LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts declared April 6-12, 2020 as Public Health Week in Nebraska during his daily press briefing on the State’s response to coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). He thanked public health leaders for working overtime to keep Nebraskans healthy, informed about good hygiene, and up-to-date on the virus.
The Governor noted that the next month will be a decisive stage of the war against the coronavirus. He urged Nebraskans to “stay home, stay healthy, and stay connected” over the coming weeks. Everyone should work, go home, and shop once a week.
Additionally, the Governor discussed the risk of domestic abuse at a time when Nebraskans are more socially isolated than usual. Lynne Lange, Executive Director of the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, joined the Governor at today’s press event. She highlighted resources available to abuse survivors, along with the steps Nebraska shelters have taken to better serve survivors during the pandemic.
Earlier today, Gov. Ricketts and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds spoke directly with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. The governors reviewed the social distancing rules they have put in place. Dr. Fauci expressed his appreciation for both states’ efforts, and he sent a message to Nebraskans that he’s “on the same page” with the Governor.
Gov. Ricketts: Domestic Abuse Vigilance
- Social isolation gives abusive partners increased access to victims, and some victims may be forced to isolate or quarantine in settings that are not safe.
- The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to impact the incidence of domestic violence in much the same way as natural disasters. People face new stressors during a disaster, such as job loss or reduced income, and community resources are simultaneously strained.
- Calls for help during an immediate crisis vary, but requests for shelter and assistance usually surge after people can safely leave their homes.
- Nebraskans who need help can call any of the following hotlines:National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474
- If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression, and anxiety—or feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else— please call one of these numbers:911Nebraska Family Helpline (888) 866-8660National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990
- Nebraska Family Helpline (888) 866-8660
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990
Lynne Lange: Domestic Abuse Vigilance
- While the pandemic doesn’t cause violence, it creates conditions where abuse is more likely.
- The primary tactic violent abusers use is to isolate their victims. This isolation is exacerbated right now at a time when many people are in quarantine.
- Shelters are stepping up their work to disinfect rooms and materials.
- Shelters are also taking social distancing precautions to house survivors in separate bedrooms with their own bathrooms.
- Nebraskans can find services for those dealing with domestic violence at www.nebraskacoalition.org/get_help.
Gov. Ricketts: Reminders & Updates
- Limit shopping to one trip per week for essentials.
- Shop alone rather than in groups.
- Maintain six feet of distance from other customers and store workers when shopping.
- Retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart are limiting the number of customers who can be in a store at once to encourage social distancing.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is waiving member cost-sharing for in-network testing and treatment administered at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility, emergency room, or during an in-patient hospital stay.
- As Nebraskans stay home, they are encouraged to fill out their Census questionnaire. For details on how to respond, visit 2020census.gov.
Nebraskans are encouraged to spread the message to “stay home, stay healthy, and stay connected” by making use of graphics available by clicking here.
Full video of today’s press briefing is available by clicking here.