State Partners with Omaha Public Schools to Support a Responsible Return to In-Person Learning

News Release
For Immediate Release: 9/17/2020


Bridget Blevins, OPS Supervisor of External Relations (402) 203-0478 /

Khalilah LeGrand, DHHS Office of Communications (402) 853-1320 /


OMAHA, Neb. – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced a partnership with Omaha Public Schools, supporting the largest school district in Nebraska as they return to in-person learning.

The partnership allows for regular testing of OPS staff, through Test Nebraska, in an effort to support the district's focus on the safety and well-being of students and staff. Throughout the pandemic, OPS has worked alongside state health authorities and the Douglas County Health Department to monitor community spread and plan for a safe school year.

OPS announced its plan for a phased return to in-person learning on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

“As we begin to bring students and staff back together for in-person learning, we remain committed to their safety and well-being," said Lisa Utterback, OPS Student and Community Services chief officer. “We are grateful for the continued support and guidance that we receive from our healthcare partners locally and statewide."

In addition to regular staff testing, OPS has established safety measures throughout its schools including enhanced cleaning measures, regular disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use, social distancing measures, updated meal and transportation procedures and the use of district-provided face coverings.

“We are very happy to be able to augment the work that Douglas County Health Department is doing with the school district and offer Test Nebraska as a resource," said Director of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Gary Anthone. “As OPS is the largest school district in Nebraska we understand the need to ensure that the staff is as ready as it can be as it prepares to receive students."     

For an assessment, go to, or TestNebraska/es for Spanish. Nebraskans with general questions about testing or who need help completing the online assessment can call the Test Nebraska hotline at (402) 207-9377.

DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The CDC's website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information - .

The DHHS statewide COVID-19 information line is staffed to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645 or toll-free at (833) 998-2275; hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT, 7 days a week.


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