Media Contacts: Taylor Gage, (402) 471-1970Justin Pinkerman, (402) 471-1967
Governor's Media Release:
LINCOLN – This morning, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a press conference at the State Capitol to discuss the State's preparations to deliver coronavirus vaccinations once a vaccine becomes available. The CDC asked each state's public health department to submit a plan for administering the vaccine to ensure nationwide readiness for its arrival. The State of Nebraska's coronavirus vaccination plan is available by clicking here.
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Incident Commander Angie Ling overviewed Nebraska's plan to rapidly deploy a coronavirus vaccine once it arrives. The State has worked closely with local health departments and other partners to develop an efficient distribution network. Nebraska will make use of the existing Vaccines for Children (VFC) provider network, which includes health care providers, local health departments, federally qualified health centers, community-based clinics, tribal health care centers, and hospitals. The State expects vaccine supplies to be limited early on. Initial doses will go to health care personnel and at-risk groups before expanding to a wider population. The CDC has not yet issued the date when it expects a vaccine to be available.
Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Commissioner Matt Blomstedt also took part in today's press briefing. He talked about the State's plan to use federal assistance provided through the Governor's Education Emergency Relief (GEER) fund to support students affected by the pandemic. The State has allocated $12.5 million of GEER funds to purchase computing devices for K-12 schools (both public and non-public). The intent is to provide more equitable access to digital learning by making sure students have access to the technology they need.
NDE conducted a survey over the summer to assess the need for digital technology around the state. The agency also engaged in outreach to homeschool families to determine their needs and to ensure their eligibility for assistance. A subsidy of up to $400 per device is available through GEER funds. Details on the State's GEER plan are available by clicking here.
Additionally, the Governor proclaimed October as Physician Assistant Month in Nebraska during this morning's press conference. Allison Bauer, President of the Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the state's physician assistants.
Video from today's press conference is available by clicking here.