COVID-19 Update 5/22/20: More relaxed DHMs announced

COVID-19 Update 5/22/20: More relaxed DHMs announced

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KGFW) – Grand Island’s Mayor has gotten his wish. Coronavirus restrictions will be loosened for the Central District Health Department Area; though, not immediately. The Central District had it’s second day this week of reporting zero new cases yesterday. Only 35 have been reported so far this week after hitting a height of 371 May 1. Two Rivers reported three cases yesterday.

Nebraska to loosen more coronavirus restrictions in June

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska will let bars, zoos, movie theaters and swimming pools reopen and allow small concerts and auctions to resume on June 1 in all but four hard-hit counties. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he plans to further loosen social-distancing restrictions to strike a balance between public health and the need to move back toward normal life as people grow restless. His announcement came as the number of coronavirus deaths continues to rise. Businesses that do reopen will still face mandatory social distancing restrictions. Ricketts is also easing some restrictions in Hall, Merrick, Hamilton and Dakota counties, but rules in those areas will remain more stringent than in the rest of the state.

New Nebraska jobless claim drop again after record surge

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska saw another dip in new unemployment claims last week after a record-setting surge driven by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Labor says the state received 5,923 claims during the week that ended May 16. Nebraska reported 6,362 new claims the prior week. The number has declined since a record-setting surge that peaked at 26,788 in one week in early April. It’s still much higher than average. Unemployment soared in Nebraska and nationally due to state-mandated social distancing restrictions on businesses as well as Americans who are staying sheltered at home to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Rural bankers survey index remains low in face of outbreak

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new survey of bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states inched upward in May from April’s record low, but still remained profoundly low as efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the rural economy. The overall index for the region rose slightly to 12.5 from April’s record low of 12.1. Any score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says nearly three of every four bankers surveyed reported restructuring farm loans to deal with weak farm income. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

3 more inmates at Omaha prison center positive for COVID-19

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – State prison officials have confirmed that three more Nebraska inmates at an Omaha work-release center have tested positive for COVID-19. The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services said Wednesday evening in a news release that to date, seven men housed at the Omaha Community Corrections Center have tested positive. Officials say no other inmates in any other facilities have tested positive for the virus. That news comes as the state’s online coronavirus tracking site said six more COVID-19 deaths were recorded and 276 additional cases were confirmed on Wednesday.