Just getting started.
As Nebraska braces for a peak in the coronavirus outbreak in the state this month, a University of Nebraska Medical Center health care expert Friday put the battle against the deadly virus into stark perspective.
"This is the second inning of this game," Dr. James Lawler said during Gov. Pete Ricketts' daily coronavirus news briefing.
"We are very early in this event.
"And this virus is here to stay," he said.
"We cannot return to complete normal until we have a vaccine."
Estimates of the time needed to develop a successful vaccine to combat the new virus generally range from 12 to 18 months.
Lawler is an associate professor in the department of internal medicine at UNMC and executive director of international programs and innovation for the Global Center for Health Security, as well as director of clinical and biodefense research at the National Strategic Research Institute.
"These are sometimes frightening times," he said. "These are certainly anxious times."
Ricketts said that "we have a long road ahead of us in April."
However, the governor said, there's a positive immediate sign in "the flat number of new cases" that have been identified despite increased testing for the virus in Nebraska.
And, he said, tracking by Google shows progress in social distancing, a key element in the state's plan to contain the virus.
Included in the data was a 24% decrease in workplace numbers, a confirmation that more Nebraskans are now working at home.
"The name of the game is all about preserving the health care system," Lawler said, echoing words the governor spoke earlier this week about his primary concern.
Dr. Gary Anthone, the state's chief medical officer, said there have been 279 positive tests in Nebraska and "the vast majority" of the people who have been infected are treated with self-isolation at home.
"Eighty-five to 90% will recover on their own at home," he said.
Overall, Nebraska reported 285 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon and six deaths from the disease. Earlier in the day, Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele announced that 10 cases had been identified at the city's JBS Swift plant.
Meanwhile, Ricketts put all of the state's 93 counties under directed health measures, meaning gatherings are limited to 10 people, bars and restaurants must go to delivery or carry-out, and salons and tattoo parlors must close.
The new directed health measures run through May 11.
Once again, Ricketts fielded questions as to why he does not speed up Medicaid expansion at this time to make an estimated 90,000 Nebraskans eligible for health care coverage and why he resists releasing more inmates from crowded prisons in view of the new health care threat.
Changing the Medicaid expansion plan that's due to become operative Oct. 1 would actually delay implementation until next Jan. 1, the governor said, because of the need to rewrite the state's plan for the expanded system and the need to return to the federal government for another round of approval.
"You don't get sent to prison on your first offense," Ricketts suggested in answering the other question.
"Nebraskans do not think letting people out of prison is a good idea," he said.
Latest updates on coronavirus in Lincoln and nearby
See the latest news as more coronavirus cases are identified in Nebraska.
The Douglas County Health Department reported five additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday evening, pushing the total in Nebraska to 10.
If LPS had to close it would download material onto Chromebooks given to each student from sixth to 12th grade. Once downloaded, students wouldn’t need Wi-Fi access at home to get it.
Health officials confirmed the fourth case of coronavirus in Douglas County late Tuesday.
"This is not something that's made up," Gov. Pete Ricketts said at a news conference. "We need people to take it seriously."
About 40 people are in self quarantine in Lancaster County, officials said Monday.
Two family members of the Omaha woman who became the first Nebraskan to test positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday also have tested positive for the disease.
As health workers try to track down anyone who may have come into contact with the woman since Feb. 27, health clinics and hospitals are enacting screening measures.
Special Olympics Nebraska has canceled several upcoming events and is asking groups to suspend practices and other gatherings after people who attended a basketball event in Fremont last month may have been exposed to coronavirus.
Fremont Public Schools, Midland University, Archbishop Bergan Catholic Schools and Trinity Lutheran School announced Saturday that they will be closed for a week, effective immediately.
The woman participated in a Special Olympics basketball game at the Fremont Family YMCA on Feb. 29.
At least two Lincoln nursing homes took steps to protect their residents Friday evening, after Gov. Pete Ricketts confirmed Nebraska's first case of COVID-19.
An Omaha woman has the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Nebraska.
Other colleges and universities in Lincoln and the surrounding area said they interpreted the CDC's recommendation as written: Guidance to consider.
Steve Glenn said he has experienced the sudden demand for face masks firsthand. Despite buying "a ton" of the masks, he said his hardware stores have had trouble keeping them in stock.
Staff briefed the media Friday on the plan Bryan has in place and the steps it's taken to prepare for a local case.
"We welcome the increased federal response at this point. I do think there is additional work that needs to be done in order to prepare this country for this probable outbreak or pandemic," Dr. Mark Rupp said on "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
UNL previously suspended all university-sponsored travel and study abroad trips to China, where the virus was initially discovered in the city of Wuhan.
Another person from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who has tested positive for coronavirus is expected to arrive at Eppley Airfield late Tuesday night, bringing the number of patients being treated at UNMC to 15.
They talk to their son at least every other day now, sometimes daily, narrowing the 7,000 miles between their home on Cooper Court and his apartment in Hangzhou, China.
All but two of the 13 people taken into quarantine in Omaha earlier this week tested positive for COVID-19, the new version of the coronavirus, Nebraska Medicine said Thursday evening.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln suspended its study abroad programs and faculty travel to China last week amid the global spread of coronavirus.
The Big Ten Conference announced it is limiting attendance to all winter and spring sporting events because of concerns about COVID-19.
UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said the university will cancel classes next week -- March 16-20 -- ahead of its regularly scheduled spring break.
Due to coronavirus risks, there was a different kind of feel around Pinnacle Bank Arena to open the boys state basketball tournament.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed plans for Billie Eilish and many other artists.
Letters will be sent to school districts to encourage them to postpone school visits to the Capitol until next year.
The news was heartbreaking for a team that had its sights set on defending its Division II national championship.
Tickets purchased for the show will be honored at the rescheduled concert.
First-Plymouth Congregational Church has canceled worship services for Saturday and Sunday as a precaution to minimize the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“I live off-campus, so I can’t rely on the cafeteria, so coaches and everyone have been dropping off food,” Darlondo Hill said. “ It’s generous how the community is coming together.”
Union College in Lincoln announced Friday it will transition to online-only education March 30, becoming the latest college to do so in the face of a novel coronavirus outbreak.
While weekend religious services appeared to be on as scheduled at most Lincoln churches, places of worship were taking extra precautions to ensure the health of congregants by suspending practices such as shaking hands and passing the offering plate.
Social Distancing is my middle name. And it should be yours, too.
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Members of the museum will have days added onto their memberships to match the number of days the museum is closed, officials said.
University of Nebraska employees may take up to 80 hours of paid emergency leave in the event of self-quarantine, family care or child care because of school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Ted Carter said Saturday.
The latest cases involve a woman who attended two Creighton basketball games and a pastor at an Omaha church.
The Legislature won't meet Tuesday as scheduled and will not be meeting again until further notice, Speaker Jim Scheer announced Monday morning.
The Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools has announced a campaign to support LPS students and families who are, or soon will be, in need of emergency funds because of the response to COVID-19.
Lincoln Public Schools students may not have classes this week -- a decision made Friday by district officials in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus -- but they can still get breakfast and lunch.
Only two visitors will be allowed for each patient at Bryan Medical Center and CHI Health hospitals.
The change Monday afternoon follows federal guidelines.
An additional two dozen beds at the University of Nebraska Medical Center are ready in the event they are needed for patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus.
As the University of Nebraska-Lincoln moves to online-only classes amid a global coronavirus pandemic, administrators are encouraging students to move out of their residence halls and back to their parents' or permanent residences.
TUESDAY (3-17) UPDATE: On Tuesday, Corrections Director Scott Frakes posted a Facebook message to the family members of inmates saying call time was being expanded to two hours a day. He also said the prison system is also working on video visiting, but it might not happen quickly.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird declared a local emergency Monday — and her cabinet announced a broad slate of operational moves that will change the lives of thousands — as the city braces for its first cases of COVID-19.
Businesses are starting to take steps to limit the amount of people congregating in the wake of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation.
The absence of a number of senators for Thursday's most recent session -- prior to adjournment for a four-day weekend -- stirred some concerns among members of the Legislature.
The complex on the east side of 16th Street on UNL's City Campus is being prepared for the possibility of serving as a quarantine site for students who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
Nine-year-old best friends find an old-fashioned way to stay close during time of coronavirus separation.
Hy-Vee at the Capitol had a contract to supply lunch meals and sandwiches weekdays until the end of the legislative session, but because of COVID-19 concerns it has decided to shut down its operation early.
Though the company did not say it would turn anyone away, it said it is "strongly encouraging" that the first hour be dedicated to seniors, who are the group most vulnerable to coronavirus.
David Haring, executive director of the Lincoln Airport, said so far United has announced plans to pull one flight per day from its local schedule.
Only amid a pandemic does a measure designed to reduce in-person turnout for an election in America seem justified.
Gas prices are falling sharply as Americans heed the advice of officials and implement social distancing, reports AAA.
Gov. Pete Ricketts told a news conference that he will ask those businesses to confine their sales to take-out and drive-thru purchases.
University of Nebraska employees who are able to work from home should start March 23, President Ted Carter told the university system's 14,000 faculty, staff and 10,000 student workers Wednesday.
It’s only the second time in recent history that the board has approved such an emergency powers resolution.
The Colorado Department of Health is working with the local health department after four counties with ski resorts were hard hit by the virus, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.
Journal Star photographers have captured life in the city for the past months with some activities going on as usual but many sights out of the norm.
Lincoln Children's Zoo says even though you can't come to see the animals right now, zookeepers can bring the animals to you -- virtually.
Check out the latest episode of the Husker Extra podcast.
Children are no longer required to be present when picking up meals, officials said.
Bryan's vice president of medical affairs said the hospital would like to do more tests, but it just doesn't have enough.
Nebraska has its 24th novel coronavirus case and the first one in western Nebraska.
If your business or activity is closed, canceled or postponed, email email@example.com.
Lincoln's B&R Stores is the latest grocer to announce reduced hours due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Journal Star reporter recovering at home from case of pneumonia.
The Legislature will reconvene at some yet-to-be-determined date, perhaps as early as Monday, the speaker said.
The public health lab's supply of extraction kits, which pull genetic material from the samples swabbed from patients potentially infected with the disease to allow testing for the novel coronavirus' presence, are running thin.
Nebraska youth advocacy groups want judges and probation officers to immediately halt new admissions to juvenile detention and correctional facilities.
Gov. Pete Ricketts is allowing restaurants and bars to sell beer, wine and spirits through the drive-thru, curbside pickup, delivery and takeout.
The city of Lincoln tried to stock up on personal protection equipment last week, issuing a series of emergency bid requests seeking supplies to keep its employees safe.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump called on construction companies to donate respirator masks to hospitals and other health care providers.
The Southeast District Health Department in Auburn said the man recently returned from a trip to Vail, Colorado.
Joyo Theatre's production of "Starkweather" was livestreamed Thursday amid guidelines restricting large gatherings, like live audiences.
In a pair of court orders issued this week, Judge Kevin McManaman moved to restrict visitors to the third floor of the Hall of Justice.
Lincoln-Lancaster County Interim Health Director Pat Lopez on Thursday urged any residents who recently returned from international travel, specific U.S. cities or counties with known COVID-19 outbreaks to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Across Lincoln, several businesses have already closed or sent employees home to work remotely, while others relying on public interaction like gyms and salons have made modifications to comply with public health directives.
Across the city, markers of everyday life in Lincoln remained Wednesday with a sprinkling of indicators that the city is grappling with an historic pandemic.
Lincoln hospitals and surgery centers are postponing elective surgeries in response to COVID-19.
If Ketan Patel, owner of America's Best Value Inn in Lincoln, didn't have a handful of customers, he'd consider shutting down for a while until the COVID-19 spread runs its course.
Several partners, including businesses and philanthropic organizations, pledged to match $500,000 in donations to support the fund, which is being hosted by the Lincoln Community Foundation.
As bad as the losses from major event cancellations are, economists say the economic damage they cause is likely to pale compared to the effects of the widespread closings of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses.
State public employee union members understand they are public servants, and want to continue providing essential services in this time. But workers in some large agencies say they don't feel they are getting the leadership and planning needed.
Six regional behavioral health administrators told providers this week that the impact of the coronavirus for people with mental illness and substance use disorders could be devastating.
Fears of the coronavirus have reached business owners in Nebraska's smallest towns — but not all of them are following the guidelines.
Make-A-Wish is encouraging the public to make social media posts of written or recorded messages of inspiration and support to children who have had their Make-A-Wish trips postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We're taking extreme measures (with social distancing) with schools and public gatherings, and meanwhile evictions are proceeding as usual,” said James Goddard of Nebraska Appleseed. "That is baffling."
Bonuses and extra pay are another way retailers are keeping employees.
With a week left before students will reconvene — at least digitally — to finish the semester, instructors elsewhere across UNL are working out the kinks of how they will work through the remainder of their syllabus.
During the time of coronavirus so many things postponed, including weddings.
Lincoln Lutheran senior Lexie Kreizel — hunkered down at home for who knows how long with two college-age siblings — convinced her parents they needed a puppy to pass the hours they wouldn't be in school.
The Nebraska Supreme Court lacks the authority to halt evictions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Chief Justice Mike Heavican said in a news release Monday.
The governor said there are no plans to move beyond the 10-person limit for public gatherings, noting that is "the most restrictive measure we are anticipating."
Joe Nigro said he’d like to see the jail population reduced from nearly 600 to 100 or 200 people.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation said it will continue to negotiate a way forward with Hawkins Construction of Omaha to resolve this latest challenge.
The airport soon will be losing its daily service on Delta Airlines to Atlanta and at least one daily United Airlines flight to Chicago until May.
Patients who have a referral either from their doctor or through Bryan's EZVisit telehealth service can drive through and be tested.
For high school students wondering about advanced placement and International Baccalaureate exams, families needing school lunches and child care, here are some updates:
By the end of the day Monday, families of children at three elementary schools had one less thing to worry about.
President Trump: "You look at a state — great governor — Pete Ricketts, Nebraska. You look at the kind of numbers they have out there. They have one of the great — one of the great hospitals there, too."
The employee worked in the headquarters from March 11 to March 16, when he or she began displaying symptoms and went home.
Lincoln's first attempt at a drive-thru coronavirus testing clinic seemed to go smoother than many others around the country.
The floor will have up to 40 beds to house patients with the coronavirus who are sick enough to be in the hospital but who don't need to be in intensive care.
First-Plymouth in Lincoln's Near South Neighborhood is hosting "Carillon in the Car" at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Topping the list is more than 5,800 sets of gloves, with 2,500 of those coming from Iron Brush Tattoo, which decided earlier this month to shut down and donate all of its supplies to health care workers.
Eight inmates fled the minimum-security unit of the women's prison in Pierre on Monday night after a fellow detainee tested positive for the coronavirus.
One man reported the domestic violence class he had to attend, and another person reported too many people and pets inside PetSmart.
The Meeting Place, which had hosted nearly 60 12-step recovery meetings every week, closed due to coronavirus precautions. But a Lincoln church opened its doors to more meetings.
Take a look at the 1918 flu pandemic response in Lincoln and Nebraska. Millions were infected globally.
The Nebraska Legislature has passed and Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed an $83.6 million COVID-19 emergency funding bill for necessities connected to the novel coronavirus that is spreading through the state.
Commissioner Matt Blomstedt said his message comes in the form of a recommendation only because he doesn’t have the authority to require it.
With canceled flights and exorbitant costs for chartered planes, groups are finding their journey home extended by days.
Hospital CEO says he is expecting few if any positive tests, largely based on the fact that Bryan has yet to have a patient test positive for COVID-19.
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Lincoln funeral homes are staggering visitations and live-streaming services in the time of coronavirus.
"We would all like to get back to normal as quickly as possible," the governor said, "but protective health measures" must come ahead of that goal.
All Nebraska registered voters will be mailed an application form that will allow them to vote in the May 12 primary election by mail or through a drop box if they prefer to avoid crowd contact that they would encounter by going to the polls.
The governor was ready for questions from constituents Thursday night at an NET News town hall.
The order takes effect at 8 a.m. Thursday.
"We are seeing up to 75 to 100 a day, which is an increase from what we typically see of 10 to 15 a day," Chief Deputy Todd Duncan said Wednesday.
Residents watched and listened from their apartments and the balconies overlooking the center’s courtyard.
CHI Health on Friday will start processing COVID-19 tests in its own lab, a move that should greatly speed up the delivery of results.
“Our first daughter was born during the Ebola scare,” dad said. “And our second was born during the Zika scare.” Then he paused. “But the first two don’t compare to what we’re facing now.”
Only a few dozen students of the 760 who lived in university housing this year remain on Nebraska Wesleyan's campus after it closed due to coronavirus.
Parents and church-goers used the power of organization and government connections to get their kids out.
Kawasaki said it will provide supplemental pay during the shutdown, which, when combined with unemployment benefits, will ensure workers receive 60% of their normal pay.
At hospitals, Bryan will start taking temperatures of all visitors in an effort to keep out anyone who is sick.
As health officials across the country are encouraging residents to take social distancing seriously, one website gives Lancaster County a C and Nebraska as a whole a D.
Two new cases of coronavirus were confirmed Sunday in Lincoln, both travel-related, bringing the city's total to six.
A number of businesses in Lincoln either just opened in the past few weeks or were scheduled to open soon are now faced with tough decisions about what to do in the face of restrictions on people being together.
Good Life Pharmacy is also looking to make medicines that may become scarce in the coming weeks as COVID-19 continues to spread.
From the DoorDash driver to the cleaning service owner to the speed trainer for former Huskers, see how jobs and routines have been dramatical…
The uncertainty of an unprecedented global pandemic has changed everything for the more than 3,000 high school seniors in Lincoln’s schools.
Nebraska Medicine ear, nose and throat specialist Christie Barnes says over the past couple weeks UNMC has seen more patients that complain of loss of sense of smell with minimal additional symptoms of COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has put plenty of aspects of life on hold, but at least one Lincoln couple refused to let social distancing stop them from taking their vows this week.
With the announcement of several new confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state Saturday, Nebraska has topped 100 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
People from all over Lincoln have shared their children's creations as well as where they have spotted eggs.
FoodNet is still feeding Lincoln, despite losing a third of its distribution sites because of the coronavirus.
Cars and SUVs and ATVs and pickups rolled slowly through the streets of Waverly this week, a collective stiff-arm to a pandemic disrupting the life we’ve known.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department confirmed Lincoln's fourth case of coronavirus Friday, about an hour after Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird gave a briefing.
The study suggests that COVID-19 patients may create aerosols of virus and contaminate surfaces that may pose a risk for transmission.
Gov. Pete Ricketts cautioned Nebraskans on Monday to expect "a tough month ahead" as the state anticipates that the coronavirus threat will peak in Nebraska in mid- to late-April.
A third person in Nebraska has died from the coronavirus, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced in a news release late Monday.
Many local industries are being hammered by the coronavirus outbreak, but the construction industry does not yet appear to be one of them.
Graduating seniors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln can participate in commencement ceremonies in August, December or next May, the university said Tuesday.
All students will get “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” grades on all fourth-quarter assignments and on their final class grades.
The last day of school for LPS -- scheduled long before spread of the coronavirus began -- is May 21.
After his 3D printer sat in a box for almost two years, Nolan Miska finally had a reason to take it out.
Travel remains the predominant way Lincoln's eight confirmed patients contracted the coronavirus, interim Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Director Pat Lopez said Monday.
It's not totally clear how the virus got into the facility, a health official said. "It's community spread, which means we can't find the source of where somebody became ill."
Dramatically lower ridership on StarTran buses has led city transportation officials to reduce service hours and runs and make rides free during the pandemic, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced Tuesday.
A UNMC professor and infectious disease specialist says models are not meant to be answers.
Students in Nebraska will not be returning to the classroom this spring.
Nebraska now has had more than 40,000 unemployment claims filed in the past two weeks, which is about as many as it usually gets in a year.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is reporting another.
Good news for Lincoln Public Schools seniors: Graduation ceremonies are tentatively planned for July 26.
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With warm weather, a pool skimmer, YouTube, some poster board, a bargain buy from Costco and an SUV, Liz Shotkoski and her four kids brought cheer to their neighborhood.
Health department staff continue to monitor 99 people for signs of COVID-19, and 35 cases remain pending at the state's public health lab in Omaha.
Eighty-five percent of the hand sanitizer is being distributed at no cost to other public agencies, and the rest is being used by Corrections staff during this coronavirus outbreak.
Douglas County sheriff's deputies arrested a former Omaha TV meteorologist Tuesday for allegedly threatening to slit the throat of Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour.
Bryan also on Thursday reported its first positive tests from patients who have come to one of its hospitals.
"The plan is by noon to be at that 1,500 units-per-day production level," University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineering Professor Shane Farritor said. "We'll do that until the wheels fall off."
A local resident in their 20s and another in their 70s have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease in Lincoln to 14.
For the second time in less than two weeks, another one of Lincoln’s largest companies is reacting to news that an employee had contracted COVID-19.
After this weekend, the state is shutting down all overnight camping in its parks and recreation and wildlife management areas — and will keep campsites closed for at least a month.
Watch Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird speak Monday about the coronavirus pandemic.
With sports on pause, John Cook has a goal to "win the day each day," holding virtual happy hours with the staff and Zoom chats with the players.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, local hospitals appear to be in good shape in terms of capabilities to care for patients who need to be hospita