LINCOLN – This morning, Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference to encourage Nebraskans to sign up for the coronavirus vaccine. He noted that statewide coronavirus hospitalizations increased last week for the first time in 19 weeks. He also mentioned that Nebraska will be receiving increasing allocations of coronavirus vaccines to aid the State’s vaccination efforts.
Josie Rodriguez, Administrator for the Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services joined Gov. Ricketts for the press briefing. She talked about the disproportionate impact the virus has had on the Hispanic community in the state. She urged Nebraskans to take action immediately to get vaccinated.
Shannon Harner, executive director of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, also took part in today’s press conference. She provided an update on the emergency rental assistance programs available in Nebraska.
Gov. Ricketts: Coronavirus
- Last week, Nebraska’s coronavirus hospitalizations increased for the first time in 19 weeks.
- Please continue to use our tools to slow the spread of the virus, such as keeping six feet from people in public, staying home when sick, and washing hands often.
- We want to make sure all of Nebraska’s communities are getting vaccinated.
- All of the vaccines are nearly 100% effective at keeping people out of the hospital and preventing severe health consequences.
- Nebraskans can sign up for vaccination at vaccinate.ne.gov or by calling 833-998-2275.
- The entire state has moved to Phase 2B, which includes all Nebraskans age 16-49.
Josie Rodriguez: Vaccination
- This pandemic has been difficult for the Hispanic community, just as it has for all Nebraskans.
- Many frontline workers in hospitals and meat-packing plants have continued to work, despite the risk, to keep Nebraska running. As a result, a disproportionate number of Hispanics have suffered from the effects of the virus.
- Since the vaccine became available, DHHS has partnered with several organizations to reach out to the Hispanic community to provide information about the importance and safety of the vaccine.
o This has included town halls in Spanish with the Multicultural Coalition in Grand Island, the Mexican Consulate in Omaha, and a statewide outreach with Telemundo Nebraska.
- The website to sign up for vaccination is vaccinate.ne.gov.
o On the website in the top right corner, you can switch the language from English to Spanish.
- Anyone can call the info line to get registered toll free: 833-998-2275.
o Relay calls for deaf and hard of hearing and language line access is available.
Shannon Harner: Rental Assistance
- We want to remind landlords and tenants about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program available to help with rent and utilities for eligible tenants who are struggling with rent or utility payments due to COVID-19 related financial hardship.
- When the State kicked off its program on February 22nd, we noted that Lancaster County, Douglas County, Lincoln, and Omaha were all covered under separate programs, which had not yet launched.
- As of today, we are pleased to announce that the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County programs are live. The City of Omaha’s emergency rental assistance program is also live as of today, April 5th. The Douglas County program is planning to launch sometime during mid-April.
o The links to these programs can be found at coronavirus.nebraska.gov/EmergencyRentalAssistanceProgram.
- Applicants living outside of Lancaster and Douglas counties should apply through the State’s website at coronavirus.nebraska.gov.
Video from this morning’s press conference is available by clicking here.