Governor press conference Feb 12 2021

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, center, speaks at his Friday morning press conference Feb. 12, 2021. Sign language interpreter Francis Beaurivage is seen at left.

This morning, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, Governor Pete Ricketts provided an update on coronavirus vaccination in Nebraska.  He cited data on coronavirus fatalities to explain the State’s decision to prioritize Nebraskans age 65 and older to receive the vaccine.  Nebraskans can register for vaccination at vaccinate.ne.gov or by calling toll-free at 833-998-2275.

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Chief Data Strategist Ashley Newmyer talked about new features available on the State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard.  The dashboard now shows data for the State’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program separately from data specific to federal vaccination programs.

Gov. Ricketts also encouraged Nebraskans to be mindful of the extremely cold temperatures forecasted for the next few days.  He urged Nebraskans to avoid travel when possible and to prepare a vehicle safety kit if traveling.

Gov. Ricketts: Coronavirus Vaccination

  • All local health departments across Nebraska have entered Phase 1B of the State’s vaccination plan.
  • Nebraskans age 65+ are the priority group within this phase.
    • I’ve directed local health departments to administer at least 90 percent of their vaccine allocation to this group.
  • When determining who to prioritize for vaccination, we’ve been guided by data.
    • Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of the coronavirus deaths in Nebraska have been persons age 75+.
    • Roughly 83 percent of the deaths in Nebraska have occurred among those age 65+.
    •  About 94 percent of deaths have been those 55+.
  • We are focused on getting the vaccine to older Nebraskans who are most at risk.

Ashley Newmyer: Coronavirus Vaccination

  • Earlier this week we updated the State’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard.  It’s available by going to dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and clicking on “Nebraska Case Information”.
  • The overview tab of the dashboard now separately shows data from the State’s vaccine program and data from the federal vaccination programs.
  • Both the state and federal metrics display the overall doses allocated, along with the numbers of 1st and 2nd dose allocations.
  • The number of doses allocated is updated weekly and reflects the amount of vaccine that we have in Nebraska which also has the associated supply kits required to administer those doses.
  • The number of doses administered reflects the total doses given, or “shots in arms,” in Nebraska under each program.  These counts are updated daily around 9:00 am (CT).
  • With the federal long-term care pharmacy program winding down, this morning we added the recently launched retail pharmacy program information to the federal program section.
  • Finally, at the bottom of the overview tab, the dashboard displays the total vaccines allocated and total vaccines administered.  These figures are combined totals that include data from both the DHHS COVID-19 vaccine program and the federal programs.

Gov. Ricketts: Winter Weather

  • Over the next few days, we expect to see the coldest temperatures so far this winter.
  • Wind chills are forecasted to fall below -25 degrees Fahrenheit throughout much of the state in the coming days.  
  • There are also more snowstorms moving across the state this weekend.
  • Keep in mind the bitter cold, and avoid travel if possible.
  • If you must travel, put a safety kit in the car with warm clothes, food, and water.
  • With winter weather conditions, we may also see power outages.
    • Make sure you have a flashlight and extra batteries, along with extra food and water.
    • Locate your fuse box and make sure you’re aware of how to turn the power on and off.
  • Exposed flesh can freeze quickly in the bitter cold.  Make sure to be properly dressed if you go outdoors.

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