE ARE PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES THAT HAVE BEEN MORE IMPACTED THAN OTHERS AND THIS IS PART OF WHAT WE DID WITH OUR $330 MILLION THAT WE SET ASIDE DIRECTLY FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS WHERE WE HAD THE $12,000 GRANT WE’RE WORKING OUR WAY THROUGH THAT PROGRAM AND THEN OF COURSE, WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO LOOK AT WHAT OUR OPTIONS ARE FOR OTHER INDUSTRIES THAT MIGHT NEED MORE ATTENTION AND SO WE’RE WORKING ON SOME ADDITIONAL PLANS FOR THAT BUT WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS HURTING AND WE KNOW THAT WE’VE GOT TO KEEP AN EYE ON SOME OF THOSE SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES THAT I JUST MENTIONED WE’RE WORKING ON SOME PLANS FOR THAT WE’RE NOT READY TO MENTION ANYTHING, ANY SPECIFICS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE’RE STILL WORKING THROUGH THE PLANS, BUT WE’RE AWARE AND WE’RE CONTINUING TO LOOK AT WHAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO

DO >> ALSO WHAT ABOUT THE VIRUS AFFECTING STAFFING AND CORRECTIONS? AN INMATE WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 HAS DIED WHAT’S THE SITUATION LIKE IN THE LARGER FACILITIES AND ARE YOU CONSIDERING ANY CHANGING TO TESTING PROTOCOLS FOR PRISONS? >> SO WITH REGARD TO THAT, WE OFFER OUR INMATES THE SAME SORT OF FACILITY TO GET TESTED AS ANYBODY ELSE SO ANYBODY IN OUR CORRECTIONS SYSTEM CAN GET TESTED ANYTIME THEY WANT AND ACTUALLY ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WE’RE RUNNING INTO SOME OF OUR INMATES DON’T WANT TO GET TESTED WE CAN’T FORCE THEM TO GET TESTED SO WITH REGARD TO OUR STAFFING, DIRECTOR FRAKES HAS HAD A PLAN IN PLACE FOR HOW TO HANDLE THESE TYPES OF EMERGENCIES HE HAD IT YEARS BEFORE WE EVEN HIT THIS PANDEMIC AND SO HE’S WORKING THAT PLAN WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MAKE SURE WE’RE DOING THE BEST JOB WE CAN SOMETIMES IT REQUIRES TO TAKE STEPS THAT WE KNOW HAS AN IMPACT ON THE INMATES FOR EXAMPLE, NOT ALLOWING FAMILY VISITS WE KNOW THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS A CHALLENGE FOR THE FAMILIES AND FOR THE INMATES AND SOMETIMES IT’S JUST LIKE WITH LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES IT’S NECESSARY BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT THAT CONGREGATE LIVING AN WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING AT IF WE HAVE TO TWEAK A PLAN A LITTLE BIT, WE’LL DO IT I HAVE REGULAR CONVERSATIONS WITH DIRECTOR FRAKES ON HOW THINGS ARE GOING, JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO MANAGE THE VIRUS TO KEEP THE INMATES HEALTHY AS WE CAN >> YVONNE IN LINCOLN SAYS, “NEBRASKA IS NEARLY SURROUNDED BY STATES IN THE RED ZONE WHAT MEASURES WILL YOU TAKE TO KEEP NEBRASKANS SAFE AND WHY DO YOU CHALLENGE KNOWLEDGE ON MASK MANDATES?” >> GETTING TO DR. GOLD’S POINT, WE KNOW MASKS WORK, RIGHT? SO PEOPLE SHOULD WEAR MASKS IT’S ONE OF THE TOOLS WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS SO IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE INDOORS WITH POOR VENTILATION, CLOSER THAN SIX FEET, YOU OUGHT TO BE WEARING A MASK IT’S NOT THE ONLY TOOL WE HAVE THERE’S OTHER TOOLS WE HAVE LIKE TRYING TO KEEP THAT SIX-FOOT OF DISTANCE, WASHING YOUR HANDS OFTEN, AND SO FORTH WHAT I’M OPPOSED TO IS THE MANDATE I BELIEVE WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE DOING IS EDUCATING PEOPLE ON WHAT ARE THE APPROPRIATE TIMES THAT YOU SHOULD BE WEARING A MASK AND ASKING NEBRASKANS TO DO THE RIGHT THING LET ME TELL YOU, EARLY ON IN THIS PANDEMIC, WE DIDN’T DO A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER EITHER WE ARE ONE OF SEVEN STATES THAT DIDN’T DO A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, YET WE WERE ABLE TO MANAGE OUR WAY THROUGH THE PANDEMIC BECAUSE WE ASKED NEBRASKANS TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND THEY DID IT AND SO WHEN YOU HAVE MANDATES, YOU BREED RESISTANCE AND THAT’S PART OF WHAT WE’RE SEEING NOW I THINK IN SOME OF THE PLACES THAT HAVE THE MASK MANDATES I THINK WE NEEDED TO CONTINUE TO DO IS MAKE SURE WE’RE EDUCATING PEOPLE WITH REGARD TO WHAT THE TOOLS ARE IF YOU WATCH MY PRESS BRIEFINGS, YOU’LL SEE I START THEM ALL OFF AND END THEM ALL OFF TALKING ABOUT IF YOU GO TO THE STORE WEAR A MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS, STAY SIX FEET AWAY WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO HAMMER IT HOME I THINK ESPECIALLY NOW IT’S IMPORTANT TO KIND OF HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE SPREAD WE’RE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS IN 40 AND 50 AND 60 YEAR OLDS I KNOW THERE WAS KIND OF A PERCEPTION AT FIRST THAT WHEN THE KIDS CAME BACK TO THE UNIVERSITY THIS WAS ABOUT KIDS GOING TO BARS, IT’S RETIREES GOING TO HAVE COFFEE IT’S WEDDINGS I MEAN, IT’S DANCES WHERE THAT DEMOGRAPHIC OF 40, 50, 60-YEAR-OLDS ARE GOING THIS IS SOMETHING WE ALL HAVE TO BE MINDFUL OF, THAT IF YOU KNOW SOMEBODY, THEY CAN STILL GIVE YOU CORONAVIRUS THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU’RE GOING TO GET IT FROM A STRANGER SOMEBODY YOU KNOW COULD GIVE YOU THAT VIRUS AND PROBABLY MAYBE EVEN MORE LIKELY TO BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO BE CLOSER IN CONTACT WITH THEM SO, WE ALL HAVE TO BE MINDFUL OF THE DIFFERENT SITUATIONS, WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO USE A MASK, IF YOU WALK INTO A CROWDED BAR OR RESTAURANT PROBABLY GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO PICK A DIFFERENT BAR OR RESTAURANT TO GO TO BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE INSIDE, IN POOR VENTILATION, IN CROWDED CONDITIONS, THAT’S WHEN THE VIRUS IS MOST LIKELY TO SPREAD >> DR. GOLD, AS WE’RE WINDING DOWN OUR TIME TODAY, JUST I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE FINANCIAL HEALTH OF HOSPITALS, UNMC DID A REPORT THAT SHOWED EVEN BEFORE THE PANDEMIC STARTED HOSPITALS WERE STRUGGLING AT TIMES DO YOU THINK BECAUSE OF THE DECREASE IN NON-COVID PATIENTS IN HOSPITALS ACROSS THE STATE THAT WE COULD SEE SOME HOSPITALS THAT ARE GOING TO BE IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE? >> CERTAINLY SPEAKING ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL, AND I’M SURE IT APPLIES TO NEBRASKA, AS WELL, WE ARE SEEING A LOT OF STRESS PARTICULARLY IN THE SMALLER HOSPITAL SYSTEMS AND THE INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITY AND CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITALS IN STATES WE’RE SEEING MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS THAT ARE OCCURRING ACROSS THE COUNTRY I THINK SOME OF THE CARES ACT DOLLARS HAVE GONE A LONG WAY TO SHORING UP SOME OF THE HOSPITALS BUT THAT’S A TEMPORARY ABERRATION, AS THEY GET BACK TO FULL NORMAL OR NEAR NORMAL CAPACITY AND I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR NEBRASKA MEDICINE WHICH I KNOW QUITE WELL, AND WE’RE WELL OVER 90% OF CAPACITY THAT WE WOULD HAVE NORMALLY BEEN FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, GOING INTO WHAT WOULD NORMALLY BE THE FLU SEASON BUT THE LOSSES HAVE BEEN DRAMATIC YOU KNOW, THERE ARE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT LOST OVER A BILLION DOLLARS IN THE FIRST PART OF THIS YEAR AND THOSE ARE UNRECOVERABLE LOSSES, AS FAR AS THOSE SYSTEMS ARE CONCERNED THE GOOD SIDE OF IT IS WE’VE LEARNED A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY TO PRACTICE MEDICINE WE’RE DOING A LOT MORE TELEHEALTH AND PEOPLE LIKE IT

WE’RE SMARTER ABOUT SCHEDULING VISITS AND THINGS ALONG THOSE LINES THEY’RE GOING TO BE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO BE SUSTAINED BUT I THINK IT’S GOING TO CHANGE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE IT’S CERTAINLY GOING TO CHANGE OUR APPROACH TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE GOING FORWARD >> GOVERNOR RICKETTS, I ASKED A SIMILAR QUESTION TO COMMISSIONER BLOMSTEDT EARLIER BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS PANDEMIC, WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU’VE LEARNED, AND WE JUST HAVE A MINUTE OR SO, BUT WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU’VE LEARNED THAT YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE AWAY AND CONTINUE EVEN AFTER THE PANDEMIC IS OVER? >> WELL, I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS OBVIOUSLY, IS WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO TAKE THE LESSONS FROM THIS PANDEMIC AND BE PREPARED FOR NEXT ONE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DID HELP US IS WE HAD A SMALL STOCKPILE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT THAT WAS HELPFUL IN HELPING US GET THROUGH KIND OF THAT EARLY PERIOD PROBABLY WHAT WE’RE GOING TO NEED TO DO IS HAVE A BIGGER STOCKPILE GOING FORWARD TO BE ABLE TO HELP MANAGE THAT I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAD IS WE HAD SP, E PLANS IN PLACE FOR HOW WE WERE GOING TO MANAGE THE STATE AND WE PUT THOSE IN PLACE AND I THINK THEY WORKED RELATIVELY WELL I THINK LONG-TERM WHAT WE ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING AT IS DO WE REALLY NEED TO HAVE AS MANY PEOPLE IN THE REAL ESTATE THAT WE HAVE? ARE WE GOING TO BE ABLE TO ALLOW MORE REMOTE WORKING? AND I THINK THAT’S GOING TO BE TRUE OF OTHER BUSINESSES, AS WELL SO, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE EVALUATING THAT KIND OF THAT TRADE OFF NOT THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WANT TO ALWAYS WORK FROM HOME 100% OF THE TIME I THINK THAT THEY’RE GOING TO WANT TO COME INTO THE OFFICE, BUT MAYBE THEY CAN WORK FROM HOME MORE THAN THEY’RE WORKING RIGHT NOW AND THAT WILL MEAN THAT WE’LL MAYBE NEED LESS REAL ESTATE, BUT MORE AND MORE FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES, SO THAT ULTIMATELY MAYBE MAKING MORE ATTRACTIVE EMPLOYER DOWN THE ROAD SO I THINK THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WE’RE GOING TO LEARN FROM THIS AND DO DIFFERENTLY IN FACT, THAT’S NOT JUST US I WAS TALKING TO THE FOLKS AT THE STATE FAIR THERE WERE THINGS THEY LEARNED THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC AS THEY HAD THE STATE FAIR BUT IT WAS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, AND THEY LIKE, SOME OF THIS STUFF WAS REALLY GOOD IDEAS AND WE MAY JUST DO THIS NEXT YEAR >> 30 SECONDS OR LESS ANYTHING YOU SPECIFICALLY WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY THAT YOU WISH YOU HADN’T DONE? >> WELL, I GOT TO TELL YOU, DENNIS, I DON’T THINK ABOUT IT THAT WAY LOOK, IF I KNEW SIX MONTHS AGO WHAT I KNEW TODAY, YEAH, WE WOULD DO A LOT OF THINGS DIFFERENT BUT YOU DON’T YOU CAN’T GO BACK IN TIME AND SAY IF I KNEW THIS SO I NEVER REALLY GET CAUGHT UP IN THINKING ABOUT THAT WAY I’M JUST LIKE, HEY, WE MADE THE BEST DECISIONS WE COULD WITH THE INFORMATION WE HAD AT THE TIME AND THEN, DID WE ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT? NO, BUT WE DO THE BEST WE CAN AND THEN WE MOVE ON >> ALL RIGHT THANK YOU VERY MUCH WE’LL END ON THAT THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE HAVE TONIGHT THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US, AND THANKS TO GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS FOR RETURNING TO THE CHAIR AND ANSWERING OUR QUESTIONS DR. JEFFREY GOLD, AS WELL, THANK YOU FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER AND COMMISSIONER MATT BLOMSTEDT, OUR EDUCATION COMMISSIONER, THANK YOU SO MUCH THANKS ALSO 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 WHERE YOU’LL ALSO FIND OUR NEWS TEAMS ONGOING PANDEMIC COVERAGE PART OF THAT COVERAGE INCLUDES TELLING THE STORIES OF NEBRASKANS WHO DIED OF CORONAVIRUS NET IS WORKING WITH MEDIA OUTLETS ACROSS THE STATE TO COLLECT THOSE STORIES IF YOU LOST SOMEONE TO COVID-19, PLEASE GO TO NETNEBRASKA.ORG/CORONAVIRUS AND SHARE A FEW DETAILS ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES OUR HOPE IS TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THOSE STORIES OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT WE’VE LOST DURING THIS PANDEMIC COMING UP NEXT WEEK ON “SPEAKING OF NEBRASKA,” UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESIDENT TED CARTER WILL BE OUR GUEST FOR THE ENTIRE PROGRAM TUNE IN NEXT THURSDAY NIGHT AT 8:00 CENTRAL ON NET AND ON NET RADIO UNTIL THEN, I’M NET NEWS DIRECTOR DENNIS KELLOGG