Gov. Ricketts, under quarantine, gives Nebraska update remotely

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 12:05 PM CST
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(WOWT) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, under quarantine, after he and his wife were exposed to COVID-19 over the weekend, gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 response via virtual set-up Tuesday afternoon.

As part of the update, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical officer Dr. Gary Anthone announced a new online resource for nurses and nurse assistants to find work in the state.

“Any qualified nurse assistant, registered nurse, and so on can qualify,” Anthone said. He explained the website was created in part as a response to get more help to medical facilities struggling to address the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

DHHS Chief Data Strategist Ashley Newmyer presented information on the state’s contact tracing efforts and emphasized the continuing importance the work tracers do to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Completing an interview with a contact tracer when they call you is one of the best ways to protect hospital capacity,” she said.

During Q&A, Ricketts was asked if his administration had been in contact with President-elect Joe Biden’s staff in regards to the recent DHM changes. Ricketts said no.

He was also asked for his reaction to South Dakota’s legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana. Ricketts said other states that have passed similar legislation, like Colorado, have seen an increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities.

Ricketts added he expects to see crime rise revolving around the trafficking of marijuana, like near the Nebraska-Colorado border, happen along the Nebraska-South Dakota border.

Ricketts was asked the last time he was tested for COVID-19.

“Wednesday and it came back negative,” he said.

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