Gov. Pete Ricketts

LINCOLN - Governor Pete Ricketts is seeking some emergency funding to help the coronavirus outbreak.

Ricketts made that announcement during a COVID-19 response update at the Capitol.

He said he’s working with the legislature on an emergency appropriations package in the amount of $58.6 million which would come from the state’s cash reserve fund and be transferred into the governor’s emergency fund so it can be used to fight the spread of the virus in the state.

"That $58.6 million would be broken down to roughly $38 million for us to be able to buy things like personal protective equipment and be able to distribute that to our firefighters and EMT's across the state. We're also looking for about $4 million for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services so they can staff up to help fight the virus."

Ricketts also said $13 million will be used for staffing at 24-hour care facilities and $3.5 million for UNMC to expand testing and software.

He said Nebraska had applied to the Small Business Administration and was approved for a disaster declaration which will allow small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the state to apply for loans.

For more information on that visit SBA.Gov/Disaster.

In other news

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska public health officials are watching for signs of strain on Omaha’s hospitals following a steady increase in coronavirus patients, but the state’s chief medical officer says he isn’t yet worried about the caseload as Gov. Pete Ricketts moves to further ease restrictions.