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Gov. Ricketts Affirms Stability of Nebraska’s Hospital System, Urges Safety over Memorial Day

NEBRASKA, May 23 - Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Affirms Stability of Nebraska’s Hospital System, Urges Safety over Memorial Day



Gov. Ricketts (podium), Dr. Kelly Caverzagie of Nebraska Medicine (standing, far left),

and NDE Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt (standing, second from left) at today’s briefing.


Video from today’s briefing is available by clicking here.

Governor Press Release 5.22 - SPANISH.pdf 

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted his daily coronavirus press briefing at the State Capitol.  He reminded Nebraskans to be mindful of physical distancing and good hygiene over the Memorial Day weekend.  He also shared data confirming that the state’s hospital system continues to have plenty of capacity to treat Nebraskans who need care.


Dr. Kelly Caverzagie, VP for Education at Nebraska Medicine, joined the Governor to talk about training resources available to health care workers in the state.


Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt also took part in the press event to provide an update on NDE’s summer learning plans. 


Gov. Ricketts: Hospital Capacity

·       We cannot stop transmission of the virus, but we have been successfully slowing the spread.

·       Our hospitals remain stable and are in good shape.

·       Hospital data:

o  Hospital beds available: 43% (1,676 available of 3,901 total beds)

o  ICU beds available: 36% (264 available of 735 total ICU beds)

o  Ventilators available: 77% (609 available of 787 total ventilators)


Gov. Ricketts: Test Nebraska

·       We continue to encourage people to take the assessment.

·       I want to remind folks that Test Nebraska will be in the following communities next week:

o  Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, Kearney, York, Seward, Beatrice, and Clay Center.


Commissioner Blomstedt: Summer School Guidance

·       As we continue to open school environments, we’re being very thoughtful about developing plans to promote social distancing.

·       We’ve had conversations about moving forward with at least some in-person learning environments.

o  We’ve largely chosen to use a 15-student limit in keeping with the State’s childcare directive.

o  We have interest in serving students with special needs and who may need one-on-one attention.

o  We also want to help students for whom remote learning was not ideal.  We want to make sure they’re caught up.

·       Our Launch Nebraska website ( has guidance for summer school as well as learning guidance for students with disabilities.

·       The directed health measures (DHMs) going into effect on June 1st will allow larger graduation ceremonies to take place.

o  We encourage schools to work with their local health departments to host ceremonies in a safe, appropriate way.


Dr. Caverzagie: Health Care Training

·       There’s no shortage of good information available to health care providers during the pandemic.

·       However, it can sometimes be challenging to sort through this information to find what is needed.

·       UNMC has partnered with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to make training resources readily accessible.

·       We’ve organized these resources and make them available on the DHHS website (click here).

·       The website also has webinars created by DHHS to provide information to health care providers and public health workers.

·       Next week, UNMC will host a series of webinars on clinical care.  Health care professionals can receive continuing education credit by taking part in the webinars.


Full video of today’s press briefing is available by clicking here.