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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A state agency says four more cases of COVID-19 have been identified in three counties, bring the Nebraska total to 32. One involves a Nemaha County man in his 60s who had recently traveled to Colorado. The state Health and Human Services Department said Thursday that another case is of a Sarpy County man who has underlying health issues. The two other people live in Lincoln County. One is a woman in her 40s who recently traveled to Colorado. The other person is a 20-something man who was in close contact with a person who already has tested positive. 

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West Central District Health Department has identified two new positive cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to three confirmed positive cases in Lincoln County. The cases do not indicate community-spread at this time.


The first case is a woman in her 40s that had been traveling in Colorado when she became ill. She is currently self-isolating at home. 


The other Lincoln County case is a male in his 20s that was in close contact with an individual who previously tested positive for COVID-19. 


West Central District Health Department has begun the contact investigation to determine those that may have been exposed. 


 “Our focus right now is to complete the contact investigations and to protect the health of the community,” said Shannon Vanderheiden executive director of WCDHD.  “We want to continue to remind everyone that the best way to stop the spread of this virus is to stay at home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.


Public health officials would like to remind everyone that if you have a fever of over 100.4 or symptoms of respiratory illness, please self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider or your local health department.



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This evening I would like to outline the district plan regarding the balance of this school year.  After significant consideration, the district has decided that to best assist in the reduction of the spread of COVID- 19 or the Coronavirus, we will be canceling all on-campus or in-person classes for the remainder of this school year.  We will move all education, PK- 12, to remote learning effective the week of March 30th.  Remote learning will conclude on May 15, 2020; this is three days ahead of our planned schedule.

During the week of March 23rd, principals will communicate with students and families as to what this will entail for their particular school.  Until this time, we ask that you give our principals and teachers time to plan for instruction and make arrangements for materials and personal items to be picked up.

 

Seniors, NPHS staff are working to ensure all graduation requirements are met on or before May 13, 2020.  Due to the ever-changing climate of this virus, we will announce plans for prom and graduation as those dates approach.  It is important to note that if we were to make a decision today based on the current CDC guidelines, neither of these events would be allowed to occur.  We ask that you plan on the side of caution until additional guidelines are provided.


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LINCOLN, NE (March 18, 2020) - Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) staff and leadership, focused on finding solutions to help correct the market situation, applaud two letters the National Cattlemen Beef Association (NCBA) sent March 17th to top government and packing industry leaders.
 
The first letter went to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as chair of the federal government's response to the coronavirus outbreak. The letter asks that the Administration, in partnership with state and local leaders, take swift and proactive steps to minimize the negative consequences of COVID-19 and preserve the economic viability of the U.S. beef supply chain. Specifically, it asks for USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) to expand the availability of low- and zero-interest loans in addition to increasing flexibility of terms for existing loans. Further, it requests FSA coordinate with USDA Rural Development and the Small Business Administration throughout the implementation of these accommodations.
 
Regarding transportation, the letter requests the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) emergency declaration and suspension of Hours of Service to extend to haulers transporting shipments of livestock feed, critically important animal health technologies, and trucks moving livestock to feedyards and packing facilities. This critical step will not only keep cattle haulers in business, but it is the only way to ensure movement across the entire beef supply chain during this challenging time.
 
Regarding cattle prices, and the increasing disparity between cattle and boxed beef prices, it requests that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) keep a close eye on the cattle markets to ensure that no one tries to use the uncertainty of the live cattle market to manipulate or illegally take advantage of the situation.

The letter explains that the U.S. cattle producers are no strangers to difficulties in the market created by factors outside of their control and believe they will recover from these dark days in due time. Cattle families feel the impact of this pandemic just like other families and will do their best to keep cattle healthy and to provide American families with safe, high-quality beef. Producers ask government leaders to work with them to keep the stream of commerce moving as efficiently as possible so that they may continue to keep store shelves stocked with beef for American consumers.
 
NC also supports the second letter, which was sent to the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), the trade organization representing packers. It asks that NAMI members be aggressive in the cash market and base their bids on the increased cutout value we see rather than the futures. This will help with market liquidity and transparency, thus helping bring some stability back to the cattle markets. Second, it asks packers to participate in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange to provide further confidence to the producer segment of our industry by providing transparency and price discovery. The letter also asks that NAMI actively communicate your actions with NCBA and allow us to communicate those actions to the full beef community.
 
The letter to NAMI states NCBA will continue to work with USDA to ensure it provides the inspectors and graders to keep the beef supply moving. Any plant shutdown or slowdown will further compound the economic impact on feeders, stockers, and cow/calf producers. NCBA will also help to fight any attempt to restrict interstate commerce that would impact the flow of cattle and beef.
 
About the calls for action, Nebraska Cattlemen President Ken Herz said NC staff and leadership remain committed to members. "Please know we are working diligently to find solutions to the current situation while keeping our long-term focus on improving market transparency and reducing market volatility. We will continue to keep you up to date as more information becomes available."
 

The Board of Commissioners are aware of the emergency conditions that exist with regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and voted to close all County facilities to the public effective 5:00 p.m. today, March 18, 2020. The Board will continue to monitor the outbreak and request the public to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of exposure.

If you need to conduct business in County offices, we recommend utilizing online services, mail in services and the County’s drop box which is located in the parking lot of the Lincoln County Detention Center at 302 North Jeffers, near the Children’s Museum. 

Enter the parking lot on Third Street and turn right. Put everything in a secure envelope and address it to the desired County office. The drop box is weatherproof, tamper resistant and is located in a monitored parking area for security. NO POSTAGE NECESSARY! The drop box will be checked several times a day by authorized personnel. If you need to contact a department, please use the following
telephone numbers. You may need to leave a message and the official will return your call as needed. 

County facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice.The courts are open. If you are represented by an attorney, contact your attorney. If you are not represented by an attorney and have a court appearance, please call the County Court.

North Platte, Ne -

Press Release From North Platte Mayor Dwight Livingston


In an effort to protect our people, both constituents and employees, we are restricting access to City Hall and Municipal Light and Water as of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, March 19th, 2020 until further notice.


We are asking those who need to conduct business in City Hall to call the numbers that will be provided on our website, or the number that you are accustomed to calling to conduct business with the various departments of the City.  You will be given time to meet with a representative of the department that you are looking for and will be able to get your business transacting as quickly as possible. We will be staffing all departments as usual and ask for your cooperation as we try to maintain the services that you deserve and expect from the City.


This process will remain in effect until further notice.  We will do our best to update everyone on any changes that need to be made to this situation as we move forward in dealing with the COVID-19 situation.



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North Platte, Ne -  Officials from the City of North Platte, Great Plains Health and North Platte Public Schools addressed the media this morning about what plans are being made to address the Covid-19 Virus that is impacting the Country. North Platte Mayor Dwight Livingston opened the press conference by saying that it's business as usual for the City at the moment but did add thanks to the West Central Health Department for their assistance, he added that the City would like citizens that pay bills and need City Hall Assistance, to Call, use their personal mobile devices or the City's Drive Through Window to do their City Business. Livingston went on to say the North Platte Recreation Center and North Platte Public Library are both currently open, although some services will be limited.

 

Also, speaking at the Press conference were City Manager Jim Hawks, North Platte Fire Chief Denis Thompson, and Executive Director of West Central District Health Department Shannon Vanderheiden who says they have currently had 20 Negative tests from the North Platte Area. She went on to remind people to get tested, ill feeling people need to first contact their primary physician, who will mandate your test procedure; also that testing is available through a drive up process. The Mobile testing station is located near an Ambulance in the Great Plains Health Pavilion on the north side of Francis Street across from The Hospital Emergency Room.

 


North Platte COVID-19 Press Conference

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MARCH 17, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — A large and growing number of restaurants and bars have announced modified operations or closures to comply with public health guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19. As those efforts continue, the Nebraska State Patrol urges those who are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to do so responsibly.

“We’ve already seen how well our communities throughout our state are responding to this unprecedented situation,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Our hope is always that people celebrate responsibly, but that message has a different meaning today. If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, please do so responsibly by adhering to CDC recommendations for gatherings and by designating a sober driver.”

Troopers are constantly patrolling for impaired drivers throughout Nebraska. Those efforts will continue tonight as St. Patrick’s Day traditionally has among the highest incidence of drunk driving nationwide.

NSP’s St. Patrick’s Day impaired driving enforcement is made possible thanks in part to a grant for $7,552 from the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office.

The Nebraska State Patrol urges all Nebraskans to comply with guidance from Governor Ricketts, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit gatherings to ten people or fewer.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has limited public gatherings to 10 people in an effort to keep the coronavirus from spreading, even though it's likely to mean painful economic times and major disruption to people's lives. Ricketts' announcement will force the cancellation of events statewide and many businesses will shut their doors as people hunker down to try to avoid catching COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. He says he was aligning the state with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Legislature has suspended its session to try to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Lawmakers were off on Monday but had been set to reconvene Tuesday. The session has now been postponed and it's not clear when lawmakers will return to the Capitol. Sen. Adam Morfeld, of Lincoln, says roughly two-thirds of the Legislature's 49 senators are in the high-risk category if they were to catch the virus. The Legislature's decision came as the number of coronavirus cases in Nebraska had climbed to 20.

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